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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............

Janet
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Janet,

My prayers are with you. You're story of your Dad's passing is beautiful. I hope that you are finding just a teensy bit of comfort from knowing he is no longer in pain. It will take time but I do hope that you are doing the best you can at this time. Again, I'm sending you my sincerest condolences.

~Jane
{{Janet}}
My deepest sympathy for your loss Angel. What an amazing journey home for your dad. He has been blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. You show such strength. Thank you for sharing your story during such a difficult time. May you continue to heal and be gentle to yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Hugs,
Robin~
Hello Janet...

I am sorry to learn of your dad's passing. He was such a strong force in your life... and you were truly a gift to him as much as he was to you..

I am glad you called in hospice.. he was i need of it back in October, but the choices were for both of you... the irony of hospice.. is that many can buy into it as a death sentence.. but wsith hsopice there are many who's illness remits and they are sent home..hospice is so vitally important to assist the patient with their pain, and helping them to transition with more ease.. and others need to know that it is important as well.

I think that your dad held on for you.. for you to have the time you needed with him.. to be able to find this site, the support you have received, to process and so much more.

For you to be able to tell him he could go last week shows the beautiful shift in side him... you dad may have been afraid to die until he saw his friend who had passed. Sharing the healings that took place between the two of you are the most valuabe gifts.. asking to forgive and forgivinging... making ammends and letting the love truly come through.

And it is so good to hear that you stayed fully present with him...not worryihg about your mother...Janet... you have come so far since you first came on board...

the incident with the music and cd player just welled me in tears... "his passing was good.. and he died a : good death" that you were able to make possible for him....

{{{{Janet}}}} you will feel lost.. and his loss will be felt on so many occassions... but this is all a part of grieving... be gentle and nuruturing with yourself as he would want you to... you have a beautiful heart and now its time that you do things for you....and uncover more of the real you...

richest blessings on your journey

gail
Janet,
What a gift he gave you . In reading your
post I could imagine your Dad smiling as
you heard that song. How very loving.
Do hope you will be able to persue some of your life in future months even if it is only in small segments of time. Both of your
parents were so blessed to have a daughter such as you. In being a caregiver it has made me do some introspecting on my own life.
Which of my children would be able to care for me. They are great kids but I cant see any of them able to be in it for the long haul. Caregivers are few and far between.
Know you are good to your parents. Grive and
know you did all possible.
Janet;

I am sitting here typing this with tears running down my face. And remembering how my sister said good-bye to us. She was 34 and terminally ill with two forms of cancer. My Mother dropped my father off to stay with me as she was heading down (6 hour drive to my sisters) to check on how she was. When she arrived she was told by my sister in a suprise of conciousness "to get us down there". Mom immediately called me and we left within minutes as we kept our bags packed for this reason. Upon our arrival; my sister for the second time that day; opened her eyes. My mother asked her if she knew who was there. She asked if "Dad and I had arrived". Mom answered yes. She looked at me in the face and smiled and closed her eyes. I decided to stay the night with her and help care for her. That night at 2 AM she began gasping for breath, I tilted her head back in my arms to give her a clearer air passage. She took one breath, opened her eyes and smiled at me as if saying good-bye and left us right then.

My sister had been semicomatose for weeks. Never speaking a word during this time until that day. She chose her time, and the way she wanted to go. She was right where she wanted to be, in my arms.

Your post of your father brought this memory flooding back to my mind. As he chose when he wanted to go. And who would be there with him.

Know your father loved you deeply and even though he wanted you with him during this time, he didn't want you to watch it, but left you the gift of knowing he said good-bye as my sister did with me.

Ces.
{{{Janet}}}

I had to respond. I have witnessed some odd things when my Mom passed and my sister.
I have know doubt that your Dad was trying to tell you "see, I am over the rainbow, don't worry."
Love and Hugs,
Sue

[This message has been edited by Notenoughhours (edited 07-06-2005).]

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