I can’t remember when I last had the peace of mind that left space for blogging, and in a fit of pique I deleted all that was Remote Knitter . Dad had an op in June and supporting him and Mum has been my main preoccupation since then. My job came to an end in November which was a double blessing as not only could I increase my visits to Hampshire ( a four hour drive), but the staff shenanigans were making me ill.
Dad died on March 11. He was ready to go and my brother had come back from Holland in time to be with him at the moment of his passing, which was right and good as they are both soldiers and being a soldier was very important to Dad. My Mum and I had spent the whole night with him and I cannot express my gratitude for that precious time together. Also with us was my new dog Biddy who I will post about separately. Dad loved all animals, but dogs in particular. Biddy is only nine months now and very young to understand the serenity and quiet needed by the dying, and yet she behaved impeccably.
His funeral was wonderful. His overly strict Catholic upbringing, the horrors he witnessed as a Pole in the thirties and forties, and I specifically remember, the Aberfan disaster, made him a confirmed atheist and yet he was a ‘spirited’ man. My brother and I managed to do a double act eulogy, which I hope conveyed Dad’s humour and compassion and I read a passage from Greg Bear’s Strength of Stones which is secular and yet conveys an altenative ‘beyond’ that Dad as a very keen Sci Fi reader will enjoy. To anyone who, like me, thought they would never be able to retain enough composure to read at a funeral I would say ‘try’ – Dr Theatre seems to do the trick.
I must put in a link to Colourful Coffins . The whole family were keen that Dad’s funeral reflected his love of nature and that it be ‘green’ – so we chose a formaldehyde free MDF coffin decorated in RAF colours and insignia plus a Polish Eagle. The coffin was beyond our hopes and expectation in beauty. It was really extra special. When Mum and I visited him he was beautifully laid out in his uniform, Maddocks of Andover had treated him so respectfully, even polished his buttons and we agreed that the coffin was spectacular.
It’s a bit odd now – I am terribly sad and weep at odd moments, to odd pieces of music, or little snatches of conversation. He had such a trial in the last few months that his death was truly a relief for him and for Mum and I so it’s a compromised grief. But it is a true grief for a wonderful, compassionate and courageous man who lived through things we cannot even imagine let alone survive as a kind and gentle, generous and thoughtful human being.