Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Beautiful Father Is Gone

Tonight at between 5pm and 545pm my father passed away quietly in his sleep. I arrived at the house for my normal visit around 505pm, mom told me that dad was sleeping after a rough day. He was talking and had gotten some morphine at around 4pm and was now quietly sleeping. I hurriedly set up my 5x7 in the waining daylight and mom went to take a nap. As I was photographing dad he did not move for quite a long period of time. I became concerned and checked his breathing but could not hear anything. I shook him and spoke to him but got no response. Dads stomach and body were quite hot but his face and hand were starting to get cold. I kissed him on the forehead and said "I love you so much dad!" I sat down for a moment on the sofa and just looked at him, then I went to tell mom who was still asleep in her bed. Mom awoke suddenly with a start when I went into her dark bedroom. I took her hand and she asked in a loud frightened voice "Is dad still alive?" (she must have had a premonition, she knew the end was very near) I told her "I think dad is gone." and then she started crying.

I feel numb, not sure why but I have not cried yet. I teared up several times but have not let loose yet. I have cried so many times over the last year, and yet now I cannot? In a way this is what dad wanted, he did not want to die in a hospital and he wanted to die in his sleep. Mom kept him in his home till the end and dad died relatively peacefully and not in a lot of pain. His condition worsened rapidly over the last 4 or 5 days. The last 2 weeks were the worse for dad but for the most part he was able to live fairly comfortably, fairly well in his last year of life. Maybe that is why I have not cried, I know that dad is not suffering, I know that dad died with those around who loved him. I am also happy that I was able to tell dad many times what a great father he was and how much I loved him.

I am not sure if I was photographing dad at the moment he passed, or if it happened just before I arrived. I heard nothing, dad looked so so peaceful, and relaxed. I did not think anything was wrong. My father was there for me right up to the end, even allowing me to make pictures at the time of or within a few minutes of his death. The family funeral will be later this week.

Somehow this does not seem real to me, maybe I am in some kind of shock. I know one thing, my father was always there for me, I could always count on him my whole life. Now things will never be the same, I will have no one to tell my silly stories to or to get advise from. I feel lost and alone. He was a great father, now the tears are coming, I need to stop writing......

Dad, a  cropped picture from a cruise he took with mom on their 50th anniversary in 2007