Anyone who knows me will know how much I love hands and how wonderful I think they are. When I was a little girl I loved nothing more than to 'hold on' to the hand of someone I loved and felt safe with. It is very hard to find the right words to describe grief, and within the complex mix of emotions that grief brings, lie many other losses which can't be prepared for. My father died recently but, at the grand old age of 93, it was his time to pass into the light. When I visited him he was accepting that he was near to the end and there was healing, understanding and a gentleness that I will always treasure. Being able to spend that time with him was a privilege and I know we were both lucky. He found it hard to relinquish his independence as he moved into a world where he had to rely on others, but he accepted his lot with charm and dignity. I will miss his wide smile of welcome and the gentle acceptance of his slowing down which, for such a big strong alpha Yorkshire man, was surprisingly graceful and elegant. I will miss his half finished tubes of Polo Mints, his voice, the first notes of his laugh and his flat cap hanging on its hook on the back of his door, but above all I will miss the comfort of his warm hands which had held mine in his since I was born.