On Saturday 4th April my lovely Dad, John Ball, died of Covid 19. He had Alzeimher’s and was in residential care. A stroke in late March saw him admitted to hospital, where he contracted Coronovirus. We could not be there with him through all this due to lock down. I could not be there with him at the end.
The day before he died I was woken by a tune in my head, Ashoken Farewell. On reflection it seems I was being prepared for his leaving. As I prayed for his healing or departure, I listened to this haunting tune. I looked ￼through my bedroom window at the white clouds in the April sky. One cloud was brightly highlighted with gold. I saw Dad in a bright place, and Mum coming towards him. They kissed and embraced.
I have been lost in sadness. Good days and really awful days. The good days seem to be getting more. With the help of W.H. Auden I am trying to capture my sadness at his leaving and some cherished memories.
Funeral Blues – Farewell Dad
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with a muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my Dad, my Father and my friend;
A gentle man, a kind and caring blend.
He loved a stroll, a chat, a rousing song.
I thought he’d last forever. I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Yet in my broken heart you will live on,
Your sunny smile, your serenade in song.
You take my hand, look in my eyes, and say,
‘I love you, love’, and that’s enough today.