So sorry to hear about your loss.
My father has been gone several years now. He was in the military for many years, and it was also hard for him to open up and show emotion and also could be somewhat abusive. I think that they were the product of their generation, when men were raised with the mindset that to be a real man one must work and provide for a family, but show little emotion. I am so glad for you that you were able to see another side of him before he was gone.