A Summer of Loss

This summer has been a difficult one for my family.  In the spring, my Mother and Father, after much encouragement by me and my siblings, decided to sell their own home in another city and move in with my husband and me.  We began work on an addition to our house for them while they moved into a small guesthouse 15 minutes away after their house sold in an incredible 5 days!

The move was hard.  The process of starting the construction was hard, as it has rained almost daily all summer, flooding at times.  But the hardest thing was that on June 18th, just three weeks after their move here, my Dad had a brain bleed while they were visiting out of town.  The next two months were heart wrenching as we watched him try so hard to recover, but ultimately he had two more bleeds and he died August 6th, having spent the final six days of his life in an inpatient hospice care unit.

He was courageous and never complained.  He denied having any pain. But watching him lose physical strength, his voice, swallowing ability, and at times, mindfulness was hard on all of us, as I am sure it was for him.

His home going service, Saturday August 10th, was a celebration, as we all know we will see him again someday when we, too, are reunited with him in Heaven.  My siblings and I have shared fond remembrances of him and my sister Carol put together a photo montage to music of his and Mom’s life together.

We are heartbroken.  We miss him terribly.  His recent diagnosis of dementia had been a source of some concern, as one of his brothers died in October 2012 after a lengthy decline from Alzheimer’s.
He had begun to show some signs of decline.  In one sense, his rather quick death from another cause is somewhat easier to endure and feels to me like God’s kind and compassionate closing of this final chapter of Daddy’s life sooner rather than later and spared Daddy and those who loved him from losing him an inch at the time, by degrees, over what could have been several years.  I’m not sure my Mother would agree.  But I do know that God knows best and acts out of love for us all.  I trust that this is what God chose and, because of that, I do not grieve like those who have no hope.  I will enjoy Daddy’s company again.  And even now I can hear his voice in my heart.  I can remember the feel of his hand holding mine.  And I know that he is still with me and always will be.

I love you, Daddy.