Goodbye Dad

[After a year of being wonderfully looked after in a Welsh care home my Dad, Derek Boyle, died from COVID. The following are my words to be read out for his funeral this coming Wednesday]

To know a life, even ones own, is an impossibility.

Dad wasn't a Dad for all of his formative years, during his early days with his brother and sisters in London, joining the RAF at the age of 15 and the life long friends he made and lost in ventures around the world.

The girlfriends, the Christmas presents, the school pranks, the comics read, the radio shows listened to, the troubles got into and the beers had. These are the years we all try and remember for ourselves let alone be able to speak on behalf of someone else. 

Dad never really spoke of those times but I know the man they made, the Dad he became, and the outlook it created. The beating heart of a man determined to see fairness winning, for family to be at the centre of everything, and a man of his time that struggled with an ever increasing rate of change.

My Dad was a complex man, of deep internal emotions and feelings that had the firmly placed lid removed in the past few years. He cried, he said he loved you, he hugged, and he missed people.

I always knew that was his heart, and I miss it.

He lived a life, we all know that. He drank beers with a mate he called Bob but we call Robert Plant. He was a chef, a pub landlord, and a radio dude calling down C30s in jungles  He was a warehouse manager, a taxi driver, a Dad, and as my Kiwi mates call him, "a legend".

Do we know him? No, we saw many sides of him.

One woman saw more sides than any, his wife and my Mum. You want to know about Derek Boyle there’s the person he poured more of himself into than anyone else. Love will do that I guess :)

He was a man full of life, full of the emotions .

I have always held it an honour to be Dad's number 1 son*

I loved him, I love him, and he is always with me. I hear him in the Dad jokes I tell, the way I pick at my nails, a certain laugh I make, the way I can sometimes hold a room, and the way I love my own children. I see him in them and that makes me smile, and even cringe sometimes.

Go well Dad, kia kaha everyone there today.

I ask you to remember a time that Dad made you feel special, that's the man I know.

* number 1 in the sense that I was born first. And therefore the best 😛


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