Several suicide attempts followed; attempts really to end the constant rattle of fear in his body. Even on his death bed he told us he didn’t want to die. He only wanted the fear to end.
So many images of fear, of doubt, of anger – how would I ever remember my Dad the way he WAS?
We were lucky enough to bring him home for a week before the point of no return. He was able to sleep in his own bed and be with his family. He was almost impossible to handle, but we managed. I would have done anything for my Dad really, and giving him this period of close to dignity before he died was a necessary step for all of us. Within a week he was ready for palliative care, and within a week of that, he died.
Silence. He was finally at peace. WE - were finally at peace.
Then the missing started. It was time to plan his final event, a place for his friends and family to pay their respects; a place to replace those memories with what was the life of my Dad.
We didn’t host a typical funeral. We held it in a room he often played for his friends, a place he had lived in Canada for nearly 30 years and a place he felt at home. We played his music and we featured a slide show tribute of his life on the big screen. We gathered and we remembered.
We remembered and celebrated a life of music, one of family, travel and discovery, a life of contemplation and exploration but most of all, we remembered a man we all adored.
Through that excersize of honouring my Dad, the images of sadness and craziness were magically replaced and all that was left was love and respect.
To my dear Dad, may peace and the brightest of healing love be bestowed upon your soul.
To my Mom, Happy Mother’s Day to the strongest, most tenacious woman I know. May the music live on in your soul, and may the marvellous memories of a lifetime envelop your every moment, even as new ones are magically created.
Please visit my tribute to my father and
The Gus Armitage Orchestra