Topic: Dad passed away Christmas Day
The Christmas angels called Dad to be with God tonight, on Christmas Day. Even though my family was somewhat prepared for the inevitable, never in our wildest dreams did we think he would leave us on Christmas Day. He went so quietly and quickly, and no one in our family was with him at the last moments. That is what hurts the most right now. There were changes the past couple of days that I should have taken more seriously, like the congestion in his lungs, sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty eating. Somehow I thought that as long as he had his incredibly healthy appetite and was eating like a horse, he would be with us for a long, long time. However, Hospice called today while I was preparing Christmas dinner for my family, saying he developed pneumonia, but were quite uncertain about whether this was the beginning of the end. We decided that I would continue cooking my dinner, and they would treat his symptoms and keep him comfortable. Later this evening the nursing home called and said I better come because he may not last. By the time my brother and I got there, he was gone. We didn't even get to say goodbye. I was quite a mess, but the hospice social worker was able to offer me some comfort. Perhaps my dad didn't want a lot of people around and preferred to spend his final moments in peace and solitude. Maybe he even picked Christmas Day as the day he would be in heaven with my mom. Only God knows.
At least I am grateful that he was in no pain and very little distress, and that he did not suffer the discomfort that others have faced in their last days of this horrible disease.
On the upside, I was so glad I could bring all my girls to spend time with him on Christmas Eve. Although he was very sick and unresponsive, he sat up in his wheelchair and ate a little bit, and I could tell he was very happy grateful to see his grandchildren.
I hope I can survive the coming days of mourning and funeral arrangements.