a sad end

Daz’s dad died this week. He didn’t pass away or pass on or go to a better place. He just died. And I think he probably died  a very lonely death.

It’s a story that goes back over forty years and I don’t know all the facts because I wasn’t there so I don’t judge anyone and I don’t assume to know anything about it.

All I can say is that Daz’s mum and dad split up when he was very young. He had twin sisters who were just babies and another sister not much younger than himself. It wasn’t an amicable split and over the years nothing ever changed. And I know it was a confusing time for Daz so I can only guess that it was for the girls as well. They all came out of it with different opinions of their Dad and the whole situation. And he became like many other divorced Dads. I don’t know if it just becomes too hard or too painful or too much, but he just sort of stopped seeing the kids. And he wasn’t a bad man, just a person like we all are. He made some bad choices, made some wrong decisions and I guess it all leads you to where you end up. It’s easy now of course to look back and say – he should have done this, she should have done this, we should have done that. But in the end everyone did what they did and thats that.

Over the years he had more contact with the girls than he did with Daz. Two of them managed to build some kind of relationship with him. I think because Daz was older at the time he had more bad memories of it all and he avoided contact with his father for a long time. Over the twenty five years that Daz and I have been together I’ve probably only met up with his Dad ten times.

But about two years ago he was diagnosed with cancer. And he really made an effort to reach out, to tell his side of the story, because he’d never really done that before. But it was just too late. I remember having conversations with Daz saying – you should meet up with him, when he dies you might be sorry that you didn’t tell him how you feel. So they did spend some time together and they had words but it was always just a bit awkward.

So last night Daz’s sister had a call from the hospital saying that their Dad had missed his chemotherapy appointment. So when she couldn’t contact him she went around to his place and ended up calling the police. They ended up breaking down the door and found him dead inside. They think he probably died Monday night, three nights ago.

Three nights ago. It just seems such a sad and lonely way to die. They are saying that he came out of the shower and had a heart attack. So I guess that’s a good thing because he was really fed up with the cancer.

But it makes you think. About how easy it is to end up somewhere that is about a million miles away from where you thought you would be. Whats that saying? There but for the grace of God, go I. Well I don’t know if God has anything to do with it,  but just one decision, one act, one choice made in anger or, oh I don’t know just nothing that you even thought would matter at the time, it can take you from one place where you thought you’d be happy forever to another place where you probably never thought you’d ever end up and must wonder at the ery end how the hell you did end up there.

I hope he didn’t feel alone at the end. At the moment I’m seriously doubting that he had the chance. Our next door neighbour Shirley also died this week. She was an extremely obese woman in her seventies. She had a massive opinion about everything and she wasn’t afraid to share it with anyone. She had a wicked sense of humour and a great booming laugh and even if you lived five doors away you could still hear her talking about her latest medical drama with the woman who lived across the road.

So today Daz was at his Dads house doing some sorting and was saying how he thought his father would be freaking out about someone touching his stuff and I said, he wouldn’t have the chance, Shirley would be there telling him not be such a bloody idiot and to hurry up and come up to where the fun was.

R.I.P. Errol.


30 thoughts on “a sad end

  1. I agree, very sad. I hope that Daz is not left with any regrets on his part. Family relationships can be difficult, trying, and even plain old weird at times.

    • I do’t know how he’s going to feel about it down the track. He said yesterday that it was really sad being at the house and that he should have called or gone to visit but I said – you can’t play that game. It’s easy to look back and say what you should’ve done but his father should have tried harder as well.

  2. It’s a very sad event.I’m sad for you and Daz. My condulences for you too.
    Formerly, it was difficult to divorce : likely a shame. The fathers felt guilty, especially when it was difficult for them to pay the child support.
    Currently, civil society and professionnals, work for helping the fathers not to feel so guilty and to remain present for their children, even if they are responsible of the breakdown of their mariage.
    I sympathize with this poor old man who died alone, and I think that, in a way, he showed he wanted to apologize for his absence, even if he did not exactly succeed.

    • I think a lot of fathers get treated very badly by the family courts but there are a lot of groups here as well trying to help them stay in their chilrens lives.
      Poor old man who died alone. Thats exactly what he was, very sad.

  3. It’s sad but sounds like Daz had come to some sort of grips with it. Glad it was a heart attack at home instead of withering away in hospital.

    He looks quite handsome in the lawn mowing photo with little Daz.

    Shirley sounds like a real riot.

    • Well we were worried for a while that he might have killed himself because he’d said to one of the girls last week that he was sick of it and just wanted it all to end. He was quite dashing wasn’t he. He was always very well groomed. Pressed pants, belt, shirt tucked in, hair slicked back. Even when he was old and sick.

    • I think Errol had a lot of regrets at the end but he’d left his run too late. He must have been very lonely I think. But then he has to own a major part of the responsibility. He has another son from a second marriage and he didn’t have a relationship with him either.

  4. This is very sad. My condolences as well to you and Daz. I think it’s good that Daz spent some time with his father in his last days, but I wonder if Daz hadn’t already said good-bye to an absent father. My husband had a difficult relationship with his alcoholic father, and though we tried to reach out to him after the kids were born, there was just no healing the rift. There was just too much hurt, too much anger. After a while, I had to just let it go, and told my husband that it was up to him to decide whether he wanted to continue seeing his father. He did, but he always had to initiate it. His father was a hopeless cause, having fallen off the wagon three times and thinking it was funny.

    Errol was a very handsome man. Daz is lucky to have inherited that from his father.

    • Yes, I always stayed out of the situation. Errol would ring and Daz would say to me – do you think I should see him and I’d say – I’m not playing this game, you have to decide that. But he only started ringing after he discovered he had cancer and so it seemed more about him. Before that he never even rang Daz on his birthday. You have to let it go or it could really mess you up.

    • No one could forget Shirley. And I believe she was probably the original crazy cat lady. The house was always full of cats and dogs and there was even an old bald cockatoo for a while. She was a real character and I will miss her.

  5. It’s so hard to lose a dad, even one that never seemed to be a dad you’d want to have. So sorry to Daz and you and all the family.

    You’re right about how that one choice at that one point can change everything, sometimes for the good, sometimes not. We’re just people and we do good things and stupid things.

    I’m still trying to figure out why virtually every one of my known folks who had cancer died of heart attacks. It’s rather confounding.

    • It’s like Errol has layed down the final ultimate guilt trip. He has had a wonderful step father which doesn’t fill the gap but it definitely helped over the years.

  6. That’s such a sad story. Too often people (myself included) let things slide, thinking that there will always be enough time to fix what went wrong. It sounds like Daz’s dad did try to reach out, but it was too little to late. My condolences to you all.

    • Thank you.

      It did make me think for a brief moment that I should spend more time with my father. But then I came to my senses, we seem to get on much better the less we see of each other.

  7. Give Daz my sincere sympathy on the loss of his father. Also tell him that I think he is exceptional because he became a good Dad and broke the chain of poor parenting. You can almost bet that Errol had a lousy father. People can rarely give something that they had never experienced. (i.e. love, & attention) All’s well that ends well…..Daz got the best of his father’s genes (Gooood looks) and ended up with a terrific family of his own. Taaaa Daaaa! He’s a Success!! 😉

    • Thanks Denise. I’m not sure what Errols reelationship was like with his father. Back then a lot of fathers were kind of hands off though. I think the whole marriage break up threw Errol off track. But didn’t learn anything from it because he did the same thing after his second marriage ended.

  8. That is very sad. May he rest in peace. Condolences to Daz. I love the lawn mower photo.
    It is strange how we end up where we do, time just flies and you can’t go back to change anything, even if you wanted to.

    • Thanks – and to you also. Death seems to be floating around at the moment.

      You just can’t live with regrets, it’ll drive you mad. It happens when your kids have grown up. Sometimes I look back and think I could have done about a million things better but there’s just no point. You just do the best you can at the time.

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