Farewell to Father

Dear Friends

My father died on 18 January, at home, in his own bed.  He was almost 98.

He lived a good long life, and we are thankful for it. Thankful, too, that we (my sister, brother and I) were beside him when he died.

My mother, at 95, is coping reasonably well without her partner of 70 years.

Father’s  funeral will be on February 7th at the community centre near his home in Cairns.

I will post again sometime in February or March.

In the meantime, please enjoy a favourite photo of me and my father. It was taken about 1998 in Maadi, Cairo.  Dad loved Egypt and he and my mother made two visits to Cairo when I lived there from 1994 to 1998.

Dad and I in a shop in Maadi, Cairo.

Evening Prayer

it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.

© A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 1989 p.185



173 thoughts on “Farewell to Father

  1. Pingback: Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for October-November 2018 | Salmon Brook Farms

  2. Tish Farrell

    Adding my condolences here, Ann. I am sorry for your loss, and doubtless the many added concerns that have arisen about your mother. Take care and no need to reply to this.

  3. Kim in Fiji

    Hi Dear, I just saw this post and am sorry I was not more timely. A big hug for you and for your mother. Thank you for sharing with us. What a lovely photo. What powerful and comforting prayer.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Kim. I wish I had been able to show Dad your blog. He had a great love of Fiji and was always interested in farming/agricultural activities there. He would have enjoyed seeing all the activity on your land. Condolences are always timely, whenever they come. 🙂

  4. Inese Poga artist, writer and life sciences specialist

    I am sorry for your loss.
    For children, parents are never old or too old because we wish they stayed with us forever. Just one thought of knowing they are is so pleasant. Parents are the guarding wall between us and the unknown. It feels so safe while they still are.
    It’s good to know your mother is coping fine with that.
    Wonderful poem!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Inese. Yes, it does feel as though I am more exposed to the unknown now, especially because my father looked after us so well and we felt that he would always be around to support us. I was a little bit upset today because the camera he gave me many years ago developed a battery problem. I hope I will be able to get a replacement battery because I don’t want to have to stop using it.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Very good of you to do so Jo. I am reading a few blogs again but not up to commenting much. My words have all been consumed by other matters and general tiredness. 🙂

  5. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    As these weeks have passed, you’ve probably found yourself missing your dear father in ways you had not expected. I know that was the case for me. Though he was “only” 83, it was a good thing, as his Alzheimer’s was getting to the point where he would not be able to live on his own. And he would not have like that! Wishing you, your mother, sister and brother all the best.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Jean. I noticed in one of your recent posts you wrote about white bread. My father’s parents owned a small bakery. From a very young age my father learned about bread making. He always loved and appreciated a good, freshly baked loaf of bread. A ‘piece’ with homemade jam was a greater treat to him than any cake or other sweet treat.

  6. Sheila

    I’m so sorry. That’s amazing that your parents were both able to live into their 90s. It looks like he loved life and adventure and the time he had with you. I hope all your memories will keep making you smile.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Sheila. We have had some good laughs over some of our memories. Fortunately there is more to laugh and smile about than to be sorrowful over. We still miss him dreadfully, of course.

  7. Robbie

    I am so sorry you lost your father. I know how hard it must be… A great picture of the two of you:-)Truly blessed to pass on in his own bed.

    I had my father here yesterday, and he is suffering. My mother is unable to take care of him and I can’t due to helping with my grandson etc. It is hard since he is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He just sits with us at the table and stares off into space. On occasion, he is here, but it is difficult for he is not here more often than here….Alzheimer’s is a long goodbye.

    I am so glad he passed at home in his bed surrounded by all his family. My father wants that, but my mother can’t make it happen His disease is getting so complicated. He wanders and can’t do anything for himself these days. It has been a slow decline over the past 5 yrs. She has health issues now from being his primary care-taker.

    I guess I am sharing with you because you understand. My heart aches for you-, and if I could I would give you a big hug….for we all know fathers are great huggers!!!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Robbie, thank you, and special thanks for your big hug. Caring for our elderly loved ones is hard. Our father was lucky to be at home till the end. But more than being at home, I think it was the company of his loved ones which was the most important thing in his final days. We are hoping we can keep my mother in her home environment till her time comes but perhaps with her increasing dementia that won’t be possible. We all do the very best we can in difficult circumstances. I do hope your mother can get some rest. And good nutrition. Take as much care of yourselves as you can; easier said than done, of course.

  8. insearchofitall

    I read this yesterday and had to come back. You are never too old to miss your parents. Mine both passed much younger than your father. I still miss them so I understand it taking time to absorb. Even though you know it’s coming, it doesn’t take away from the pain of loss. You have my heartfelt condolence.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Flora. I am finding life without my father rather strange. He was with me every step of the way for almost 62 years. He is still with me, I guess, but in a different way. 🙂

  9. Wendy L. Macdonald

    Hugs, dear friend. ❤ It's never easy to lose a parent on this side of heaven. I love the picture of you two. The evening prayer breathes serenity through and through. Your father was blessed to have a loving family and blessed to know you would all hold each other close when it was time for him to go.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Wendy. Yes, somewhere in his last few days, I think Dad realized that he could let go; that we would be okay together and that we would look after my mother, his partner of almost 70 years.

  10. Karen

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your father. I know that he had a long and well loved life but it is hard to loose the ones we love. My thoughts are with you.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Karen. My father hated goodbyes ( as do I) but he managed this last goodbye with great strength and serenity. It was a privilege to share his final days with him.

      1. Karen

        He sounds like a wonderful man and I know you will miss him. What is nice is that you will always have wonderful memories to keep him close to you.


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