A Cold Winters Day

tmp_8346-20170204_104912-1294375252It’s hard to describe what it feels like to be wathching your father die. I’m sitting in the hospice room with my mother waiting for the family to arrive with a strange sort of detatchment. It’s almost like I’m just looking in on another family, like I’m intruding on their grief. I can’t really explain it…perhaps it’s just denial.

My father almost died 4 nights ago when pneumonia filled his lungs with fluid. The doctors had to suction it out or he would drown. Unfortunatly, the treatment is not working. Along with the illness his dementia took a strong downward turn so his comprehension and understanding is very limited. After much family discussion we have decided to stop treatment and let him go. 

Today is about comfort for him. Morphine is the drug of this day and I am trying to keep him pain free as much as possible. As he is now non verbal, I have to guess if it’s enough or too much. I try to judge by his body language and other signs, but I’m so unsure. When I look in his eyes I still see him there, and that’s the hardest part. I hope I’m doing the right thing. 

He has not eaten anything in 5 days, and no fluids in over 24 hours. I don’t think he will last the night. How do you say goodbye? This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I will follow it through to the very end. I love you dad.

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41 thoughts on “A Cold Winters Day

      1. Pneumonia is so mean. Don’t know if you’re the praying type, but I’m going to lift your dad up high. 😊😊 Sending thoughts of strength and healing for you, your mom, and family.

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      2. Yay!!! Would you do me a favor? Give him a kiss on the cheek for me? I’ve “met” him through your posts and I appreciate that he was in the Korean War and fought for our freedom. He is a hero.

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      3. Glad you’re getting some time with him. Nothing worse than arriving after it’s too late. Hope when his time comes, he marches into the Heavenly gates with a giant smile on his face. πŸ™‚

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  1. You asked “How do you say good-bye?” To me? By doing exactly what you are doing – being there (I think they know, however scrambled their output HERE might be), saying the things you have to say (like I love you if that’s appropriate), and preparing for the fact that you won’t see them again for a while. In my own belief system, the soul goes on and we are re-united with our loved ones in a far better place than this. In that place no one is ill, confused, damaged..we are made whole. Picturing them that way helps. Take care of yourself, the days ahead will be rocky. Ain’t going to lie about that. And for a while there’s a hole in the fabric of reality where your loved one used to be. But eventually it softens, I don’t think it mends, but it softens and you can remember without pain. I’ll say a prayer for your family and you. Namaste

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  2. Thinking of you and your loved ones… he knows your there… I’ve been in the same situation.. tell him what’s in your heart.. you’ll never regret it! God Bless Friend…

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  3. Oh my dear friend, I couldn’t press the like button on this one. I’m feeling your pain and I’m writing this with tears in my eyes as it takes me back to my time with mum. I also suffered a bit of that detached feeling a little before it passed and I became present again. She deteriorated much the same way as your dad and in the end all we could do was be there with her. I remember holding her hand, telling her I loved her and knowing somehow some way that she could hear me. That’s all you can do, give your dad comfort and the gift of your presence. Sending you big hugs at what I know is such a hard time. xo

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  4. I’m sorry I am late in commenting …. I’ve been moving home. YOu don’t need to know that. I don’t know if you dad is still here or whether he has moved on but the point is that he is in your heart. When mine died, I told him I loved him. I apologised that I had never said it to him when he was alive. I know he heard me because when the doctor came to declare him dead he said he was smiling. He hadn’t been smiling when I entered the room some 20 Minutes after his death. My point is this. I was always in his heart and he moved into mine. He is with me every beat of mine and your daddy is with you. I send you all the strength I have for this time which is so raw and painful but I promise you, promise you that your dad knows your struggle and at peace he will rest in you.

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      1. I am with you, arms round your shoulders keeping you warm as you face the moment he leaves the place where you can see him and touch him but from where he will find his safe spot deep in your heart to dwell with you, guide you and to be the loving father to the son he has always been so proud of and you of he. The days of not being able to express yourselves to one another, the days when his traumatic hidden wounds clouded your relationship will soon be melted away and though you will have the pain of his passing your love for one another, like a butterfly from its chrysalis will be free to fly in the clean air of its unfettered dawn.

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