Dad, OBE – dVerse Meeting the Bar


That moment when we knew you were leaving us

When we knew the inevitable was truly inevitable

When we could no longer pretend to ourselves – to each other

that this moment would never come.

That’s when my heart pounded the strongest within

and the irony that yours was fading

whilst mine was ready to deafen us with its incessant pulsating

I wondered – madly – if there was only so much heart-beating allowed in this room.

Had I stolen your vitality

drained your life-force with my very presence?

I can imagine the roll of your eyes at such a flight of fancy –

you’d have given me short shrift, I know.

Vital you were, larger than life –

emotional, driven, strong, creative, brilliant

a bon-viveur

a criticiser of the establishment, yet part of the establishment yourself

a rebel with many causes

a man with fingers in pies

an instigator

a lover – women were your joy and your downfall –

a lion

a man in so many ways.


You’re gone, but still here,

in our memories, in our hearts, in our thoughts.


Ciao ciao, Dad.


Thank you for all that you were and still are.


I love you.


Tonight, Gayle is barkeep at dVerse, and is encouraging us to write an elegy, where sorrow, admiration and acceptance are to form clear parts of our writing.

Oh, I hummed and hah’d about this one. Not because it’s not a good form to write, but more because much of my writing of late has been a bit focused towards love and loss. But then I had a word with myself and decided to sup deep on the fabulous wine list the dVerse Poets’ Pub offers. I’m glad I did, because it gave me the chance to write about some (by no means all) of my dad’s good qualities that I so admire(d).

In case you are wondering about the title, my dad was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) a few years ago, and it was a joke between us that if I sent him a letter or a card, it would be addressed to ‘Dad, OBE’. I was lucky enough to be at the investiture at Windsor Castle – a beautiful day.

Do give this form a try, or if you’re not feeling it, just hop on over and enjoy the many, varied and brilliant offerings of the other poets who like to rest awhile in good company.

25 thoughts on “Dad, OBE – dVerse Meeting the Bar

  1. This is a new touch to your story… I think it actually put an other side to your dad… the lighthearted way to describe him. I could almost feel him making you smile with they way he was… thank you for sharing this.

    1. This was partly informed by the eulogy I wrote and gave at his funeral. He and I had a complicated relationship and we were/are similar in many respects. I used to resent that, but had achieved a certain amount of acceptance, thankfully before he died. He made me smile as much as he drove me (and I him) crazy. 🙂

  2. This is moving! I sense an unconditional feeling you find within yourself for your father and you express it through a eulogy that only a loving and poking daughter could have attempted. This is a monologue with a silent man who’s right there letting his daughter speak to him, and you speak to him out of the overwhelming love that is un-containable and out-flowing with a sweet frankness about her dad, which your dad would acknowledge as a fact that all this only his daughter could understand and say.

    1. Thank you, Sandeep. He and i had a complicated relationship, but the foundation was love. I have more of him in me than I used to like, but I have accepted and welcomed it now. I’m glad I started that process before he died, so that we could bond better than before.

      1. I am happy for you. I see no complication any more. You have absorbed his being very lovingly within you, that shows you have grown beyond all complications. May be the process is complete or on the verge of completion. I wish you well and may the spirit of your love convey your love to his spirit and comfort him in peace!

      2. Acceptance that is based on the understanding that the other was just like you in every sense of the word, and, that only physical forms and expressions differed, is liberating! I am not sure if you can pin-pointedly understand what I am trying to say. If that happens that you are beyond all complications right at this very moment.

  3. I’m so glad that you decided to go ahead and share this, Freya…thanks for that. I too love the lighthearted way you wrote that his eyes would have rolled at your “flight of fancy.” You describe an ease between the two of you that I really love. You also portray a man who seemed to live life fully and on his own terms.
    Gayle ~

    1. Thank you, Gayle. Oh, we had our moments, probably because we were/are too similar! But there was an ease, also because of our similarities, I suspect. He did indeed extract every moment out of life!

    1. Ah, sorry. OBE – Order of the British Empire. It’s one of the honours awarded to members of the public by the Queen twice a year. I’ll add a link to my post. 🙂

  4. Even though there are light-hearted words in there, each word carries such deep meaning in them. It describes your relationship with your father in such a wonderfully humane way. Very, very beautiful 🙂

  5. A Windsor Castle loving day – how blessed you were to have that. And how hard it is to let go.
    These elegies are heartfelt and raw — takes time reading with time between to recoup objectivity. What an amazing prompt.

    1. Thank you, Brian. Yes, he was awarded it for services to the environment. He headed up a charitable organisation dedicated to water and environmental management.

  6. He does sound like a lion of a man, who lived fully and lustfully. What a wonderful father! A beautiful tribute. As for your comments, we must write what we feel, and I am so happy that you did.

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