Visiting my semi-conscious, gravely ill dad in Medway hospital, I fought back many tears to say these following last words to him…
“If this is you “playing the cards you’re dealt” (his favourite idiom on life) then it looks like you have a busted flush.
Wow, look at you, all washed, combed and shaved. Where are you going, anywhere nice?
You do realise when my brother, the devout atheist, gets put in his coffin, he’ll be all dressed up with nowhere to go?
Kate (my sister) would’ve visited you today but she has a cold and didn’t want you to catch it and become ill. (True).
Thank you for everything you’ve done. For being a good, hard working man who provided a home and food for 2 wives – not simultaneously, obviously, that’d be wrong – and 5 children. When you get to heaven you’ll be in good company because some of our family are already there.
Thank you for not allowing me to call you dad, even though you clearly are biologically but insisting all your children call you Tim from day one, in the hope we would become your friend in later life. That was a good call.
But your work here now is done. There’s nothing left for you to do. Don’t worry about tidying up your life’s possessions or the outstanding paperwork. I’ll do that for you.
Although I’ve visited this hospital most days since you became unwell, I can never fully repay you for all you’ve done for me. This is now all I can do for you and it’s not enough.
All I ask is when you arrive in heaven – as you surely will as you’ve been read The Last Rites twice now – that you talk with God and ask him to look after me.
In return, I’ll look after our family. That’s a fair deal.
I love you.
Thank you for being my dad and thank you for being my best friend, Tim.”
Tim O’Connor passed away on the 11th April 2019.