I’m dedicating this post to my Dad – Joe Kane.
My Dad was 80 a few weeks ago and is one of life’s gentlemans. He’s incredibly gentle in nature and unsettlingly traditional at times. He is incredible humble and also a sensitive soul who loves his family deeply. He also has a wicked sense of humour, an impeccable memory and is the best person EVER to have on a pub quiz team! He was also the only other person who was as obsessed with both Red Dwarf and X Files as me in our house when I was younger 🤓.
He is also a fellow BRCA2 carrier but only discovered this less than a year ago when my parents both received their genetics results.
Why am I telling you this? Because my Dad doesn’t have long left to live. He’s been battling with depression for 6 years, has struggled with an unknown eating disorder which prevents him from eating and has now found out that he has liver cancer. He’s been in hospital for a few weeks being fed with nutrients in the main but was unfortunately unable to walk my younger Sister Maria up the aisle on her wedding day as he was too weak. Maria and David (the newest member of our family) did however take a bit of the wedding to the hospital the next day: dressing up in their outfits, performing their first dance and toasting the happy couple 😍.
He was discharged from hospital last week as they can’t help him anymore. He’s on an ‘end of life’ pathway and the key now is to make sure he’s not in any pain and that my Mum (as his main carer) is well supported.
He is totally accepting of what’s happening to him and is at peace with the short amount of time he has left. He talks about it very candidly and it’s refreshing to hear as it’s so rarely discussed – let alone someone who’s at deaths door! My Dad does go to church – which I do not – but if he believes he’s going somewhere else after life I totally respect that and it’s clearly of huge comfort to both him and my Mum.
It’s not very British to talk about death. It’s too “depressing” and “morbid” and maybe it’s just too difficult to comprehend. Either way it’s going to happen to us all and maybe if people reflected more on this and are more accepting then they may live fuller lives – who knows? It’s the quality not the quantity of years which matter most to me and is where my focus lies at present.
I left my Dad yesterday asleep after giving him a great big hug lying down next to him in bed 😍. Despite the weakness he still had a strong hold and chatted to me about having had “a good run”.
If not there in body than definitely in mind we’ll be with you to the end Dad, and as for the after-life – ‘The truth is out there’ 😉.
Liz Spice, 14th August 2017