My Father/best friend died Friday morning around 4:03 am - on 6/3/05 after a battle with prostate cancer - which he was diagnosed w/ in July 1995 and was declared terminal in October 2004. He was given a week to live on 11/14/04 - lasted 7 months - 12 days shy of his 83rd birthday - and missing Father's Day - but a short time as well.
When original diagnosed w/ the terminal illness - I couldn't believe it - given a week - I cried and cried and cried - but still couldn't believe it. 1 1/2 weeks ago -KNEW his battle was coming to an end - placed him on hospice 1 week before he died. I wonder sometimes if he died because he knew I "gave up".
Last Saturday he almost left us. My friend who was a nurse was here - he was actively dying. Would stop breathing for 60 seconds -breath again - weak pulse - he should have really gone that night. He saw his best friend who died 1 1/2 years ago - Me and my daughter told him he could go.......told him how much we loved him - and then by morning he snapped out of it - with this scared look - and sadness - asked "Why did you let me go - you should have never let me go?" - I thought that is what you are supposed to do - let them go - apparently he was not ready. He bounced back for 3 days - although still very weak - telling stories - looking a pictures - holding hands - I got to apologize for sometimes being mean - but let him know I always always always loved him.
Wednesday night he became very aggitated - thought I was his Mommy. He was screaming trying to get out of bed - but just so weak....I have to go ....I have to go....I have to get up....I have to get in the box..... I sat here trying to take comfort that there were others waiting for him to come home. Although spiritual - never really religious - I am very visual - and although I like to believe there is a better place for him to go - I knew he was so scared. I am not sure if he was scared of death or leaving me or my daughter.
His last words to me Thursday morning before slipping into a coma - was "You did a good job". During the day Thursday I watched him dying - the body was there - but my Daddy was gone.....I KNOW he could hear every word that I said - talked to him ALL day - telling stories - asking questions - then answering for him....I could here him now - "Will you just be quiet".....A lady who was helping with my Mom (I couldn't deal w/ both that day) - bought in some CD's to see if my Mother would like them. Probably not I thought but I will take a look. All of a sudden there was a CD of Somewhere Over the Rainbow - my Father's favorite song - he sung or whislted that everyday while I was growing up. So I played that 3 times - along with his favorite string band music. I told him he could go over the rainbow to be with the birds - now he can fly too....I cried as I held him - saying I am sorry I can't help you anymore - I really tried....I am helpless I don't know what to do - I don't know how to help you....I am sooo sooo very sorry.........
About 11:00 pm - shut off the music and just started watching TV - something we did together every night. I fell asleep about 2:00 am on the couch next to him where I have slept for 7 months kissed him goodnight - told him "See you in the morning" (something we said to each other for 20 + years - and for the 1st time he couldn't answer me - but told him - only if he wanted to....my daughter and 2 of her friends laid on the floor by his bed watching tv until about 3:30 - and finally fell asleep. He was still breathing.......At 4:03 am - we were woken up by the CD player - blasting - Somewhere over the Rainbow - we looked over and my Daddy was gone. That radio had been off for 5 hours - 4 buttons needed to be pushed to get the CD working. He was saying good-bye. I know.......There is something out there......what peace that gave me. I was happy - relieved - so glad he was going to another place. He was with me - I felt him -every part of him. It was an amazing experience. I called the hospice nurse - who only met him twice - and couldn't believe what happened.
You hear amazing stories ALL the time - but wonder is that really true - until it happens to you........it is true - there is something out there...........My CD has NEVER gone on by itself - ever..........playing his favorite song.
I was able to make the arrangements yesterday - quite easily believe it or not. As I shut my eyes at night - for the 1st time knowing I wouldn't be woken up to use the urinal - for some reason - it hit me he was gone.........this morning I woke up and feel the same way. I don't feel him as much now - as I think he was taken further away - from the "real world" to his new home. I want to feel him like I did yesterday. I looked in the mirror yesterday and saw his eyes in mine. I know he was there. I guess he will always be - but for some reason - now I am beginning to feel lost.
But how amazing is that.............I kept wondering yesterday - why did this happen to us - this beautiful experience.........I really believe his LOVE for us was that strong. He didn't want to leave us - as I am sure nobody does -
I sooooooooooooooooo miss my Daddy...........and think each day will get harder - as I don't hear his voice - see his face - watch the Phillies with him.........I am lost - but keep trying to find comfort in the fact that he left us with the most beautiful gift of all..........knowing there is a heaven............