Made it to another Friday…Wow! Last Friday, I found myself totally out of the NCAA Bracketology pool at the office…my dad had been moved to Palative Care at the hospital to basically die…and the gal that sits next to me had a terrible bug (vomiting and diarrhea) so I had no choice but to go to work. I didn’t mind, I wanted to keep/stay busy…my sister had taken a couple of days off from her job and came to sit with Dad. We wanted one or both of us to be there with him when he took his last breath.
As it turned out, last Friday was one of those incredible early spring days where the temperatures soared into the 70s…though there was a heft breeze blowing, it was sunny and spring-like. My sister decided to grab a late lunch, do an errand before coming back to the hospital for a couple more hours…which she said it was weird, she decided to grab a bite to eat at the Sonic where she could sit in her car with the windows down and just enjoy the sunshine. She was only gone about an hour and a half. When she left Dad he was still doing the weird apnea sleep thing he’d been doing since we had him taken off of the machines…
My sister made it back up to Dad’s room about 3:20 p.m. He was breathing funny…short, weird breaths…she said she remembered leaning over and patting his bald head and telling him it was okay to let go, we wanted him at peace…and the next thing she knew he took a breath and didn’t let it go…just stopped breathing.
She stood there a while, a funny feeling coming over her…she finally went and got a nurse who asked if my sister had come back before he stopped breathing and my sister said yes. The nurse said she had hopped that my sister would return in time as when the nurse had checked on him 45 minutes beforehand, he had started what they call the death breaths…short little gasping like breaths…so, at 3:35 p.m. the nurse called my dad’s death.
My sister said there was a little flurry of folks in and out of Dad’s room. The doctor came in and listened to his heart, looking at him and such. The nurse told the doctor 3:35 p.m. , which is when they declared my dad, officially dead. My sister called me at 3:38 p.m. I was busy with all manners of crap at the office, but when I noticed she had called about 10 minutes later, she told me the news. Wow, again…what a relief!!
I remember sitting there at my desk…the little associate attorney that’s office is right across from mine was watching me. She came out and gave me a hug and told me it was okay to cry…my other co-worker, around the corner came around and she hugged me. They both told me I should go home…I snapped out of my tears and since my sister said she really didn’t need me, that she was going to go on home, I got back to the work in front of me.
I’m sure the HR thought I was one crazy gal. She came down to check on me and told me I could go home…I didn’t need to go home, I could finish out the day. It was now 4:15 p.m. I had a crisis of sorts to finish up and then I would give thought to calling it a day.
It was just too peaceful. We had expected Dad to linger through the weekend…don’t get me wrong, we’re glad he passed quietly and so quickly…
Is there an easy part when dealing with the death of a loved one? If I can get through this weekend and the next 30-days, I’ll be fine. I know I can…the hardest part, saying good-bye and having the machines turned off are done…now, just cleaning up the pieces and life left behind.
Spring is creeping in…the birds are singing before the sun comes up…the flowers and trees are budding out…a couple more cold snaps and we’ll be done with ol’man winter for this year.
Yes, it’s finally Friday!