Gary Lightbody's dad dies from dementia


Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody has sadly lost his father to dementia.

The 43-year-old frontman has revealed his beloved dad passed away from the syndrome - in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities - "just before Christmas."

Taking to his Instagram account on Friday (27.12.19), Gary wrote: "Just before Christmas my dad, Jack, passed away. We had his funeral on christmas eve with family and close friends. I'm not posting about it to make anyone sad and that's why I waited until after Christmas to say anything at all I just wanted to pay tribute to the man that taught me and gave me so much.

"He was the funniest man I've ever known. Even in the depths of his dementia he could still be as sharp and hilarious as ever at times. He was also the most social person I ever knew. He could talk to anyone. I'm in introvert so I'm shy around strangers but he would walk into a room full of strangers and within ten mins know all their names and their stories and be having the craic with them all. It was a gift he never lost. We would walk into a restaurant and as we were being shown to our table he'd be talking to everyone at every other table we passed: "what are you having there, that looks good" and he'd be standing there chatting while we'd already be at our table waiting on him probably rolling our eyes. Ha. What a legend.

"All my friends that knew him loved him. The messages I got when they found out were of heartbreak but also each of my friends have been telling me stories of how my dad made them laugh and I'm so glad that all of people's memories of him seem to be of happy times.

"My mum Lynne looked after him in his illness for years and her strength in all this has been a mighty thing to behold. She is a titan.

"Also my mum, my sister sarah (who is also a titan) and my awesome niece honey and myself would like to say a massive thank you to the staff at Oakmont Care Home for their wonderful care of him over the last eight months.

"If anyone met my dad at an SP gig or feels like they know him through the songs I wrote about him (Soon, I Think Of Home, Lifening) then, if you like, please raise a glass to him the next time you have a wee drink and say "cheers big jack". He would've liked that."

The 'Chasing Cars' hitmaker concluded the heartbreaking post by saying he can't "comprehend" life without his father in it but will hold him in his heart forever.

He explained: "I don't know what life looks like without him, I can't even comprehend it, but he'll be in my heart and all my family's hearts for the rest of our lives. I love you dad. There were none like you. Your son, gary.x (sic)"

Just a few months ago, Gary confessed his concerns about the disease and admitted he was terrified that he would develop it as he starts to age.

He said at the time: "My dad has dementia and I've always had memory problems. That's been a lifetime problem. I'm sure that it will run to me and that's why I'm trying to get on top of it in my forties, rather than leave it any later. Hopefully I've got a few years yet before that affects me. Memory is close to my heart and on my mind. I've been trying to do memory exercises."