Sunday, 19 January 2014

My Grandad

I was shattered to learn in the middle of last year that my granddad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Unfortunately by the time it was diagnosed, it had already spread to his bones so there wasn't anything that could be done for him. The decline was rapid and shortly before Christmas my beloved grandad passed away.

I was extremely honored to be asked by my Nana to write a eulogy in conjunction with the other four grandchildren, and I wanted to share it with you.

Gerald was not only a wonderful Husband to Enid and Father to Janice and Philip, he was also an extra special grandad and great grandad. He had five grandchildren in total… Esther, Jude and Toby who are the children of Janice, and the twins Rhys and Ceryl who are the children of Phillip.  All five grandchildren feel blessed to have had him as part of their lives, and will miss him terribly. 

Unfortunately both Rhys and Jude cannot be here, but they wanted their voices heard in this service. Rhys is currently in New Zealand after a year spent cycling around the world on a push bike, and Jude is currently posted with the armed forces in Canada. Jude did manage to fly over from Canada to see grandad a week before he passed away, which just goes to show how much Grandad meant to his Grandchildren.  Grandad was very proud of all his grand children’s achievements, and he certainly set them a good example on how to succeed in life, with hard work and determination.

There are many fond memories of grandad that they will all treasure. Summer was a particular joy as it meant that the grandchildren could enjoy the garden that he worked so hard on, and also help him gather all the produce that he had grown. Grandad was a great vegetable gardener and enjoyed sharing his garden with the grandchildren.

He always made you feel welcome and loved and was loved back by all his family around him. Things such as going over the club for a pint or two on a Friday night strolling down there him his hat on head and pipe in hand and smile on face then talking about everything and anything that came to mind  or going for a stroll down to redwick along the reens soaking up the views and nature such simple things in themselves but looking back were so very special because he was there to share and enjoy it with. These and so many other seemingly simple things will  have a very special place in his families harts forever.

Granddad always went the extra mile for his grandchildren, and this was literal in some cases. When Jude and Esther were young, they followed in their granddads footsteps and joined their local Church Choir. As they excelled in this, they travelled around many parts of the UK singing in various cathedrals. Grandad was always happy to transport them around and made full use of his free rail tickets! Grandad also regularly transported Esther back and for from University in Bristol, and once spent four hours in a traffic jam, when the road towards the second seven crossing was closed due to ice.

There has been many up’s but some downs in our families recent years. Sadly in 1998, Janice (the mother of Esther, Jude and Toby) passed away at the age of 44 due to a rare form of leukaemia. This hit the family hard, and was devastating to both nana and granddad.  The family took strength from each other and this only served to give everyone an incredibly strong bond that remains to this day. Nana is very much the head of the family, and unites us all together. Grandad was always very supportive of her, and the rest of the family. Grandad’s love and unbending dedication to his grandchildren helped us all through this difficult period. In recent years Toby has developed Epilepsy, and needs regular support with his health issues. Grandad was always there for him when he needed him, and Toby will be forever grateful for this.

Granddad had also been blessed with four great grandchildren- Seb, Nicky, Iola and Bryn. Some people may have slowed down once they became and octogenarian but not Grandad. He would frequently be running around with the children, and taking them up the garden in all weathers to see the chickens next door. He always made our visits to Magor fun, and loved to see his family grow.

We enjoyed his company, and the odd glass of brandy with him once we had all grown up. Grandad loved to hear all that was happening with his family and the family boxing day family gathering at Nana and Grandads is something his grandchildren wouldn’t miss for the world. Grandad also developed close bonds with Esther’s husband Matthew, and Jude’s wife Tess and they too will really miss him.

In 2012, Esther nominated Grandad for a national award due to all the volunteering that he has done throughout his lifetime. We were thrilled to bits when Grandad made it to the grand finals and was given a certificate in honour of this achievement. Grandad really was someone special, and the word that we keep hearing over and over again when his name is mentioned, is ‘gentleman’. Grandad really was one of life’s gentlemen and I know that all his grandchildren will aspire to be as kind, generous and loving as he was. 


  1. My sympathies are with you & all your family. A beautiful and touching eulogy, and a fitting tribute for a very special man.

  2. Bless him - I hope you grandad is ok and being strong xxx

  3. This is beautiful - so sorry for your loss but I'm sure your granddad is being your guardian angel x


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