Twenty years

Twenty years since he left us, suddenly and too soon. It wasn’t a difficult passing, his suffering didn’t last long, but it wasn’t instant. One night, a cough, turned into a rumbley chest, it rattled and hummed. Sounded painful. Asthmatic, so difficult to breathe.

Off to the hospital with my uncle who had a team waiting. He is a doctor. We were in the beautiful Blue Mountains about 90 mins. from Sydney, Australia. We had just arrived, looking toward a new beginning. My uncle called. The news wasn’t good, my dad, my beloved dad, passed away, gave in, couldn’t breathe, it was too late. He was only 61. When I saw him in all that stillness – sterile and cold, shock, then tears, a lasting image, I thought it was closure – not really. Here I am twenty years later. I still feel that loss, but I also feel a deep joy. His sudden passing was the making of me, of who I am today. I was very young when I lost my dad, it was wave after wave of an agonizing loss that taught me about survival.

my parents on their wedding day

As the twenty year mark dawned, I revisited that loss. I was humbled again by my minute existence and how much I take for granted when I’m not being mindful. I lost my aunt recently, my mum, her brothers and sisters – a sibling. A sibling that held the family together. I remember so many joyful days as a child at my aunt’s house. So much love. When I saw her last year, her remarkable strength  amazed me. 80 was fantastic. Much to reflect on these past few weeks.

Life and death, they go hand in hand, consistent and powerful. Memories and photos are all I have. My mum, I cherish beyond words.. we keep my dad alive; in our hearts, in our minds.



19 thoughts on “Twenty years

  1. beautifully said MM, the pain never goes away , it lies dormant and comes up ever so often.
    But in remembering we celebrate their lives. hugs!


    • Always learning and living with it San. I often think of my children and how much joy my dad would have brought them. Life is certainly to be celebrated isn’t it?


  2. I’m sorry for your loss MM, I can relate in regards to your father. My father was 65. Sudden, unexpected, too soon. And I still process it and feel it and learn from it.


    • I think it is an unexpected loss that strikes you, sometimes as you sit with it , at least for me. I understood how it happened medically and when I wrote my MA thesis on death and dying it was very much to gain closure that I worked so hard on it.
      What is particularly difficult sometimes is when I see my girls, I know my dad would have got such a kick out of them and spoiled them rotten.
      65 is so young.


      • It is definitely the unexpected that still gets to me. I relive that day, that moment, often. There was no warning or goodbyes.

        I’m sorry your dad didn’t get to meet your girls. It sounds like they would have loved him greatly.


      • That’s it Colleen, I relive it too. I do try and remember those other moments now.. Because that lasting image in the hospital and morgue is sometimes very difficult to put to rest, although I find it a wonderful reminder of where we all end up, no matter our race, status or color – a lesson I guess.


  3. From Your Child
    J.M Tacken

    I wish I could put my arms around you
    Just once more ~ is all I ask
    To hear your voice ~ to see your smile
    To hear my name ~ to see you laugh

    Every child will lose their parents
    I have known that all along
    But now that it has happened
    I feel empty and forlorn

    I didn’t wish to see you suffer
    Or live your life in pain
    But oh how I miss you dad
    My life will never be the same

    I am so grateful for what you gave
    How you helped to lead the way
    A shoulder for us to lean on
    You taught lessons every day

    A father means so much
    I only hope you knew
    How very much you were loved
    How each second I miss you

    So when we meet again
    I’ll run to you with open arms
    Tears of joy not sadness
    I’ll kiss your cheek & hold your hand

    And be the child I used to be
    Who loved & needed you
    My friend ~ my strength
    My support in life ~ my beautiful loving dad

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry, MM. With our parents, the pain never goes away. It stays fresh every time you remember. My parents died within months of each other. First my mother in June; my father in October. Your post reminded me that this is the week of my father’s passing 21 years ago. The pain stays with you always. Sending you lots of hugs and my heartfelt sympathies. Maybe thinking of Colin Firth will make us feel better.


    • I didn’t know your parents passed within months of each other. It is painful Monica, it never just goes away. You learn to live and remember. That is all I ever do. My mum and I talk about my dad;the funny stuff, the crazy things we did together as a family..
      I’m sending you extra hugs this week as you think of your dad, and his passing .Doesn’t seem like 20 or 21 years does it? it is right there with you.
      Ah Colin, those pictures keep coming as they film. I smile every single time.
      The Daily mail and Guardian tweet them out.


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