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Saturday, June 14, 2008 

A tribute to my father

It's been far too long since my last post. I just didn't feel I had anything worth posting.

Since then however, events in my life have taken an unexpected turn for the worst. My father, Terence, has died. He was 77 years old, a fighter and an inspiration to me. He wasn't a well man since I was a bairn (I'm 47) but any amount of pain didn't stop him going out to work to look after our family. We had our rows, arguments etc, like all families, but I loved him to bits.

He doted over Zoe, my 11yr old niece and his Granddaughter by my sister Tracey. She gave my dad renewed purpose after he retired at 65. The photo's adorning my parent's living room are testament to that.

However, in recent years my father grew increasingly frail. He wasn't the strong, vigorous man I remembered as a child, in spite of his illnesses. He suffered 2 bouts of pneumonia within a year, each time I thought I'd lose him, but his dogged determination plus the NHS helped him pull through.

Over the last 2 or 3 years or so, my dad's short term memory started to go (early signs of dementia, Alzheimer's?). It caused problems, especially for Jean, my mum. But she stuck by him, and in a way she shielded the rest of the family from this, in spite of the fact it obviously upset her. Added to this, about 18 months ago two of my dad's siblings, a much loved brother and sister died. I think this affected my father in a profound way. I've only just discovered this after spending the last week with my mum.

Which brings me to the events of the last week or so. My brother-in-law, Martin rang me to say that my dad had been taken into hospital with breathing difficulties. I took some holiday time off to stay with my mum, help her out, mainly to be there for her. I couldn't have lived with myself if anything happened to my dad and she was alone.

My father seemed to be improving, he was in good spirits, his old self when I visited him in hospital. Just over 24hrs after being discharged from hospital my father relapsed. I rode with him in the ambulance, sirens blurring. He was in good spirits, chatting to the nurses, and seemed to be responding to the meds. But sadly, late in the evening his heart gave out.

The nurse who broke the news to my family was wonderful, as was the doctor who explained what happened. My father didn't suffer, unlike his own father, and I know he died with some degree of dignity.

I shall try my best to remember Terry, as a strong, sensitive, vigorous family man, ever supportive of others, a friend, father, granddad and uncle.

Terence Patrick McNally
6th December 1930 to 13th June 2008

Hi John, I'm absolutely devastated for you and your family, it's absolutely heartbreaking to read your wonderful and touching tribute to your dad, you have my deepest condolences! Also, try to stay strong for your mother and sister! Remember that time is a great healer and I hope in time your sadness passes and you can remember your dad with great happiness and pride at the good man he obviously was and the life he lived!

All the best in your time of sadness!



When there's time we'll chat properly. Thanks for your support.

It's a week since Terry died, my family and I have gone through all sorts of emotions, it's an odd roller coaster is 'bereavement' and personally I've learned an awful lot about myself as a result. It's also strangely a positive experience, drawing my family closer together.

The forty odd years of good memories is a great comfort to me, as is the fact that my father's passing has had a profound effect on a lot of people who knew Terry. My father had a talent of touching other people's lives in a very positive way.

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  • I'm JJ
  • From Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • I still haven't got the hang of Thursdays, nevermind life in general. Perhaps I should get out more?
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