I’ve always felt like when someone you love falls asleep in death, there should be a moment when the entire world feels it. That of course is not what happens, instead the world continues to turn, people go about their lives.
I told you all last week that I was off to spend time with my dad and we were planning a small party for my parents 40th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, when we arrived on Tuesday, dads condition had deteriorated more. He could hardly talk and just moving in the bed exhausted him.
For the next two nights my brother slept by dads side, always holding his hand. For the next few days we had relatives coming and going to say their goodbyes. Dad was actually in good spirits, it seemed he loved all of his visitors. For me most of it is a blur, I stayed busy caring for the kids and making sure everyone had food to eat.
Thursday we decided to have the children go in and say their goodbyes to dad. I can’t even explain in words how heartbreaking that was. Ash, being the brave kiddo that she is decided she wanted to chat to dad alone, she told me. “I have things to say to him”, .and so reluctantly I closed the door behind them and waited quietly.
By Thursday night, dad was in a comatose state. He couldn’t communicate with us, and we had no idea of knowing if he was awake or asleep. That night I sat by dad’s bedside, my hand in his and watched tv shows on my laptop. By 6.00am I was exhausted and went to bed when my sister woke and said she would sit with dad for a while. I slept for an hour.
The usual rounds of nurses and doctors called by during the morning to give dad his meds and check on him. The palliative care staff called by to give dad a sponge bath, and I helped. All the while tears streaming down my face as I saw the pain and distress on dads face.
It was a quiet afternoon. No relatives stopping by. I sent Ash to a close friends for the afternoon, and my sisters youngest children were sent to a friends also, I guess in our hearts we knew that the kids just needed to be somewhere else that day.
My sister, my mother and I sat around dad’s bed, cranked up some of his favourite tunes and sang along, laughing about how he would be telling us to shut up and stop ruining his songs.
At 2:45pm my brother, sister, mum and myself were all sitting by dads bed. My brother and I were holding his hands. We sucked back our tears and told dad it was okay for him to let go. There were other things said, but I’ll keep those private.
At 3:00pm dad fell asleep in death.
The rest is a blur really. There were people everywhere. Ambulance officers, doctors, nurses, palliative care workers, family. There were suddenly people everywhere. I didn’t pay attention though, I let the noise all pass by in the background. I just sat there and held my dad’s hand and and watched the clouds pass through the sky.
Right now I don’t know what to feel, what to think. I’m so angry, but then I’m also just so very tired. I feel numb. We were supposed to have a family celebration over the weekend, but dad died the day before. So instead of exchanging gifts and creating some memories, we were planning his funeral.
I want to say thanks to all who have sent messages of love and support over the last few months. Some of you have been so kind to message me and show love after I posted about dads diagnosis. Even though I don’t know many of you in real life, your words have been comforting. I don’t know what else to say, except thank you for not leaving during this.
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