Good Morning and Good-Bye

goodbyeWhen I arrive to visit my Dad in the morning, he is breathing very heavy, short breaths. He seems more comatose than asleep. The nurse comes in and gives him some morphine. I ask her what his breathing like this means and she says it typically signifies pain. She tells me the Doctor will be in soon.

They decide to move my Dad to morphine more frequently. His breathing is not slowing down. He now has a temperature. I read their booklet and believe my Dad is in his final hours. I ask the doctor to give me some guidance on a window of time. She tells me based on how fast my Dad’s condition has declined since yesterday, she would guess hours to days.

My siblings and Mom are all driving to the facility so I send out a text telling them what I just was told.

I’m asked to leave the room so they can bathe my Dad and I go sit by the fireplace in the family meeting room. I ask them to let me know when I can rejoin my Dad. Within 20 minutes the Doctor rounds the corner with the Chaplain.

I know what’s coming. When the Chaplain asks me for my name, I can barely get it out. It takes the Chaplain three tries to understand my name is Kay.

He tells me my Dad is gone and I double over in grief. I’m surprise at how hard it hit me. I am happy he did not suffer long, but know that I will miss him terribly.  Even with his dementia and tethered tongue, he was kind and always interested in how the kids, my husband and I were doing.

I sit by my Dad’s bedside until the rest of my family arrives. Grief-Stricken.

26 comments on “Good Morning and Good-Bye

  1. I am so sorry for the lost of your Dad. I am praying for your family. Please keep writing. Your message of information is needed by many.

  2. I just saw your latest post. So sorry for your loss and its abruptness. So glad his suffering was short. May your family find peace and comfort on your grieving journey.

  3. Kay, I’m so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could and yes, there is some comfort in knowing that his suffering was short and is now over.

    I’m glad your family is coming together to offer each other support. That is so important at a time like this. I will be keeping your family in my thoughts. Peace and comfort be with you.

  4. I ache for you and your family as you grieve.

  5. I am so sorry you lost your dad. It is difficult even when you didn’t want him to suffer long because there was hardly tme to come to grips with what was happening. You and your family are in my prayers.

  6. Oh, Kay…I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s death. I identify so strongly with your feelings of relief at his not suffering and yet missing him terribly at the same time.

    You and your brother did right by him – and by your siblings – and exhibited grace under pressure. I hope you both find comfort at some point – perhaps not now while emotions are raw and grieving extant and second-guessing everything will be the rule of the day – in knowing you took care of your dad to the best of your ability and dealt wisely and compassionately and lovingly with him to the end of this physical life for him.

    My prayers and thoughts for comfort, healing, and peace are with you and your family (I can only imagine how hard this is and will be for your mom as well) as you say goodbye to your dad. Be encouraged and strengthened with the knowledge that you will see him again in the future – healed, whole, complete as he was before all of this. Take that hope and faith with you throughout the rest of your life. Big love and big hugs to you all! Sandra

    • Thank you. I marvel that my path was clear when I listened for guidance. I watched as my Dad seemed to greet all those who were calling him home.

      This will bring a whole new set of challenges. But while I will miss my Dad terribly, I know the end brings peace. Now for my tear ducts to comply.

  7. My dear Kay, as an online friend, rather than a ‘real’ one, I don’t wish to intrude, but do want you to know tears are running down my face as I type. I am so very sorry for your loss, and I too understand the relief becasue of no more suffering, but the devastation of the loss, and what is ahead. Sending you and your whole family hugs and prayers for peace and understanding. Let your tears flow as often as you can. Love and hugs, Kate

  8. Oh dear, I just got caught up with your posts. Sending you strength and peace.

  9. I am so sorry for your struggles and heartache – you were a very good daughter, Kay,

    I’m the woman from Maryland – that stayed in Seattle moving my parents from their house – actually my father was involuntarily committed – my mother was moved to an Assisted Living Adult Residential Home. I went back to my home in Maryland on 29 May and my father passed away 3 months later – 23 August while living in a nursing home and my mother 2 weeks later- 09 September – 60 years married as of August.

    What makes me sad is there was no love loss for my parents – our family was totally dysfunctional – both brothers died in their late 30’s – one suicide, the other heart attack – leaving me the only child. Although there are grandchildren – there was no love for their grandparents either.

    I know you are devastated – but you had what many children do not have with their parents – the love and caring for each other. My sons are grown and on there own – but they are the most important people in the world to me – I cherish them.

    I can’t tell you if and when the pain will pass but know you did all that you could do and that was to love them.

    Vickie Mick

    Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 21:44:38 +0000 To: vmick413@hotmail.com

  10. […] was still in the hospital or if it were true that he had passed away. I remember the burst of grief I felt when the Chaplain told me and am sad that my Mom has to experience this […]

  11. […] death of my father has been easier to manage because he had done so much advance […]

  12. […] months later, my father passed away. and to process the transition of his military retirement pay, I need a copy of my Mom’s […]

  13. […] Mom is having a difficult time adjusting to the loss of my Dad. She has no short-term memory and combined with her dementia, comprehending that he died over a […]

  14. […] I walk toward my father’s funeral, I don’t waiver on my belief that he had a swift and loving end to his life. However, I spent several months pushing to understand why my Dad was slurring. I reported it […]

  15. […] Living is a hallway away from Independent Living. Now that my Mom’s full-time companion, my Dad, has passed, she is alone and really having a hard time finding a footing. The dementia is making it […]

  16. […] year ago today, my Dad passed away. While he had Alzheimer’s, he died from a tumor on the back of his tongue. It was a harrowing […]

  17. […] my parents as an adult so I knew them. Knowing what they believed didn’t make the decision on how we supported our Dad and managed his cancer any easier, but looking back, I’m confident we did the right thing for […]

  18. […] candles. I cried when I opened them last Christmas because I had already forgotten about his notes. Last year was the first Christmas without him. I’m wondering as I pull them out this year if I can shellac the notes in place so they will […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: