Dad’s last day. #livinguntilwesaygoodbye

In keeping with Dad’s wishes, I documented our last day together.

I came up early in the morning yesterday and spent some hours by myself with Dad before the rest of the family arrived for our daily vigil.

I set up the space  I had an intense need to offer some kind of guidance for him.

I played the following video for Dad.  We were not interrupted and it was very powerful:

My father’s feet showed signs of mottling, so I had a lovely gentle conversation with the nurse and we inspected him and nodded silently to each other.  Dad continued his rhythmic breathing. interrupted here and there with some abrupt harsh intakes of breath.  His heart beat on, but there were arrhythmic moments and his pulse was weak.

His senses were shutting down.  Hearing though may be one of the last things to go.

I felt he needed to hear more gentle guidance, so I played him Swedish lullabies into his left ear, sung by his favorite actor, Allan Edwall:

The family arrived and we spent another beautiful day together.

My friend, Darcy, dropped off Sunshine Cake:

We played some of Dad’s favorite Swedish comedy and some of his favorite Disney movies:

The artist’s hand lies still.

Staff came in regularly to tend him and to check in.  The doctor felt Dad could hang on another two weeks.  I was confused as it did not feel right intuitively, and felt a panic well up.  I did not want Dad to suffer any more.

We had a lot of family discussions and then we packed up around 8:00/8:30 PM and turned off the lights except for the Christmas lights and diffuser.  Dad was peaceful and apparently painfree.  I sensed he needed time to concentrate and to complete the journey on his own.

15 minutes after we left, care aide Kim went in and checked on him and he was still breathing.  Then care aide Mike went in and discovered that Dad had stopped breathing.  I received the call as my son and I bit into our dinner at Burgoo.

We quickly headed up and when we walked into the room, Dad was surrounded by his beloved caregivers.  They had tended him so beautifully.

My son Julian, my brother Fredrik, my brother Anders and my sister-in-law Charmaine and I sat for an hour talking, laughing, sighing, breathing, planning, sharing shots of Dad’s whiskey in his honor.  Dad’s “baby,” Tobey, lay on Dad’s legs as we awaited the transfer of Dad’s body.

Today we will be sorting his room.  I am filled with joy, relief, love, sadness and all the beautiful emotions a daughter can feel losing her beloved father.  I have also lost my best friend and I sense that once the numbness wears off, I will experience intense loss in this regard, but I accept and welcome it for I am so lucky to have had such a friendship.

Much love to all of you.

I feel my Dad doing his signature thumbs up!

See also:

Life has no opposite

Healing sock monkey watching over Dad

Document it.  All of it.

We’ve become a band of gypsies

Dad’s inner work

Dad’s last day

A pencil box. Regarded with reverence.

Change.  What does it mean?

Saudade- the emotion of missing

I miss the mundane to-do lists

These days when I dream of Dad…

Found journal

Drawn Together

Cheers, Dad. I will miss our hot black coffee dates. Love you.

11 comments

  1. We should all be so blessed to be as lovingly accompanied from this world as your father was. Thank you for sharing your journey, your father’s transition and modelling such courageousness and tenderness.

  2. Kat, I feel so privileged to read and watch your father leaving this world and your impressions as it unfolded. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and his. It’s preciois imdeed.

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.
    What a beautiful and dignified path.
    If you need any thing at all please let us help!

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