Farewell to my father in law

Farewell Dad. We have family and friends attending the funeral for my father in law today, and yesterday my dear husband and I farewelled him privately at the funeral home. My husband and best friend, who is Dad’s eldest son, also has the same name, the 3rdgeneration to have been named Peter Watt, and all hell broke loose when Matthew was born, and not named Peter Watt. He in many ways is a lot like his granddad, and has the same sparkle and wit, and very soft loving centre. Charles’ last visit to see granddad was when he was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital after a fall, and Dad loved seeing him there not wanting him to leave, reporting back to us Charles was doing so well he could give us a loan! Dad always had a sparkle in his eye, a quick wit and sense of humour. When he was well, he was like an Action Man, with an imposing physical presence. The staff at the two nursing homes he has lived in the last 18 months had enjoyed this too, and some of the staff from Clayton used to visit him at Valley View, which is a huge indication of his winning personality. Occasionally he forgot to show this side of himself to his family, but as a parent myself, I suspect this is pretty normal! I felt the pain of not being there for him at the end as I was overseas and not with him when he died. The grief of many of family and friends who loved Dad, but for whatever reasons didn’t have time to be with him much in the last couple of years, is an example of how we are living our lives. We should not feel guilt, as it is so very easy to get swept up in our own lives, busy with the things that seem so important, until suddenly someone you love dies, or gets very sick. We live until we die, and it is important to squeeze as much out of life as we possibly can before we die, but in the process of doing that, it is so easy to become disconnected from the people who really matter. Although he is not with us in body, he will live on forever in our hearts. Dad knew we loved him. June and Peter took me into their family and hearts as one of their own, and Dad especially was quite protective of me. When we lived at Beaumont House, we were robbed twice, the 2ndtime I came face to face with the thieves and was mildly assaulted. At dads insistence, Dad and Mum moved up next to the cottage in their camper van, and Dad stalked the 4 ½ acres of grounds almost every night for a week, with one of his big knives strapped to his leg. Thank God no-one suspicious appeared again!! It was very sweet, although seemed a tad overprotective at the time. They taught me to be more open with my love; not once did I see them say goodbye to anyone in their family without a kiss and a hug, nor without saying, ‘I love you’. Families are not always easy or perfect, but Dads love for us all was always front row. Farewell Dad, you are now in the arms of your loving wife who I called Mum, and will forever live on in my heart.

“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” [Chief Aupumut (1725), Mohican]

In the hearts of those who loved him, Dad died a hero. May the flights of angels sing him to his rest.

4 thoughts on “Farewell to my father in law

  1. Thanks for posting this Kate, Dad loved you with all his heart. You were the daughter he never had. This week has been hard going but together we have helped each other through it. Love you.


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