Father's Day 2021: Romford women remember 'loving' grandad Brian
- Credit: Dena Griffin
Tributes have been paid to a Harold Hill grandfather who was a "most thoughtful and loving man".
They are the words of Jessica Griffin, 25, as she remembers her grandfather this Father’s Day.
Jessica's grandfather Brian James Griffin died suddenly in May last year from sepsis, aged 73.
He was a father of two children and three grandchildren, all of whom have grown up nearby.
Jessica found out she was expecting her daughter Navie-Grace just five days after he passed away.
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The Havering Council employee told this paper: “He never got to meet her, and would have loved his great-granddaughter.
“He lived just down the road from me, and I saw him all the time.”
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Her cousin Dena Griffin said she was devastated to have lost someone who played such a central role in her life.
She explained: “When he got ill it was very, very horrible because I had always been close to my grandad but I didn’t make the effort to go and see him, which I now regret.
“I never got to say goodbye to him - I miss you so much grandad.”
Brian, who worked in pensions, was born in Dagenham and lived in Harold Hill for most of his life.
Dena said: “He kept himself to himself, and was very down to earth.
“Because I grew up without a dad, he always gave me pocket money and was always there for me.
“He was such a genuine man.”
The women recalled Brian’s love of motorbikes and vintage cars, and that he took Jessica to buy her first car.
Dena, 20, added: “I remember sitting on his Vespa when I was about seven and him driving me around the garden - that's a lovely memory."
Brian’s wife Geraldine died in 2003, and Dena said he had “lost himself a bit” following her death.
“I was so shocked, when I found out he was ill, but I’d always look up at the stars and see two stars, which I thought was my nan waiting for him,” she added.
He had asked the family to play Flying Without Wings by Westlife when he passed away, which had also been played when his wife died.