Monday, February 27, 2012

Goodbye Grandad

Today my parents are in the UK, and while I cannot be there, my heart is with them. They are burying my grandad today.
Growing up I didn’t have the relationship with my grandad that most children have, he was after all on the other side of the ocean. My parents took my brother and me over quite a few times as young children and my grandparents came to Canada quite a few times to visit. But there came a time when they were too old to travel and the time between visits became longer. The summer I turned twelve (1984) I spent six weeks in England with my dad’s family, staying a few weeks at my grandparents, a few weeks with different aunts and uncles and a few weeks at holiday resorts with aunts and uncles, it was a fabulous summer that I still remember very vividly to this day.
After that visit I wouldn’t return to the UK until 2006. I traveled with Justin to race in the Ironman UK and made time after the race to go and visit my family for ten days. It was wonderful. Catching up, seeing people I had not seen in years and just being with them – it was all so lovely.
I would return again in 2009, this time with my dad and Reece.  When Reece was born it was instinct, I just needed to get him over there to meet his family, to meet his great grandad.  And so we went. My dad, Reece and I spent a wonderful ten days immersed in family. I was so happy to be able to introduce Reece to his great grandad.
Reece and his great grandad

My dad, Reece and my grandad

My grandad, Reece and I
So, it was with much sadness I received a call from my dad that my grandad had passed away on Tuesday February 7, 2012. It wasn’t a surprise, he was 94 years old and had lived a very full life, but you know, death always has a way of tugging at your heart.
My grandad was born on August 24, 1917 in Wicklow, Ireland. His given name was James Lawrence Corrigan. He married my nan, Vera May Flanagan on May 26, 1943 and they lived happily in Gravesend, Kent, England. They had four children, my dad the second oldest. He has two sisters and one brother.

My grandad and nan on their wedding day

My grandad and his four children, my dad is the one on the left

My grandad and my dad
My grandad was a World War 2 veteran and could still tell us about his experiences when we visited in 2009. His mind was sharp and his ability to recall information was incredible.  Injured during the war he took up the tapestry during his recovery and became very talented at it.  We are lucky enough to have one of his pieces in our home.

My grandad was known around his neighbourhood for his prize winning rose garden. He loved his roses.  His other favourite past time, long walks to the pub for a pint of Guinness.

My grandad looked after my nan for many years, as her health was not good. He cooked, cleaned, made trips to the grocery store and was a wonderful husband. He said good bye to my nan on February 5, 2002.
He lived a long, vibrant life, looking after himself (with some help from my aunts and uncle), in his home right up until his passing. He was here to meet eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.  He was a wonderful man.
The Funeral Procession

You will be missed grandad, never forgotten and always in our hearts.

We love you.


  1. Kim- Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts on this post. It makes me think of my granddad. Prayers and Blessings of Peace to you and your family today.

  2. I'm so sorry! It's always hard to lose a loved one.

  3. So sorry to hear, Kim. Glad he was able to meet Reece and now find comfort in those memories.

  4. This is a beautiful tribute Kim. And that tapestry is outstanding. Truly. I'm sure you treasure it. Sending a frothy cheers to your Grandad as he finds his place of rest. May love and grace surround your family.

  5. My sincerest condolences to you and your family Kim. Your granddad sounds like a loving and wonderful man. I love the pics of Reece with his granddad, so precious.
    Take care,

  6. So sorry for your loss! But what a lovely post about him and it's so great that he got to meet Reece!

  7. I'm sorry to hear about it. But I'm glad you have pictures and wonderful memories to look back on.

  8. My deepest condolences to you and your entire family. What lovely memories you have of him though, he will live on in those. It is wonderful to hear that his life was full and that he went without pain and suffering. My thoughts are with you.

  9. My sincere condolences to you and your family Kim. How wonderful you went over with Reece to introduce them and create some memories to cherish forever.


  10. Truly sorry for your loss. He sounded like a wonderful man! It's awesome that you have some of his work in your home to enjoy. Thanks for sharing his story and celebrating his life with us.

  11. Reading all of your comments has touched my heart this evening. Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and comments. This online blogging community continues to amaze me...thank you.