My father died yesterday, Easter Sunday. This picture was taken the day before. He was in a nursing home. One of the carers took his order for supper at 4.30pm and he was found dead at 5pm. He was 82, has not been in good health for a few years, and has had a particularly trying last 6 months. So, while I and the rest of his family are in shock and I miss him terribly, I think this is a graceful ending for him. He is survived by my sister, Lindsay, and me, and by Helen, his second wife, and by Zoe and Jason, my half-sister and brother his four grandchildren, Jessica, Zach, Hannah and Esther.
Yesterday evening, after my sister called to say he had died, I had an hour with him during which Claire said prayers, and I had time to say some goodbyes on my own with him and read him Psalm 139. I feel grateful and blessed that he loves me, and that our love has been said out loud to each other many times in recent years.
It is a sudden and unexpected death and the coroner has decided it is necessary to have a post-mortem. This will put back the date for a funeral by at least a few days. Claire, the girls and I are on holiday this week and we have decided to carry on with our plans for a few days in Dorset.
I am agnostic about what happens when we die – I think that is the only honest position to take – but I know that we are loved by the Universe (as any child would be), I trust God, and I believe in the First Law of Thermodynamics (things change but nothing is lost). Whatever is happening now to my Dad, I know that 'all will be well' with him. Some of you pray and meditate and I should be grateful for your prayers (however you 'pray') for his transition (in whatever way you happen to think of that).