Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

'I've made peace with not being able to see my dad when he was dying' - the heartbreaking consequences of lockdown

Ceilidh and her dad Giles Chaplin Credit: Family photo

At the start of last week, Ceilidh Chaplin's father, Giles Chaplin, was recovering from a number of operations and medical complications in hospital in Haverfordwest.

His family thought he might get well enough to be allowed back to his home in Pembrokeshire but then his health took a dramatic turn for the worse.

On the night of March 18th he died in his sleep.

Giles did not die from coronavirus, but government attempts to halt the spread of COVID-19 in both France and the UK meant his daughter was unable to say goodbye before he passed away.

The view from Ceilidh's house in southern France where she is in lockdown. Credit: Ceilidh Chaplin

Ceilidh lives with her boyfriend Alex and their four-year-old daughter Billy in southern France. The country has been in a state of lockdown for more a week and anything except essential travel is banned.

Knowing she would never see her father again, and wanting to be back in Wales to support her other family members, all Ceilidh could do was stay at home.

"I'm fine really, I've made peace with the fact that I couldn't get to Wales to see my dad when he was dying. I know that everyone's got their problems and mine are probably pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things but it's been pretty weird being stuck indoors. It feels like a prison really."

  • Watch Hamish Auskerry's full report
Giles Chaplin was described as Credit: Family photo

"He was a very unique man", Ceilidh tells me.

"He was extremely silly - always pulling faces and making jokes, he was very theatrical.

"I think one of the biggest things coming out of him passing is what a character he was. He was pretty legendary in Pembrokeshire where we're from for putting on really good parties and having bands playing."

Ceilidh will also not be able to go to his funeral on Friday. Nor will her sister Sadie, who lives in London.

Sadie is a transplant patient and is therefore at a high risk of serious symptoms if she contracted COVID-19.

Government rules now only allow a few very close family members to be present at funerals, and Sadie does not think it would be safe for her to travel to Wales.

Giles Chaplin with Ceilidh's mum Pam Kiernan. Credit: Family photo

"Luckily we're not really a traditional family and I know that Giles would not have been fussed about a normal funeral", Ceilidh says.

"I know that I'll be fine, I don't need to be at a funeral to say goodbye I can do that in my own way when I get to Wales. We're going to have a big party when this is all over and that for me is the best way to say goodbye to him".