In memory of David Clifton

It is with great sadness that I have to tell you my Dad passed away on Saturday 9th February after a 12 year battle with PSP. What a fighter. I wanted to share this with you, I read it at his funeral on Thursday. If I can be of any help and support to anyone who is affected by PSP please do not hesitate to get in touch - now more than ever I want to fight PSP.

I’ve left this to the last minute. I was hoping that today just simply wouldn't come. I thought perhaps we could just skip today because it was never meant to happen like this, we were not meant to have to say goodbye to him so soon.

I liked my Dad from the beginning; I found in him a connection, a bond that went beyond our blood ties. As a child I felt as if he were my partner in crime; it was me and him against the world (and Mum, especially when she had said no to something!). When I told him that I had two imaginary friends who lived in the clock – he encouraged me to use my imagination to bring them to life, he never laughed or told me they did not exist – Im sure I heard him talking to them once…. He never complained about having to try on and even purchase his own shoes in our game of shoe shops, he played the part of customer very well and seemed genuinely thrilled when he found a pair that fit – Mum told me this week that when she used to call us for tea he would shout downstairs to her: “Be down in a minute – I just have to buy another pair of shoes!”

To make him laugh was a joy: He laughed so much once on the way back from a restaurant while on holiday in France, that he had to stop the car and wipe the tears from his eyes – we had been making up French names for ourselves, which had obviously tickled him as he laughed all the way home.

No matter what we wanted to do, Dad encouraged us to do it – go for it – why not? There was no dithering around with him – you can make anything happen: go to Uni, buy a house or three in France, open a shop, write books…Crazy ideas we put to him were always met with ‘that’ grin, in other words just bloody do it. Nothing seemed impossible when Dad was involved, even when he started getting ill, he was there in the background, the foundation stone of all our decisions.

Over the years the people who cared for Dad were often amazed that he handled PSP with grace, he never complained and he never forgot his manners, often the only words we would hear for weeks were please and thank you. I call it sheer stubbornness and unshakable will power –which I think is how he managed to walk me down the aisle four years ago, he was so determined to do it; there was no question about it. He even refused to sit during the wedding and held my hand tightly as he managed his part of the ceremony perfectly.

At times, he refused to give in to PSP, and astounded even the professionals. We weren’t surprised though, after all, this is the man who patiently waited for his true love, who taught himself how to play the guitar, who painstakingly built a garden railway himself and who lived with three strong women nearly all his life.

As his illness really took hold we tried to protect him as much as we could from the evil, cruel disease that had rudely interrupted our lives. When we realised that he needed more care we fought to get him the funding he deserved and PSP the recognition amongst Doctors that is still so lacking.

We stuck together and we cared for him together and we fought together – he made us do that. The man he was propelled us into winning just a few of those battles. It was a close run thing, that battle between the Clifton’s and PSP, we landed some significant punches. We will continue to try and raise vital awareness for people who suffer from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

I don’t know what happens when you die, I have been struggling with that other the past few weeks but Dad if I could just tell you this where ever you are:

Finley will know his Grandpa, you live on in him.

I gave him some proper food last weekend; I wish you could have seen that.

Those imaginary friends of mine that you loved…. are destined for great things.

I am so proud of you for fighting PSP as much as you did.

I would say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being my Dad, my best friend, my partner in crime and my hero. I want you to see how strong you have made your girls and that everything we do, whatever we do, we do in your name because we love you. I would like to finish with some special words from one of Dads heroes who was one in a million just like him.

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers,

Is Tiggers are wonderful things,

There tops are made out of rubber,

Their bottoms are made out of springs,

they're

Bouncy,

Flouncy,

Trouncy,

Pouncy,

Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!!!

The wonderful thing about Tiggers

Is I'm the only one

I'm the only one

22 Replies

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  • hi a wonderful eulogy for yoru dad

    and it made me cry a lot too

    lol JIll

    :-)and a big

    HUG to u and all youR family

  • me too jill = xxx

  • Dear Amy,

    Your Dad must have been a very special person and he would be so proud of you!! Sending big love and hugs as you come to terms with your loss

    love Kathy xoxoxoxoxo

  • Your dad is looking at you all and beaming with pride, and will always look after all his special girls forever. you are indeed fortunate to have had a beautiful Father.

    My Hubby loves Tigger too, always has, and it wouldn't surprise me if all PSP sufferers love Tigger, It takes a Tigger to fight through this disease. Regards Mummybear

  • Dear Amy,

    Tears are pouring down my cheeks as I type. Your Dad sounds like a great guy and he will clearly be missed. It is clear that you have a lot of good memories and I pray they will be a comfort in your grief.

    h

  • Amy, although your message had me in tears, I loved the way you showed the world what your dad was like. What a wonderful daughter you are.

  • Dear Amy,

    My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. You must be one strong daughter to have read that out loud for your Dad.

    J

  • xx

  • Wow that was beautiful! Made me cry :( hope you can be strong and hold onto those precious memories. My dad is 6 years into this evil disease and watching what it is doing is killing me. Well done for keeping up the fight for PSP.

    Sending lots of love xxxxx

  • your dad wouuldve been very proud of you what beautiful words,my dad passed away 4 yrs ago with psp and my mom also has psp and we were told cec 13th 1 yr max to live,so everyday a battle with this awful disease love and best wishes amy stay strong xx

  • Dear Amy,

    Your eulogy was just wonderful. I too am in tears as I write this message.

    Your father sounds exceptional.

    My thoughts and love are with you and your family at this sad time.

    Peter3.

  • What a beautiful eulogy. Your father sounds like he was an inspiring person and someone I would have loved to have met. He lives on in his family.

  • Sorry to hear about Your Dad !!

  • Amy:

    Your eulogy, including your post, was one of the most powerful, poignant, eloquent, bittersweet, writing, I've read in years. How hard it must be for you to lose your 'partner in crime'.

    You'll be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come.

    With love and empathy,

    Judy Johnson

  • Thank you so much xxx

  • Amy, Those who have to deal with PSP and yet keep their head up and disposition good are special. I can tell by your eulogy that you are such a person and take after your dad who was a real hero in the PSP fight. For those of us still in the fight with PSP your words are soothing and helpful.

    Jimbo

  • Thank you Jimbo xxx

  • Amy,

    Let the love and strength of all of use help you through this difficult time. Finally your Dad like mine is in peace. I think it is harder for those left behind.

    You are in my thoughts and prayer.

    Hugs

    DeeDee

  • What a wonderful relationship you had with your dad and what precious memories. May these ease any pain you feel at this sad time. You are obviously a much loved daughter.

    God bless you.

    x

  • Hi Amy , what a wonderful tribute to your father , my thoughts and prayer's are with you ... He is at peace now ... xxxx

  • Thank you all so much for your comments - It has taken me this long to be able to come back and read them...its been 2 months since Dad died and I miss him like mad every single day..Thinking of you all xxx

  • Amy:

    What a poignant tribute to your Father; you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Judy J

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