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.