My dear Dad died yesterday. My sister and I were beside him at his hospital bed. We held his hands, each of us gripping one of his, we talked to him and remembered things he had done, things we loved and were proud of.

I told him that I loved him and, as we sat with him, he quietly passed away. His breathing stopped. I was surprised at how dying can be, he just slowed and stopped.

In the photo you can see Dad and Mum and me, with Dad’s MG in the background. The MG was his pride and joy, he traded the car for a family. After I was born there were too many of us to fit into a sports-car, and as for pride and joy he said he was very proud of his little daughter. The car didn’t stand a chance.

That was then and now many years later Dad became frail with emphysema, dementia and more.

His was a slow decline and things became more and more difficult for him. His enthusiasm for life ebbed, but he held on with determination.

One thing I learned from Dad is that there is big difference between wanting to die and not wanting to live. The two are sometimes confused. Dad did not want to die. We pledge ‘in sickness and in health’ he had held to being with tenacity through health and sickness but then his physical struggles eventually drained him of wanting to live. Enough. His ride was waiting and he left on Saturday. I miss him.

He will travel well, he always did.