Gramps passed at 10:18pm, Wednesday the 30th of November, 2016, from mesothelioma – an asbestos-related lung cancer after being exposed during his navy days.

I am happy-sad: he’s no longer struggling or scared, and it was incredibly peaceful. I wasn’t expecting that I guess.

The last two months have been the hardest, sadest and most privileged. This wonderful man fostered my sister and I when we were babies, and continued looking after us until it was our turn to look after him. He was always proud of me, whatever I did, and never expected me to be anything other than myself.

All the nurses in the last two months of his life said how he was their favourite patient, he was so sweet and never complained. My sister, aunty and I are so glad that even with the cancer, he was never in real pain and that even when things got unbearable for the three of us we were strong enough to look after him at home: that was his wish.

Gramps was in the navy for 22 years, he was tough and when he was no longer verbal or opening his eyes we all thought (including the nurses) that he was waiting for something. He was. He waited for his great grandaughter’s 6th birthday, and died two days later.

The last things my sister, aunty, his little great grandaughter and I said five minutes before he died was “I love you Grandad, good night”.