Saying Goodbye


My family recently lost an amazing man. Probably the one I inherited my dirty sense of humour from. My beloved maternal Granddad is no longer in pain nor bound by illness. I headed home to Christchurch to farewell this amazing dude and hang out with my family.  Although there was much sadness, there was also much love and laughter.  Lots of looking backwards to move forwards.  Saying goodbye to a man we loved.

Saying Goodbye

Third from the right, my Granddad when he was an apprentice at the end of WWII. Too cool for school. The love child of Steve McQueen and James Dean.

Saying Goodbye

July 1970 | my Dad and his future FIL, my Granddad


My Granddad passed away at the age of 88, after 63 years of marriage to the love of his life.  That would be my  lovely Grandma.

I inherited a few things from my Granddad – my sense of humour, my love of a double entendre, my curls and hopefully a bit of that cool dude ‘tude.

Granddad was a natural engineer, always interested in how things could be taken apart so they could be put back together again.  He restored many vintage vehicles but had a particular love for the Studebaker.  I managed to track down one for my wedding, but it fell through.

He made a motorised caravan completely from scratch.  His welding skills came in handy.  My mother and uncles tell me stories of being driven to school riding on the bare frame whilst it was under construction.

He  rescued and restored vintage motorcycles, including a WWI model which he rallied around the South Island in his retirement.  That’s brass monkeys territory.  Freezing!

More than 30 years ago, his lung cancer treatment involved the removal of a lung, with a life expectancy of a further 5 years.  Yeah right.

He drove a long wheelbase Landrover in mustard yellow and was nicknamed Landy Grandy by the grandkids.

My memories of him as a Granddad was someone who nicknamed me Weed because I was so tall and skinny.  Someone who would pull a standing flip and land back on his feet without a word of warning.  Someone who would pop out his false teeth just for a laugh at the most inopportune moments.

Someone who could never throw anything out because someone would need it.  Eventually.  He was constantly tinkering and pottering and creating and mending.

As he aged, his one lung caused more and more health issues.  His Parkinson’s didn’t help much either.  He wound down a bit in his latter years but still retained that big dirty laugh and twinkle in his eye.


Saying Goodbye

My baby bro and my middle bro’s gorgeous girlfriend

My Granddad’s funeral was the first time in many, many years that my parents and brothers and me were all in one place at one time.  We do tend to put the fun into dysfunctional.  So fabulous to just soak up some time with them.  More laughter and reminiscing and tall tales.

Saying Goodbye

Three Generations of Bolshy Women

It has been a long time since my mother and I were in Christchurch at the same time too, and wonderful to spend some quiet time with my Grandma.  I sneaked a peek through the window of her new abode, a two bedroom retirement cottage, when I was visiting in January.  To see her all moved in and surrounded by familiar pieces in a new environment was incredibly moving yet comforting at the same time.

She insisted I duck down so as not to give the impression she is shrinking.  As if!

Saying goodbye is as important as saying hello, don’t you think?



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  • […] I was in New Zealand recently for my Granddad’s funeral, I spent a couple of days hanging out with my Dad.  He is recently retired and finally  has the […]ReplyCancel

  • Kate Mac - Glamour Mama - 5 May 2014 - 10.26 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss Kimba. All grandparents are special, but your Granddad sounds like he was one a hoot! It’s so important for families to laugh till they cry, and cry till they laugh again together. And say goodbye “properly”. Beautiful post, and beautiful memories. Sending love xxReplyCancel

  • Lisa Mckenzie - 5 May 2014 - 4.29 pm

    Your grandad sounds like he was a wonderful man and I’m very sorry for your loss Kimba but also glad you spent time with your family and managed to have a few laughs in between the sad time XxReplyCancel

  • Naomi @ (Not) Just A Mummy - 5 May 2014 - 2.33 pm

    Your grandad sounds like an absolute gem. I think being able to share memories and pass along stories into family history really indicates the mark of a person and by the sounds of things, there’s been plenty to share about your grandad. Thanks for sharing such lovely and fond memoriesReplyCancel

  • Kylie @ Shabby Sisters - 5 May 2014 - 6.31 am

    He sounds like a beautiful man who has filled everyone’s lives with priceless memories. Beautifully written KM. KxReplyCancel

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