Monday, 20 July 2015
I lost my beloved Dad eight weeks ago. On the 25th of May he died peacefully and suddenly in his sleep after a drawn out battle in hospital. Just when we thought he was getting better, we lost him.
I've been wanting to come back to blog since then but I need to mark his passing here before I do... though I'm not sure I have the words... how do you honour a life in just one post?
Those of you who have lost a parent or close family member will know the unfillable hole they leave. It seems impossible that he isn't still here with us. I think about him all the time and every little thing reminds me of him. Which is lovely, but bittersweet.
I was lucky that I got to spend time with Dad before he died. I got time to tell him how much I loved him. That has helped. One thing I talked to him about was how he had passed on to me his love of making, and what a precious gift that has been.
We are similar my Dad and I, we love making things. My earliest memories are of Dad building furniture for our house in Canberra, making a tree house for us and building a barbecue pit in the garden, planting petunias and making a fireplace!
Dad loved to make, he loved to garden, he loved art and sculpture, he painted, he cooked, he bottled jam, he fished, he loved travel and nature, wine and food, he loved words and politics, he loved family and history and restaurants, he loved stories and laughing... and he loved us.
We held a Memorial for Dad the week after he died. We held it in a most beautiful hall, set among the trees in Bangalow, northern NSW. All his friends and family came together to celebrate his life and lots of wonderful people stood up and gave beautiful, funny, sad speeches. We showed hundreds of slides taken from all our family albums, and played his favourite music. He would have loved it.
The speeches were about his wonderful life, his sense of humour, his career achievements, his making and his generosity. My Dad loved knowledge, and he loved making things from scratch. I'm so much like him in that way and so this blog is a record of that legacy. Thanks Dad.
You can read more about my Dad in this obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald written by his old mate Mungo MacCallum.