Written on 20th February 2023.

On Friday the 17th of February, at 10.40am, at home with my mother sitting beside him, and my brother Cam whispering in his ear “I love you Dad. It will be alright. Everything will be alright” – Dad quietly slipped away.

We didnt have time to cry though because he left us with a directive. He was to be buried under the trees at the front edge of he and Mum’s estate – within 24 hours. No stay in the mortuary. No freezer. No waiting for anyone to travel – whatever family was in Samoa when he died, that’s it. No church service, only Bishop to dedicate the grave. No Fa’aSamoa. A private burial. No coffin, but wrapped in ie toga and mum’s handpainted elei fabric. Immediate family only. It was what my mother wanted also.

So working together (frantically), we honored my father’s request. It wasnt easy to do and I’m thankful for everyone who helped make it possible. I have so much appreciation and alofa for my father’s aiga, his siblings and cousins here and overseas, who respected this somewhat odd way of farewelling their brother – thank you for your patience and understanding.

It’s been an intense (and exhausting) few days. So many emotions. That will take a long time to untangle (and lots of writing no doubt). I am heartbroken. My dad is gone, and I dont quite know how to #be in a world without him in it.

Many people have sent beautiful messages of comfort and love, and they have given me and my family a measure of peace. Thank you.