I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to have such fantastic parents. Actually, that’s probably a lie – it’s always been there, but I didn’t fully realise how remarkable they are until I left home. I have always had a feeling of belonging to them, and of belonging to my siblings too. My parents aren’t perfect and have never professed to be. Since I can remember they have asked me regularly: “How can we be better parents?” – it’s something I admire them for, and want to start asking my own children.
Even though I am 28, they continue to parent me. Even though I am married and have a family of my own, they continue to parent me. It is something I am so grateful for. They have a wealth of experience, advice and knowledge. They inspire me in every single way – as parents, as friends, as grandparents and as neighbours.
Sadly, my dad passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 67. To say it was a shock is an understatement – he took his health seriously – was busy, happy and enthusiastic. My dad’s funeral date isn’t something I planned to have in my calendar for at least another 15 years. I was there when he passed away – when the doctor said there was nothing left for them to do and when his heart rate went flat.
His love, his advice, his wise words, his humour, his unusual dress sense, his vision, his kindness and dedication to family will be deeply missed, but seeing my parents laughing, dancing, singing and walking together will be what I miss the most. They were a team, so different, so independent – yet completely united.
A new chapter has begun – one I enter with no expectations. I’m determined to just be. To not read anything about how I should, or shouldn’t be feeling. I have never felt so inspired to be the best version of myself, and the best parent I can be to my two boys. I also know that I will not let myself feel guilty for being happy – my dad simply would not approve. If I smile and am happy I’ll embrace it – if I feel sad and empty, I’ll embrace that too.
I’m a Christian and I know I will see him again. I know he is well. I also know that he has left me with ten siblings and the best mother in the world – eleven wonderful people I have to share memories and the rest of my life with. I cannot believe I get to call them family.
Since he passed away I have been completely filled with gratitude for having such a brilliant dad. I’ve been thinking about the quote: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” a lot, and I have to say in this instance – I don’t agree with it. I feel like I knew exactly what I had and I tried to cherish it. I knew him, appreciated him and tried very hard never to take him for granted.
He has left such a legacy behind, and my one wish is that he will always feel proud to call me his daughter.
I was soo sad to hear that your Father had passed away. A lot of my fond memories of Beverley involve your family. xx
Thanks Tari – so kind of you xx
Esther….your simple, heartfelt words are beautifully meaningful. I send a simple hug.
Thank you Jackie xx
Oh Esther. I am so, so sorry lovely. There are no words really, but I’m thinking of you, and praying for your family too. The hugest hugs pet xx
Thank you so much Emma xx
I am so sorry and genuinely sad to hear about your Dad. How marvellous to have such wonderful memories and to have been blessed with such a lovely man in you life. He sounds like a wonderful man. Sending you and your family lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Thank you so much Kerry. He will certainly be missed xx
Oh my goodness, Esther. I’m so, so sorry. I loved reading your memories of him. It’s such a wonderful post to write when you must be overwhelmed with grief. Huge hugs and I’ll be thinking of you xxx
Thank you so much Rachel xx
Thank you for sharing Esther. Your Dad was great and I love how he has inspired you. God bless you and your family! You are wonderful and no doubt he is proud to call you daughter just like I am proud to call you friend 😘😘😘
Thanks Laris! xx
He was a great Dad to you all and its been great to see your relationship increase over the last few years too as he has had more time. I loved reading this and its great you have been blessed with immense gratitude and of course a fab family to support one another through and enjoy laughter and his memory.
Its strange for me to read that your not researching this topic of emotions, grief and cycles, but just embracing what comes when it comes, I guess it doesn’t put expectations on or questioning oneself,its obvious that you will be sad, you will be happy its all normal and natural and I hope you can continue to feel peace and gratitude for your wonderful father xx love you xx
I keep thinking how fantastic it was that he retired so early! At least my parents had 10 years together before such a sudden ending. We will certainly keep having lots of fun…mixed in with tears I’m sure xx
I am so sorry to hear about your loss of your Dad Esther, but these are beautiful words, and I have no doubt just from reading very small snippets of your blog, that your Dad would have been very proud to have you as his daughter. It made me feel very emotional to hear you say that you feel inspired more than ever to be the best version of yourself- that is really so lovely.
And I have just twigged that you obviously are related to Mary. I adore her blog too. xx
Thank you so much Katie. He was someone really quite extraordinary, and yes – she is married to one of my older brothers! xx
I was so sad to read hear about this and read this. We are the same age and I can’t imagine losing my dad now. Mike remembers your dad fondly from when he served in Beverley – Mike said he was always willing to help the missionaries and go on splits etc. thinking of you all xx
I know – so sad. It still feels incredibly weird, but we’re all doing (mostly) ok. Thank you xx
I have only just read this and I am just so sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing man and your outlook is incredible. I have no doubt he would always be so proud of you. Much love x
Thank you for your kind words Donna xx