A day I would rather not have had to experience is nearly at an end. As a family, we have the honour of the man we loved being celebrated by many hundreds of people. I don't know how many there were but they filled over 500 seats and filled all the standing room. They came to honour my Dad and to support us and while it doesn't take our pain away or that heaving empty hole that seems to be growing rather than shrinking inside us, it certainly makes the next steps we must take a little less scary.
|Is there any better place than the shoulders of your Poppy?|
I struggled for a few days with what I wanted to say at the funeral. This is what I wrote, it was what I want my girls to know about the man who meant so much to me..
Mr H read on my behalf. He did good.
When you lose the most extraordinary father in the world you cry for many reasons and one of them is knowing that your young children will miss out on experiencing the wonder of him. So I will need to remind them of his love of reading The Age newspaper, of their trips to learn about and discover native wildflowers in the bush and how he took them on adventures in the ute.
I will tell them how strongly he believed that you should stand up for what you know is wrong and defend those that can’t do it for themselves.
I shall tell my girls how their grandfather believed being honest was one of the greatest traits you could ever have and that generosity should have few limits.
I will tell them stories about how he used sticky tape across my forehead to ensure he cut my fringe straight for too many years and of how on my first ever date with a boy I found him waiting INSIDE the actual cinema, a couple of rows behind me, not outside in the car as I requested. I will tell them that he was a man with buckets full of tolerance, that he was humble, strong, funny and so very very wise. I will remind them of how he was always so much fun to be around and how much they loved his visits.
Now I have a new story to tell them, the story of how incredibly brave he was when Amyloidosis came to visit him, how he fought while he could because there is just so much to do in life. There are always new people to meet, places to see and things to be a part of. I will tell them of the enormous love they received from him and how he adored us all beyond words.
I asked Mum how Dad would want people to remember him, she said that only last week he had told her that of all things, he wanted to be remembered as an honest man. I expect this wish will be easily fulfilled.
Lastly, I will remind them often of the words he once said to me. “Clairey, You only get one life, so get busy living!”
R.I.P Dad, we will all love you forever and ever.