The last 24 hours have made quite an impact. My father is at peace now. He died tuesday at 10:38pm. He was 68 years old. My mom and I were with him and it was sad and surprising, touching and awful.
he was in a coma when I arrived yesterday I think (he didn't move, didn't open his eyes(they were just half open as he slept), didn't respond to talking or touching). But still he was breathing, with some difficulty.
I said goodnight to him, kissing him on the forehead. my mom went to give him his medicine and she looked at his nailbeds again (they were a bit blue before) and she called me over because they were worse. We sat near him and I held his arm, leaning my head on his shoulder, saying something every so often in case he heard me.
Then my mom starting talking to him louder and with greater urgency "It's okay joe. We're here. You can go" and I looked up. His eyes were fully open, and he looked at us with intensity - no fear, no question, just looking - and his color was quite different and something in me knew he was leaving us, so I told him I loved him, told him goodbye, told him we'd be okay, he could go, etc. All the while (all 30? seconds) stroking his arm and kissing his forehead. He took two more breaths about 10 seconds apart, and then he stopped. I didn't know if he was gone or not, my mom put her head to his chest and listened.. his heart was still going. We said a few more words and then he took a small breath and then slowly closed his eyes. I told my mom and she listened again. Then she got her stethoscope (she is a nurse)and listened. He was gone. We said a prayer, thanking Jesus for taking him and that it was over.
Since it was bad weather, it took a long time for the nurse to come, then a long time for the funeral home to come and I spent much of that time hugging my mom, or lingering near my dad's body. I knew he wasn't there, but I didn't want to leave it. So so so strange.
I know we all know this day will come for those we love and there is no way to prepare for it, but there is no way to explain it either. I feel relief (and thankfully no guilt for feeling that), frustration and despair (because I have so many things I forgot to ask him.. how to use this, how did he feel about that, I can't tell him this or that anymore), loss - my dad is gone - I can't hug him, hold him, tell him i love him, try to win his approval anymore, work to give him that special christmas gift that will touch him so much he will cry and gush at how much he loves it. loss..
It feels like he left a hole, but really, that is impossible. He left me with knowledge, talents he passed to me, memories, and love. His opinion of me greatly affected me. His faith in me helped me to try new things. His life taught me some about how to live and as we live, we teach those around us. He was a wonderful teacher and I'll miss learning from him.