One Last Time

I just can not find the words to begin to describe this past week. We knew my fathers , Tata’s time on this earth was nearing it’s end. The family had gathered and the vigil had begun. It was  however, not what most people would expect to find if they were to walk into the room where someone was actively dying. The prayers had been said and the tears had been shed so now  it was a time to rejoice with our father who we knew could hear us.

We laughed and told stories and at times you could see a hint of a smile or he would squeeze your hand. We told him how excited we were for him and how lucky he was to be ridding himself of this Parkinson’s stricken shell he has been trapped in for so long.

We told him not to worry because he has done a wonderful job raising his children and that we would be here with Mom until she joined him. We told him how we wished we could go with him but we had to finish our chores here on earth first.

This was how we spent Thursday and Friday. There were always several people in the room with him and even though he couldn’t speak to us we spoke constantly to him.

On Saturday we had plans to go shopping for a suit for the funeral that we knew was coming up. My brother was in the room with me and we were waiting on our sisters to arrive so we could leave. When one of them arrived my brother went to the kitchen to give her the debriefing about the nights medicines and to talk to Mom leaving me alone in the room with Tata.

Now since we had been keeping the vigil I had stayed in the background and let everyone else have their time with Daddy. I felt like they needed it more than I do because I have had the honor of being with him every day for the last six years.

I took the seat right beside his bed and searched under the sheets for his hand to hold while I told him what was going on in the world via CNN. Shortly after sitting down I looked at him and saw that the sheet was not moving. I pulled it back and his chest was not rising. He was free.

I sat there for another ten minutes and just talked to him thinking that he could still hear me for awhile before I told anyone else in the family. There was jubilation and words of encouragement from everyone in the room. We were so happy for him!

I believe he was waiting to be alone with me to let go. I truly believe that. We had been together for so long and gone through so many struggles that I believe he wanted me to have this gift. And a gift it was. There was no struggle and no pain. And to top it off he left here with a smile on his face.

We took our time getting him ready for the funeral home to come get him. We bathed him and dressed him. Washed his hair and trimmed his beard.When the people got here with the gurney I stopped them on the porch. I picked my Tata up one last time and carried him outside and placed him on the gurney myself.I just couldn’t let a stranger do that.

The nights are strange now. After listening to his breathing all night for the last six years the quiet is so deafening it keeps me awake.I know that time will pass and I will adapt but until then nighty-night Tata .I’ll be right here.

This entry was posted in death and dying, end of life care giving and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to One Last Time

  1. Marie Taylor says:

    Very touching and heartfelt. I know how you feel. When my son died, I was very grateful his pain was over. Marie

  2. rebecca2000 says:

    Thanks for sharing. I talked to my mother moments after her death. I feel she could hear me. I think your father heard you. I remember before grandma died, two months before mom, everyone gathered. There were people sleeping in every corner of the house. I pray, that on my death bed I am that loved. I held mom’s hand has I she took her last breaths.

    I feel the love and loss in your posts. How wonderful for him and you, that such love existed between the two of you.

    • It seems that you and your mom and grandmother had that same bond. That sense of dedication to family is a wonderful and sometimes animalistic trait that some , not all , humans share. I am sure that you will be surrounded by love when your time approaches. Karma maybe .I don’t know.But after giving the love you have given it will be returned in kind.

  3. terry1954 says:

    what a beautiful moment you have allowed me to share with you. My daddy died in my arms. It is still crystal clear even after five years. To be rid of Parkinson’s was truly a celebration. I can understand the loud quietness as I still relive this from my dad and now my brother living in a nursing home instead of here with me. Thank you so much for walking into my life

  4. Your father and brother are so lucky to have someone who loves them and is dedicated to them. I hope that the memories I have of my fathers passing never fades and I look forward to the time when we are reunited. Life has many quirky twists and turns that bring us into and take us out of peoples lives. I guess the Great Spirit feels we should be here together at this juncture in our travels. Be well.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.