My Dad’s Passing

My Dad died Sunday night.

He had taken a turn for the worse over the past couple of days. He was having trouble swallowing and his naps were getting longer and deeper.

He had been under hospice care for the past 22 months. They came to visit him in his assisted living apartment regularly, supervising medications and making sure he was comfortable.

But even though hospice had informed us that his condition was terminal, his last couple of years were so leisurely spent that his death was actually a bit of a shock.

I guess I thought he could go on forever, not having a miraculous turn-around, but not getting any worse, either.

And even though he had diabetes and COPD, and had pretty much lost his mobility, he was always calm, cheerful and optimistic. He enjoyed connection with the staff at the assisted living facility, and he was deeply appreciative of frequent visits from my sister and my younger brother, who live nearby.

No matter how much we observed his gradual physical and mental deterioration, he was always effusive in expressing his gratitude for the wonderful health he enjoyed.

Missing My Mom

The biggest challenge for my Dad was getting used to the fact that my Mom had died six months earlier.

They had spent a lifetime together, until she passed away in January. Next month they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

When I visited with him about a month ago, we had a great conversation. But in the midst of it he suddenly looked confused. He looked at me earnestly.

“Have you seen your mother?” he asked. “I haven’t seen her here today.”

With the onset of dementia, it was too easy for my Dad to forget that she was gone. So he had the opportunity to miss her repeatedly, and to recognize the loss again and again in fresh moments of grieving and distress.

That may have contributed to his decision to let go himself, just a few weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.

I’m already missing him terribly….

11 comments

  1. mark morgenstern says:

    i am sorry to hear about both your mom and dad
    my mom was on hospice care for a few months while she had terminal heart failure but we all spent lots of time with her and she knew we all loved her very much and would all remain together after her passing

  2. Janella says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  3. Anita says:

    My deepest condolences in your time of sadness Tim. He’ll always be there – supporting you and sending you messages of love and support. Pay attention to the small things – the things you shared and the things he loved – the messages are there. You will meet again some day. There is a lovely poem by Robert Frost – “the trial by Existence” – God takes a flower of gold, crushes it an leaves it mystified – and so we live our lives not knowing that or why we chose the life, our parents, our families, our paths. He is with your Mom now – and in your heart. My Dad passed two years ago – and there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Peace be with you.

  4. Kathryn L. Silverton says:

    My heart goes out to you. I’ve been through a similar situation. it’s never easy.
    All the best to you and yours.

    kathryn

  5. Amy Webber says:

    Hi Tim so sorry to read this post heart felt peace be w u ….maybe well see one another one of these days huh?! Amy Webber

  6. […] thanks to all who have contacted me with condolences after the death of my father, Raymond Morris […]

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