In Documentary, Family Bonding, Life, Memory-keeping
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A year ago I wrote my first post for Viewfinders about Nymans’, the garden we took my Dad to on his final day outside. Last week, after a remembrance mass, it was already time to return there for the anniversary of his death.

The last few weeks have been a struggle and a nasty bout of flu left me without the energy to fight sorrow. As the anniversary approached I felt too tired to face being in spaces dense with Dad’s presence, but when the time came the feeling that overwhelmed all others was joy at being with my Mum and all of my siblings. Every one of us has supported every other over the year and it was bliss to all be in the same room. There was so much laughter. We played music loud and danced.

One of the many lovely things about Dad was how he loved to speak about our succeses. I have so missed calling him when one of my siblings does something great (it happens a lot) to bask in his pride. It felt like he was always compiling lists of interesting things we were all doing and, in his abscence I save these to heart more carefully than ever before.

The deterioration in the health of my brothers Daniel and Brendan has hastened, adding to the changes Mum has faced. I am in awe of her spirit and humour.

As we moved through the garden, taking in his final views, I really felt how proud Dad would have been to see how we all grew, adapted and held each other this past year.

The return to the garden…

Sending so much love to you all. It’s a dark moment in history, making these personal moments feel small, but I am grateful for this opportunity to reflect and share. Big hugs, Julia xxx


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your dad. Your photos not only honor him and your family but capture the beauty of the world — just in case we forget to notice. xo

  2. It is so beautiful to see you all together again to remember him. He would have loved that, I’m sure of it. I especially love the one of you all standing by the grave… xo

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