Mary Kennedy was just 21 when she lost her beloved father. She was living in France when she got the phone call that her father had “taken a turn”.
Speaking to Darren Kennedy on this week’s Keys to my Life, Mary returned to the beautiful apartment she and her friend, Jill lived in during the 1970s.
He asked the Nationwide presenter how she was feeling, to which she responded: “Gratitude, actually. And a little bit of sadness I suppose.”
She went on to explain: “While I was here, my father died unexpectedly. It’s an important place and I feel very happy to have the opportunity to revisit it. Jill and I were going away on Easter holidays.
“I got a phone call from Dublin saying that my father, who was playing golf, had taken a turn. I didn’t realise until after I had gotten back to Dublin that he was already dead. He had a heart attack on the golf course. You can imagine what that two weeks were like.”
She went on to say that she had a “bittersweet moment” when she returned to France after the funeral.
“He was a great letter writer and he wrote me letters all the time. When I arrived back here, there was one he had written and it only arrived after he died. It was here waiting for me when I got back. It was very sad because he was no longer with us. I still miss him. I was the eldest, he used to call me his pet. I loved him so much.”
She also shared her regret following her father’s death, explaining that she was told not to see him in his coffin so she could “remember” him alive.
“I would have liked to see him laid out in the coffin to say goodbye to him one last time but that didn’t happen. He was lovely. He was a special man,” she confessed.
Keys To My Life airs tonight at 8:30pm on RTÉ One