Thursday, August 6, 2015

James Leddy (1928–2015)


[“Truly unbelievable.” My dad, a year or two ago, looking at himself as Elaine records him with her iPad. Note the pen and suspenders: marks of a well-dressed man.]

My dad died earlier this evening, peacefully, free of pain, free of fear. He was listening to us to the very end. (And to Sinatra too.) At some point, I thought of lines from John Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”:

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
    And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
    “The breath goes now,” and some “No”
The passage from life to death was that imperceptible.

My dad’s last word, to my mom: “Thanks.”

[This post is hardly my last word about my dad. Give me time.]

*

I’ve posted what I wrote for my dad’s memorial service: Dad words.

comments: 12

The Crow said...

(0)

The Arthurian said...

I am sorry for your loss.

In time, happier memories will be the ones that come to mind.

Art

Frex said...

I have been thinking about you and Elaine and your mother and father, and I am sad, now it has come, death. But to be able to say "thanks" at the end of one's life... What grace.

I look forward to reading more of your words about your father.

Lu said...

He went gentle into that good night. He was at peace. How fortunate you were to have had such a great father-son relationship all these years. Our sympathies to you and your family. --Lu and Jim

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words and good thoughts. They mean so much to our family.

Matt Thomas said...

My sincere condolences, Michael, to you and yours. It's always weird to say that to someone you've never met about someone you've never met, but to the extent that your father was character who appeared on these pages over the years, I felt like I knew him a little, and because of that, I will miss him too.

Daughter Number Three said...

I've been thinking of you and hoping for... I'm not sure what exactly, but I think you have found it in your dad's final moments. Peace to all the family.

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, Matt, and thank you, Pat.

Berit said...

Let me say I'm very sorry for your loss--I do have tears in my eyes. We readers knew him, though slightly, as a wonderful man, and will miss him here.

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, Berit. I passed your words about my dad and tile on to my mom.

Sean said...

I think Matt Thomas's comment captures my feelings as well, Michael.

Thinking of you and your family,
Sean

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Sean. (I meant to say that on Sunday.)