Three Score and Ten

What is our life expectancy? My father’s father was 89 when he died. He fought in Egypt and France in World War 1 and was wounded before being repatriated to Australia. He carried sharpnel in his leg for the rest of his life. At the age of 72 in the year I was born he was diagnosed with throat cancer and had his voicebox removed and yet lived another 17 years.

So in my mind my father should have lived until he was 89. That was why his death was a shock and I think why I didn’t cope too well with it at the time. The eulogy I gave at the funeral which is published below was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I got about two words in before I broke down.

For many, 76 would be seen as a good innings and given the way Dad punished his body most of his life it probably was, but I still feel cheated.


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