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Dad's Unexpected Death and Supporting his Family by Putting End-of-Life Plans in Place.

Updated: Jan 8

Remembering and missing my dear Dad as I remember him on the 30th Anniversary of his death. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, I still miss having his physical presence in my life, and especially at Xmas. I am forever grateful that he had taken the care to support his family by putting his end-of-life plans in place ahead of time, especially as his death was completely unexpected.





My dad’s death was completely unexpected and came out of the blue! He was 76 years young, really fit, and active.


After he retired as a Building Contractor which he built up over the years, he did a lot of voluntary work for the catholic church and the local hospital, doing a paper round and taking people to their appointments. He used to say that he was taking some “old people” to the hospital, and they were at least 10 years younger than him, lol!


On this afternoon 30 years ago we were talking about Xmas and what presents we’d both like, and by that evening he was dead.


Remembering this day so well. I was rather hungover as I had been up all night at a party. I was sitting on the kitchen counter as we had the conversation about Xmas presents, and I asked for some non-leather DM-style shoes.


A few hours later, I was lying on the sofa watching tv, and he left to go to evening mass with a friend. When he said goodbye, I casually replied back “yeah see ya”, not for one moment realising that this would be the last time I would see my beloved dad fully conscious and alive.

Just as I was leaving the house with my friend Jo to go to the pub for the evening, I received a phone call dad's friend said that my dad had a massive headache, (which was unheard of for my dad), so I phoned the doctors who then called for an ambulance.


By the time we got to the hospital, we were called into the office. Here a doctor explained that my dad had suffered a brain hemorrhage in the ambulance, and was not likely to recover.


My brother & I went to see my dad and he was not really conscious, the priest arrived and started giving his last rites. I got upset and they took me to the family room.


When I came back 10 minutes later, he had died. I told him that I loved him, for the first time in my life and kissed his forehead.


Shocked wasn’t the word to describe the moments, days and weeks that followed his death.


I called my best friend Andy from the hospital to tell him the shocking news. My friend Jo then drove me back home. My brother and his wife drove to London to tell and get my sister Mary as she didn’t have a phone, returning after midnight.


I remember smoking a lot and being completely numb. I called up work the next morning to say I wasn’t coming in and my boss said “oh yeah, and why’s that?” When I told him he was shocked. I went back to work after the funeral.





The Funeral


I don’t remember much of how it all went practically afterward, I wasn’t involved in the funeral arrangements or any of the aspects of dad putting his end-of-life plans in place. He did try to talk to me about it, because he did and I didn’t want to, it felt too painful after losing my mum.


Thankfully, I just had to show up to the funeral because that’s all I was fit for, to be honest. It was a full catholic mass which my dad wanted. It rained at the graveside as they buried him on top of my mum’s coffin. I felt completely depressed and numb and got drunk (and sick) at the wake back at the house.


The weeks and months weren’t much better, the doctor put me on anti-depressants when I was crying constantly and suffered huge anxiety afterward. I found I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, didn’t know how to, was completely closed. My friends felt awkward, didn’t understand or know what to say, neither did I.


My dad took great care to support his family and put his end-of-life plans in place and ensure that we were taken care of after his death.


In putting his end-of-life plans in place, my dad was able to put conditions in the Will to ensure that I, the youngest and only one left living at home as my siblings were a lot older, could stay there. I was and am still grateful for this, as I was in quite a mess emotionally for a few years after his death.


Even though my dad took the time and care to support his family and put his end-of-life plans in place the solicitor he used somehow got it wrong when applying to Probate and we got a huge bill for inheritance tax, 4 years AFTER he died.


The paperwork took a long time for my brother who was the Executor to sort out, which he remembers clearly to this day!


Today I remember my precious dad, with complete love and gratitude for the amazing start to life up until his death and beyond! I am forever grateful that he took the time, care, and love to support his family and put his end-of-life plans in place so that I and my siblings were taken care of at the time of his unexpected death.






If you are a parent and want to ensure that your children are looked after well into their futures, or if you have elderly parents yourself, then please do reach out and book a call with me.

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