Dad’s passing has been the cause for a lot of reflection and introspection. This is the first major loss I have experienced in my life. I have certainly lost a few relatives and friends along the way, but nothing like this. Dad was and is a key part of my identity.
One of the things I have found myself saying when people express their condolences is that “Mum is the heart of our family. Dad was the rock.”
I can think back to every major crisis in my life – I would go to Mum and Dad’s place. I would cry and talk to mum and vent whatever emotions needed to be vented. When Mum and I were absorbed in whatever the drama of the moment was, my Dad would appear and give me a cup of tea. When I was a bit older and if it was past lunchtime, the cup of tea became a glass of wine, but the unspoken reassurance was the same: “This will pass. I understand that you are hurting right now, and I am so sorry that you are in pain, but in the long term, it is not that big of a deal. You have lots of support and, in the end, everything will be fine”.
Once I had vented, and Mum and Dad had offered their wisdom, the previously insurmountable crisis had usually morphed into a situation that I could manage.
At the time, I had no idea that I was learning a valuable lesson about leadership. However, later I think what I have taken away is that the most relevant thing in any crisis is to send a message that you are not too worried. Yes, whatever is going on is important, but you have fixed problems in the past, and you are confident that this one can also be solved. That was certainly the message that I took away from those quiet and unobtrusive cups of tea and glasses of wine. In the end, everything will be alright.
Peter Moore: you were the best Dad, a true gentleman, and a legend. Ar dheis D go raibh a anam.