Saturday, December 04, 2010

sleep tight and God bless

John Roy Sewell, 1935-2010

I spent a nice quiet morning with Dad yesterday, reminiscing, and came home while it was still light as I know he’d worry about me driving on the icy roads. He passed away last night; and, although it's a happy release because the last year hasn't been kind to him, I'm going to miss him terribly.

It's a comfort that my last words to him were ‘I love you’, and I know he knew that. And I also know he’d expect me to mark his passing with a bit of Shakespeare (very long-running gag about how I can come up with a Shakespeare quote for almost anything, which used to drive him crazy when I was in my early teens, but then became a ‘what can I challenge her with now?’).

So I think it has to be from Hamlet. (Very apt, because dementia really is a poison.)

He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.

Dad wouldn’t want people to remember him as he was towards the end of his life. He’d want people to remember him how he was: a larger than life character who was the life and soul of every party. At any social do, find the group of people who were laughing loudest, and my dad would be at the centre.

This is how I remember him (1997 - and there was indeed a dog about to leap on his lap).


A dog he'd cuddled right from his puppyhood. (He no longer had dogs himself at this point, so he used to come and borrow mine.)

And back when I was little.

With my son, happy to play with him.

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With my daughter, giving her a cuddle (and he made time for both children).

With me, in summer 1986.


He was always happy to dress up and play the clown (son in particular was delighted with this).

And he passed on to me a love of cake...

Rest in peace, Dad. Sleep tight, and God bless.

34 comments:

Kate Walker said...

Lovely pictures, Kate. This is the way to remember him in your heart. Love is always worth the pain of loss in the end. My deepest sympathis to you and your family

carolwarham said...

My heart goes out to you. I know there are mingled emotions right now, sadness but tinged with relief. It's weird, I remember sitting with my dad after he had gone and just felt glad he had at last found peace from the awful suffering this illness brings. When we think of him now it is how he used to be, we have photos of him laughing and being happy. God bless.

Nicolette said...

All the good memories and the love you shared will get you through this. It's hard, and as Carol said, mixed emotions. But the memories of the good times and the laughter you shared will keep him alive in your hearts forever.
Deepest sympathy and lots of love. xx

susanwilson44 said...

Crying for you right now Kate, what lovely pictures. God bless x

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending love and hugs.
Carol M xxx

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Shedding a tear for you here, Kate. Lovely memories. Take care,

Rach.
X

Nell Dixon said...

Dementia is indeed the long goodbye but the essence of those we love stays with us all our lives. Sending you love and prayers.

Liz Fielding said...

Lovely photographs, Kate. V. special to see one of you with your Dad.

My thoughts are with you.

Shirley Wells said...

What a lovely tribute. As Kate said, 'Love is always worth the pain of loss in the end'.

Deepest sympathy to you and the family. x

Carol Townend said...

Kate, I am so sorry. The pictures show a lovely dad, please accept my deepest sympathies.

Jill said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father and the love that a family shares.
My thoughts are with you and your family.

Brigitte said...

Nothing truly loved is ever lost, but
words cannot heal the pain of losing someone so dear.
May God give you the strength to overcome the pain.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow, comfort in the midst of pain.

With heartfelt sympathy.
Brigitte

Amy said...

What a beautiful tribute and lovely, lovely pictures. My deepest sympathies, Kate.

Amy

Kelly Hunter said...

Lovely memories, Kate, and big hugs for you and yours.

Jan Jones said...

(((((hugs))))) Kate. You've chosen some stunning photos to illustrate him. I hope while you were going through them that you found yourself smiling through the grief and that those memories will now be the ones that stay with you.
xxx

Julie said...

My deepest symphathies to you and your family, Kate. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,
Juliexxx

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

What a lovely tribute, God bless you and yours, Kate! xx

Chris Stovell said...

My deepest sympathy to you. I miss my dad every day, but if it's any comfort, I know that he's there in all the memories and still makes me laugh.

Caroline said...

What a lovely tribute to your dad Kate. He looks such a happy soul - a great father and granddad I'm sure. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family - God bless. Caroline x

Kimberly Lang said...

A beautiful tribute to your dad.

Many (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Profound condolences to you all.

It sounds like a peaceful end and many joyous memories. That's something to wish for, I think.

mpe

Anonymous said...

Kate, My deepest sympathies to you and your family for your loss. I hope that the memories of all of the good and happy times that you spent together will carry you through the hard times that will follow.

Take care,

Chris.

Katie said...

Lovely pictures and a lovely way to remember your Dad.
Take care
xxxx

Phillipa Ashley said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Kate. Thinking of you - love, Phillipa xxx

Catherine said...

Take care, Kate. Your pictures are a very special tribute. With sympathy to you and your family. Cx

Nicola Marsh said...

Beautiful memories, Kate.

Sympathies to you and your family.

Hugs xx

linda margaret said...

God bless you Kate. Your tribute to your Dad was so loving. Dementia is just so hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you in the coming days.

Linda

Amy Andrews said...

Kate, thinking of you at this sad time.

Margaret Mayo said...

My deepest sympathy, Kate. I know how hard it is to lose your father. Thank goodness for memories. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and all the family, Pam. Thanks for sharing the pictures. What a lovely man. RIP. Gillie B xxx

Elissa Graham said...

Kate my deepest condolences on your awful loss. Cyber hugs to you and your family.

India said...

Oh Kate, what lovely photos, and what a gorgeous way to remember the good years, before that awful illness took hold. Your dad looks like such fun - and SO like your son! Thanks for sharing these, and take care of yourself. Sending love and thinking of you xxx

Joanne Coles said...

Hugs and prayers to you and your family, Kate. Hopefully your memories and pictures of your father will give you some comfort in the future.

xxx

Diane said...

Lovely pictures, lovely memories. xx