Family Histories: LOSS OF A PATRIARCH

Family Histories! Initially when asked by Adrienne Morris to write a guest post on the topic of family history I was honoured whilst also daunted. The scope seemed tremendous and ideas whirled in my head. However, a few days later I remembered a piece I wrote soon after my grandfather’s death and funeral in Sweden. A rough, heartfelt essay of 3,500 words had been neglected in my computer. I approached it with trepidation.

In all its roughness, I found a potential in the essay that could be included as a part Adrienne’s wonderful series. My editing and rewrite reduced it to a more manageable size and I hope you enjoy reading ‘Loss of a Patriarch’ – not just the story of a funeral rather of a life that touched us all, of a life lived to the full over 92 years, of the life and changes of the island.

Author Adrienne Morris

 Welcome to Family Histories, a series of guest posts by some of my favorite bloggers in which they explore family . . . and history. The families and the histories are sometimes the writers’ own and sometimes not.

Today ANNIKA PERRY shares poignant memories of her strong but kind fisherman grandfather.


The humid heat radiates around the room as the bright summer sun glares through the wispy cotton curtains. Sleeping bodies are sprawled on the beds, sheets cast aside or crumpled in a heap. The day has arrived. I lay wide-awake. Just thinking; thinking of the day and trying to feel. Trying to feel anything but hot. How pathetic on this day of all days to concentrate on my own selfish needs. I am alive and can enjoy the beauty of sensation, thought, sight. Yes, I am alive. And where is Morfar?

I remember…

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25 thoughts on “Family Histories: LOSS OF A PATRIARCH

  1. So beautiful, Annika. I know the sting of loss, my grandparents have been gone for awhile now, and I still miss them. I loved your wonderful family history with the sea, I can picture it all, the boats and the crab fishing. I agree that we can still see the presence of our loved ones around us in the places they inhabited, in the things they did, in the people they loved. xoxo

    1. Lana, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment…I love that you can visualise my grandparents life and visiting the island brings a cascade of emotions and memories sweeping over me on every visit. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandparents and the pain and sadness…hugs ❤️

  2. Anonymous

    Great post Annika – one of your best. It must have been both difficult and uplifting to write this piece mourning the passing of your Morfar, but at the same time remembering all he meant to you and your family. Thank you for sharing this very emotional piece.After reading this several times I felt that I knew much about both the person your Morfar was, and his personality. His memory lives on.

    1. Mike, his memory does indeed live on – very strongly for me and also it’s been an honour to share some of his life here; I’ve been deeply touched by the wonderful comments. You rightly see the diactomy of emotions for me as I wrote this piece, difficult but yes, uplifting and life-affirming. Thank you so much for reading numerous times, getting to know my Morfar a little. ❤️

  3. Such a beautiful piece! So much emotion in the words, I started to choke up with the memory of my mother’s passing and the number of people she touched as a nurse. Your words also reminded me of my own grandfather, long passed on, but a carpenter who had a hand in building many homes, including the one in which I grew up. Thank you for sharing your memories with us!

    1. Julie, thank you so much for sharing your own very personal experiences. Bless your mother and her work as a nurse – she must have touched and helped so many lives; what a truly wonderful gift. Wow! You lived in the house built by your grandfather – that is so precious and a living legacy. Warmest thoughts & hugs to you. xx❤️

  4. Beautifully moving Annika, such a great tribute you make me wish I knew Morfar, but now, in a way, I did, because I knew him through your words. This piece has such a great sense of his character, the anecdotes show the man he was and of course I feel the great loss in it.

    1. Andrea, your comment is so precious to me and the thought that you feel you know him even a little from my writing here means a lot to me and gives me comfort; thank you so much for your warm words. I’ve never been so nervous before about sharing a piece of writing here on WP but comments such as yours bring only reassurance and love. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Jacqui. ❤️ It is definitely a great and original series by Adrienne and it is fascinating and interesting how different all the contributions are…I enjoyed your piece very much as you know.

  5. Beautifully done, darlin! It’s only a couple of weeks since I was at the funeral of a lovely lady and the memories we shared made the day bearable. There’s always that moment in church, when you open your mouth to sing and the tears come.

    1. Thank you, Jo – the original piece was so rough and raw I almost gave up on it…I had to find the coherence and balance in the turmoil. The rituals of funerals play such an important part, surprisingly so I’ve found and music is the thing that unlocks the heart and allows the tears to flow – cathartic. Heartfelt condolences over the loss of your friend recently and Kate from here on WP. Too much sorrow, too much of which to make sense. hugs xx

  6. Annika, your story was heartfelt, engaging and a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. Your story was written with such beautiful prose and emotion. ❤

    1. Adrienne, this has been a wonderful experience for me…to relive a very sad occasion but also recall the great times together. Thank you so much for asking me; it means a lot to me. ❤️

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