057 Pop (My Grandpa)

 

DR DAVID BLACK

18th August 1915 – 5th November 2015

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What with living at boarding school, travelling to festivals all over the UK, and going off to University, it feels like I’ve been saying goodbye to Pop as though it’s the last time I’m going to see him for the last 10 years!

He far outlived all of our expectations and he continued to amaze me with how sharp his mind was and how physically able he still was. On August 18th 2015 we celebrated his 100th birthday. It was an important day for all of us, as not only did it mark an incredible achievement, but it also meant we could celebrate this milestone together as a family. It was the last time I saw him, what a wonderful celebration of his incredible life.

When I was trying to think of some of my favourite memories of Pop, there were too many good ones to choose from as he gave me so much in life. One of my favorites from being a little girl was velcroing his shoes together when he was sitting down and another was spending ages sitting in his red BMW playing with the electric window buttons. As I got a bit older he would spend many hours explaining sums and circuits as he helped me with my maths and physics homework. Music was something else we bonded over, he gave me my first tape of Scott Joplin and Pop would often come and sit next to me as I practised the piano. Older still, and we started to discuss philosophy and the meaning of life, and very rarely he would start telling me a story from his past. Aside from my parents, I had known Pop longer than anyone else in my life. He was a teacher, a companion, an inspiration, but above all, he was my Grandpa and I loved him very much.

Everything about this has a melancholic beauty as I couldn’t imagine a better way for this to have happened. There were no doctors, no hospitals, and his family were with him, as he just quietly fell asleep. When I found out what had happened my Mum told me that there was a little bird just sitting in the tree outside his window. When Mimi, my grandma, was dying I had given her a cuddly bird to keep her company. I’d like to think that the bird in the tree was her and she was patiently waiting to fly with his spirit once more.

I’m so thankful that he wasn’t in pain and he wasn’t alone. Loved by so many he was a true character and I will miss him for the rest of my life. All my love Pop, forever and always in our hearts.

-These were the words I read at his funeral 16/11/15

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