My father died in the early hours of Monday, December 3rd. As you might guess, I’m sad and miss him terribly.
Three days before his passing, he started displaying signs of a flu or bad cold. He even took his bicycle to pick up the mail that day. The symptoms got worse, and when they became bad enough, and he also became occasionally delirious because of his fever, my Mom called an ambulance. The doctors soon learned the bad news that he had pneumonia and his condition looked dire. Despite this, he told my mom that he wanted his reading glasses and his newspaper.
That day my sister called me with the news. In the evening, my mom and my sister called, telling me that I’d better get down there. Given that I was unlikely to sleep that night, I packed the car and was on the road at 12:15 am. I pulled into the hospital parking lot at 6:00 am and my phone rang. It was my mother calling with the news that my father had passed. I was upset because I’d missed seeing him. She told me to come home anyway. I said I’d be there in ten minutes. Her reaction reminded me that I hadn’t told her I’d driven through the night. Instead of leaving, I went into the hospital to see my father.
As I made my way to him, my sister called. She told my that she was bringing my mom, and they’d be there in 15 – 20 minutes. I found my father’s ‘room’ in the observation section of the emergency department. I grabbed the curtain with both hands and paused. I tried to control my breathing. I’ve never lost anyone close to me. I’ve never seen a dead person. I didn’t know what to expect on the other side of the curtain. I didn’t know what to expect from this moment forward, now that my dad was gone.
I opened the curtain. Although his colour was wrong, he looked like he was sleeping. He was not suffering, and for that I am very grateful. I sat and cried. I also talked to him and told him that I loved him. I am so glad that I had that time alone with him. Of course I would have preferred to have seen him before he died, but I’m still very pleased to have had that time with him.
My dad was a very difficult man to get to know. He was far from perfect but he was my dad, and I love him. I missed seeing him alive one last time by just 45 minutes, and I’ll continue to miss him and love him for the rest of my days.