Life, death and whales

{ 66 comments }

Everett_DeRoche_1

I lost my dad last night. He had battled cancer for three years. We were all in the room when he passed away: his six girls and my mum, plus many of his grandkids too. I can tell you that there was a whole lot of love packed into that little room. It was sad and beautiful all at once.

Earlier, when the doctor asked him if he was in pain, Dad said, “It depends what is on channel 7.” Ain’t that the truth. He never missed a beat, that man, not even in his final days. He had a brilliant mind, which he shared with the world in his epic body of work as a scriptwriter. He will always be my greatest creative inspiration; I’ve known my whole life that if he could make a career as an artist, I could do it too. I’m so lucky to have had this man as my dad.

Here are some pictures from the time that Ivan and I shared with my dad in Tonga. This sequence says it all:

We arrive, we show off our magic for a while, then we go. And how incredibly fortunate we are to have witnessed.

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Bye Dad.

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  • Patricia Pegley April 3, 2014, 12:38 am

    So sorry for your loss Torre.

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  • Jimmy Dau April 3, 2014, 12:39 am

    Very sorry to hear. Condolences to you and the family. A man passionate to his craft till the end from what I can gather from his response to the doctor, having worked in media myself.

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  • Jessica April 3, 2014, 12:42 am

    Torre, so sorry. Sending love. <3

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  • Anna Spargo-Ryan April 3, 2014, 12:48 am

    Sorry Torre. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. x

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  • Ani Peters April 3, 2014, 12:52 am

    Torre, my deepest sympathies go out to you lovely lady and to your family. I know that you will have a treasure trove of memories to hold on to and I hope they will give you some comfort in the coming days. I will pray for you during this very painful time…Blessings

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  • Louise April 3, 2014, 12:52 am

    A beautiful expression of love.

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  • Louise Eddy April 3, 2014, 12:55 am

    A beautiful expression of love. My heart hurts for you.

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  • Paula April 3, 2014, 1:00 am

    Very sorry for you loss Torre. What a beautiful gift to have had such an inspiring Dad. x

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  • Nat April 3, 2014, 1:12 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Condolences to your family. He sounds wonderful. x

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  • Boo April 3, 2014, 1:27 am

    Ah fuck, I read this post and felt like I had a kick to the stomach. Good to hear you could all be there when he died.

    So sorry to hear about your old man, what a loss.

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  • Myra April 3, 2014, 1:27 am

    Beautifully said. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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  • Joy Lorner April 3, 2014, 1:35 am

    He must have been so proud of his “fearless” daughter. So sorry to hear he has gone. He lives on in you!

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  • Jackie April 3, 2014, 1:53 am

    Thinking of you all, Torre xo.
    This morning I was thinking of how your Dad’s creativity and films were a part of my life growing up. They are memories I hold dear. Your words, and the images, are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  • Catherine Desjeunes April 3, 2014, 2:30 am

    So sorry for your loss Torre. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. May he rest in peace. <3 <3

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  • Kim Schutte April 3, 2014, 3:04 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad Torre. From your book and posts it sounds like he was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.

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  • Jim April 3, 2014, 3:11 am

    Hard times for a lucky girl.

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  • Lisa McKay April 3, 2014, 3:16 am

    Oh, Torre. Sorry. Empathy. A big sigh. And a prayer for you and your family at this time – that it will be a time of connection and inspiration as well as grief.

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  • Veronica April 3, 2014, 3:37 am

    Holding you and your family in my heart and in my prayers.

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  • Kate April 3, 2014, 4:03 am

    My heart goes out to you in this difficult time. I recently lost my Dad too and it’s an incomparable thing. I hope you’re feeling the support from all corners today and in the months to come.

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  • Sarah April 3, 2014, 4:38 am

    Torre I have tears in my eyes from the sadness and beauty of your tribute to your Dad. I feel like I know him from your book – you described him so fully – that seeing those photos takes me back to that chapter. I’m so sorry for your loss and grateful for the legacy your Father left. It seems fitting that as a writer, he will live on in the pages of your own fine piece of work. Sending you more love than I can say, my heart breaks for you xxx

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  • Joanne Joseph April 3, 2014, 4:55 am

    Torre, I am sorry for your loss. Your pictures speak volumes. Beautiful and touching tribute.

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  • lyn April 3, 2014, 5:40 am

    Oh Torre, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but so grateful you have shared your thoughts on his passing so beautifully. I too lost my father to cancer almost 4 years ago and know too well that feeling of emotions that were in that room at his final farewell. Those we love the most leave the very best memories.

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  • Jane D'Abbs April 3, 2014, 7:01 am

    Charismatic, charming (when he wanted to be!), opinionated and always with a different way of looking at the world around him. He was never boring and he’s going to leave a big hole in all your lives. Go softly and go well.

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  • Wendy Mills April 3, 2014, 7:13 am

    Thinking of you Torre . Condolences to you and your family . Love Wendy .

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  • Hannah April 3, 2014, 7:38 am

    Torre, what a beautiful tribute to an incredible man. I, like many others, feel as though I got to know him a little through reading your book, and was always deeply moved by your unique bond. I’m so very sorry for your loss – I know your closeness will make it both harder and easier to deal with in many ways, and my thoughts are with you and your family. Much love to you all xxx

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  • Katie April 3, 2014, 7:41 am

    Sorry for your loss … your Dad seems like he lived a good life … take care!

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  • Ali April 3, 2014, 7:58 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad!

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  • Gary in Gwent April 3, 2014, 11:17 am

    Hi again Torre,

    So sorry for your loss and really glad that you and your family have been able to celebrate your fathers life. It will never be the same again of course but he will continue to influence everything you do….so keep just doing it the way he has taught you!!

    love and condolences Torre

    travel onward now…. Gary

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  • Charica April 3, 2014, 11:40 am

    Hi Torre, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My sincerest condolences to you and your family. I have lost my grandfather a few years ago when I have moved to another country, so I do understand the feeling of losing someone you love. But despite that, I know he’s in a good place, and I’m sure you will think of that too.

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  • Millie Noe April 3, 2014, 12:20 pm

    I’m so sorry Torre. I’ve learned that losing your Dad is one of the hardest things ever. Take care. Life will be bright again.

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  • Katie @ Domestiphobia April 3, 2014, 3:48 pm

    This is so beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss, Torre.

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  • Debbie Calder April 3, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Torre, so sorry to read about your sad news. To lose one’s father is to lose the first man you ever truly trusted. How lovely to have such a large family to all draw support and comfort from each other. Torre, your book was so beautiful and inspiring, your father, and indeed your whole family must be so, so proud of all that you have achieved. I am a Palliative care nurse and at the end, we always strive for “the good death”. I sincerely hope that is what your dad and your family achieved. XXXXX

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  • Samantha Vérant April 3, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Torre, I am so, so sorry. He was just as proud of you as were of him. I know it. I can feel it. Huge hugs and bisous from France. You and your family are in my thoughts. xox

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  • Shirley April 3, 2014, 4:31 pm

    Left a lump in my throat… superb tribute.

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  • Shona Patel April 3, 2014, 4:36 pm

    I love this post. I love the picture of the hug. Now that is a REAL hug and says everything. You have been blessed on your journey forward. His spirit will guide you. Take care. Sending you good thoughts. xx Shona

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  • Wanda St.Hilaire April 3, 2014, 5:30 pm

    What a beautiful gift to have had such an inspiring father. Sending angels of comfort to you, your mum and all of your family. He will certainly be watching over you and your creative endeavours.

    xox
    Wanda

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  • Cheryl Geeting April 3, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Wow, what a great tribute to your dad. It’s short, but says it all. I noticed a few articles about your dad on your FB page … sounds like he was a brilliant man, and a great dad too! Six daughters … he deserves a medal!

    On a serious note, so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He will always live on with you and your sisters, and in the thoughts of so many others!

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  • Jan Keeler April 3, 2014, 6:00 pm

    My deepest sympathy, Torre.

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  • Beverley April 3, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Torre your Dad sounds like a wonderful man to have been around and I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

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  • Oliver April 3, 2014, 8:46 pm

    My deepest sympathy Torre and an absolutely stunning tribute indeed!! Those lines “We arrive, we show off our magic for a while, then we go. And how incredibly fortunate we are to have witnessed.” sparkle with beauty, intensity and love…
    There will be quite a bright star shining for you and a family I believe. One that will still guide and watch you – even though the distance may appear unbearable. I wish you and your family all the power and patience to cope with this massive loss!

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  • Victoria April 3, 2014, 10:20 pm

    Torre, so sorry for your loss. I was about to write that it sounds as though you had an awesome Dad, but I’ll change the ‘had’ to ‘have’. He’ll always be yours. Sending lots of love x x

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  • Christine April 3, 2014, 11:16 pm

    I’m so sorry, Torre. I really loved reading about him in your book in the sections when you talked about your childhood, and your love and adoration for him really shone through. Thank you for sharing a little glimpse of who he was with all of us, and I hope your family is doing okay, considering.

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  • Tracey April 4, 2014, 6:28 am

    Heartbreaking Torre. Your dad and my dad sound like they would get on – cracking jokes in the final days even when the cancer was all-consuming. I hope they find each other in that after place. I think they’ll share a few laughs. My thoughts are with you.

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  • Karin April 4, 2014, 7:32 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a wonderful dad and role model. Be strong for your loved ones, and take care.

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  • Karyn April 4, 2014, 10:25 am

    I am so sorry for your loss.

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  • Kathy April 4, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Torre, my sincere condolences. As others said, it was lovely to read about him in your book, and your tribute here is so touching. Hope you are finding comfort in friends and family.

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  • Abi April 4, 2014, 3:17 pm

    Oh – I’m so, so sorry. What a beautiful post x

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  • Ben Hogan April 4, 2014, 8:31 pm

    What an amazing experience with your Dad Torre, so very sorry to hear of your loss. Congratulations on your writing achievement.

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  • Emily April 5, 2014, 12:13 am

    My deepest condolences to you Torre.

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  • Katherine Jenkins April 5, 2014, 7:56 am

    So sorry for your loss Torre!

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  • Patricia Sands April 5, 2014, 5:03 pm

    I’m thinking of you and your family, Torre, and send my deepest sympathy. You brought your father into the hearts of all your readers and I can only imagine how very proud he was of you. The hardest part of life is loss and the best the memories that last forever.

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  • Eve April 7, 2014, 2:28 am

    Sorry to hear that Torre. Losing such an inspirational and loved person is really hard. My deepest sympathies.

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  • Naomi April 7, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Oh Torre, though I’ve only just discovered your blog and your story, I’m moved and saddened by your families loss. I too am one of six girls, the rarity of which somehow makes your story more resonant for me. Please accept my condolences for what they are worth.

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  • Linda D. April 7, 2014, 7:12 pm

    Hey, Torre. I wish I had words to express my sympathy about the loss of your dad. I’ve been caring for my own father these last six months, and so my own emotions are right on top. Even when I know I can’t hang on to him forever, I also know that the love, wisdom and humor he has given and continues to give me will not only last my own lifetime but are embraced by my children. That love, those real relationships, our sharing the stories – that’s how they live on for me. So, I celebrate your dad and my dad and all of those we’ve loved and lost. Big hugs to you girl!

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  • Fanny April 7, 2014, 8:11 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully the beautiful memories will guide you through these hard times.

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  • Rebecca Byfield April 9, 2014, 4:40 am

    Really sorry to hear that. I could tell just from your book how much you adored him. So glad you have a truckload of bright memories of him.

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  • Andi April 14, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Oh god I have tears in my eyes. I am so very, very sorry for your loss! I’m sending you big e-hugs!!!

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  • Robbie April 17, 2014, 3:35 am

    So sorry for your loss Torre. Your writing is an inspiration for so many, undoubtedly a great skill that’s been directly passed down from the brilliant man you describe so beautifully. May you find peace in the memories that will be with you til the end of time.

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  • Hamish Healys April 18, 2014, 9:58 am

    Sorry for your loss. Savor the memories of him in Tonga.

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  • Torre DeRoche April 21, 2014, 8:56 am

    Thank you so much everyone. Love to you all.

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  • Jennie Craig April 27, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Mes condoléances Torre. I’m still under the spell of being part of your world after just finishing reading your book. You also took your Dad on this wonderful adventure of being “papa” to this beautiful and talented person that you are.
    Jennie from Toronto, Canada

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  • Janie Walker June 14, 2014, 5:39 am

    Hi Torre. I’ve just signed up to your website. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my Mum on 15 March this year after a long and horrific battle with cancer. I get floored sometimes by thinking about her – grief, but I hate that word – and I’m totaly exhausted. Life goes on but I still can’t believe she’s gone. I live on a boat at Mana Marina in Wellington, New Zealand. We have a Bavaria 46 and plan to sail to Pacific Islands in May 2015. Like you, I’d only been sailing once and fell in love with sailor. I didn’t really know who he was until I saw him sailing on a boat. I’m going to buy your book and really look forward to reading it. We sure have an amazing life ahead of us, even though we’re living with this sadness. I know that somehow my Mum will continue to be proud of me, in some way. And your Dad too. Arohanui, Janie.

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  • Leeanne Eaton June 19, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I just finished reading your book and then saw your web address so went straight there and was so terribly shocked to hear that your father had passed away. It was wonderful that he spent that time with you on the boat. He will always be with you in the sun the moon and the stars and most of all forever in your heart. You still have a lifetime of adventures and wonderful experiences ahead. You have inspired me to go beyond my fears and discover the world. Best wishes, Leeanne

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  • Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal July 2, 2014, 2:56 pm

    Hi Torre,
    I literally just read the last page of your incredible book and immediately had to visit your blog to see pictures of your journey. My heart skipped a beat when I saw this post and am so sorry for your loss. How special that your Dad was able to sail with you and that you were home with him when it was his time to sail away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  • Al. Cazimero July 14, 2014, 4:02 am

    I was a classmate of your Dad at Mount Miguel High School, in Spring Valley, California. We were the “Matadors” and the “Class of 1964″. Another classmate was trying to gather names and information about our class for the 50th class reunion party this year. He just found out and notified me today of your Dad’s passing. We are sadden to hear of the loss of our classmate and our condolences go out to you and your family. I would also like you and your family to know that at the reunion party your Dad will be remembered by his Classmates. God Bless.

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  • Kim August 4, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Torre, somehow I missed this post. I just want you to know how incredibly sorry I am. I can tell from your posts about him (and from your very life) that he was an amazing man. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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