Friday was tough. That’s the way funerals are supposed to be I guess. We talk about celebrating a life and when it comes down to it, saying goodbye hurts. Badly.

I wrote a tribute to Dad and with gentle encouragement I decided to read it out to the 140 people who turned out to say goodbye with us. Toughest. Gig. Ever. I was fortunate. John Williams, the man who conducted the formalities, was my first reserve. It helps to know someone’s got your back in a tight corner.

Keira wrote a lovely note to her Grandpa and read it out to everyone. I think it’s a shame more kids don’t go to funerals, they are an important moment and as John Williams said to us, ‘do whatever you feel you want, and be mindful you can’t come back and try again next week’. Kids rock – well done Keira.

Keira's Letter to Grandpa

Writing about Dad dying has been very helpful for me. I wouldn’t say it’s eased any sadness, rather it’s given it some direction. And a good friend suggested to me that continuing to write letters to the dead can be a useful way of moving on. We’ll see.

Thanks everyone for being so respectful and supportive, and goodbye Dad.


Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

7 thoughts on “Goodbye”

  1. Last few weeks your life became an exceptional source of inspiration for me. I am deeply grateful for the fact that you have decided to share these moments with us. I really want you to know that by doing it you made other people stop and think. A blogger with heart in the right place. I will follow your blog till the end…
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Peter. I wrote these pieces largely for me, and I hoped that they would make connections with others too. I appreciate your feedback, happy to have you along for the ride 🙂

  2. Hi Doug

    There were times where I read what you were sharing and felt like I was an intruder – probably because I am dreading the day I lose my Dad more than anything else.

    But actually, your words (and Keira’s) have been very inspirational, brave, sometimes raw but always …. well …. just spot-on really.

    Thanks for sharing and you know that we are all with you too.



    1. Hey Chris – no intruders here. These experiences are different for us all and yet similarities course through them also. I put this stuff out there to help me and it seems, to help others too.

      I’m grateful for your kind feedback.


  3. Hi Doug,

    The touching and generous way you’ve shared your thoughts about your Dad’s passing has really hit home for me on 2 fronts:
    1. How the bizarre act of grieiving can be eased and made better through sharing deeep and dear thoughts in an open, sincere and genuine way; and
    2. How much we are inspired when we love and be loved.

    You’ve shown immense dignity and courage throughout this past 2 weeks or so and it’s genuinely moved me and reminded me of how much I love my folks.


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