Tuesday, 3 November 2009

JOHN LAWSON 1932-2009

Being a writer and all-round opinionated bore, words don’t often fail me, but I’m finding it extremely hard to describe how I feel this morning. Last Friday night, my father passed away after what we are, I suppose, obliged to refer to as “a long battle with cancer”. He slipped away in the night, at home and in bed with my mum (just as it should be), and he leaves a yawning chasm behind, not just for me but for my entire family and anyone who ever knew him.

I know almost everyone thinks that their parents are infallible, but my dad really was a wonderful human being. He was a kind, generous, gentle and fiercely intelligent man who never knowingly said or did anything that caused pain or sadness to another living being. Most remarkable of all, he seldom spoke unless he had something to say. God knows, the world could use a few more people like that.

In some respects I didn’t have a huge amount in common with my dad. I didn’t share his religious faith, his political views, his taste in music or his calamitous dress sense, but those things are utterly trivial when you love someone as much I loved him. The important thing is that I always knew that my dad loved me and was proud of me, despite my many faults, and that he knew that I felt the same way towards him. And I admired him immensely. I’m lucky enough to do what I love for a living, and my dad was the same. An insanely talented artist, he designed stained glass windows for a living and leaves behind an astonishing legacy of beautiful creations that, with luck, will survive for many hundreds of years. I can only hope that I will be able to make such a lasting and worthwhile mark on the world. I also hope that I can become a little bit more like my dad along the way.

I miss him terribly and will carry his memory in my heart forever, as will my mum and my two sisters, Rebecca and Helena. We all love you, Dad.


  1. Hey Dom. I know I don't know you directly, or ever knew your father, but I'm sure those words are the best tribute he could have wished for.

    Chris (cockney0_1)

  2. My condolences, Dom. A nice piece

  3. Dear Dom,

    My condolences.

    What you wrote about your Dad reminded me of mine who passed away a long time ago. Wish I could've said the same things then. I was too young to have known . . . You are already his pride, certainly. In the the schema of temporal extensions of our little signatures, or the endurance of our singularities, the manifold of colours that your father made on glass (that complex art of folding the two dimensional sheet many times over keeping the sheet as sheet) will live on. It, of course, is your duty as his progeny to extend the duration further, in that he will endure. You are doing so with creases that you introduce into language. You are inventing a new English. And also you are struggling (which is the sense of art) to express music in language, to make language audible, or precisely to make it tonal. I'd like to read your books ... Looking forward to them, those stained glass sheets of language ...
    I wish for you the strength ...

  4. well said Dom, I cannot imagine how tough writing that must have been, but I think you've written something full of emotion and made us all think about the fact are parents are not going to be around forever, and hopefully encourage those who don't already, to cherish as much time with them whislt they still can.

    condolences to you and your family.

  5. Man Im sorry to hear this news, deepest respects

  6. Dear Dom
    I attended today at the service and just wanted to say what a perfect and fitting service it was. I worked closely with John for many years at Goddard and Gibbs and was very fond of him. He leaves a fantastic legacy and one of which, you are I am sure very proud.
    My condolences to you and the family.
    With Regards
    Amanda Winfield

  7. Hi Dom

    This is the other John Lawson, John Nicholas's cousin in Hull. You probably will have heard about me from John, Frances or Rebecca.

    Just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed reading your remarks about your Dad and also those of Simon in Rectory Musings.

    We were thinking of you all last Wednesday and we all send our best wishes to all the family.

    John Philip Lawson (Hull)

  8. Hi Dom.

    I'm so sorry for your loss!

    I have followed your writings for many years now and I truly enjoy what you have to say.

    I don't know you personally but I feel like I know you as a friend. I wish you and your family all the best and I hope that you can come through this terrible time in the best way possible..

    All the best mate, Best wishes to you and your family!

    Joe x

  9. What a great thing to say, fella

    All my most heartfelt best wishes...G-Storm

  10. Hello there Dom,

    I just want to write and say how sorry I am to here of your Dad,s passing.... I worked closely with your father at Godard and Gibbs Studios in the 70,s and 80,s

    I have to say I will always remember my time there and working with him. on so many projects both in the UK and overseas too.... We worked toghter closely, choosing selceting and cutting coloured glass for the studois

    God Bless

    Ashley Gibbs

  11. This is beautifully written. May he rest in peace, but you know God takes the beautiful ones.

    Best wishes,



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