Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pop is gone

Death came for Pop last night.  I received the call that he was not doing well around 10:30 PM.  I threw on some clothes and drove to the nursing home.  But I was too late as he died about five minutes before I got there.  He liked to do things on his terms so I suspect this was another opportunity to slip away when no one was there.

I spent time alone with him, before the night nurse came in to wash the body.  It wasn't coincidence that she was someone that I met and worked with during the Presidential campaign.  And then the same Hospice nurse who had attended to Mom when she died in February was there as well. She said that it was special to be there for both of them.  We talked about how he seemed to give up after Mom died--not wanting to eat, talk or participate in activities. After being together for so many years, I suppose it just was too much to fight to live anymore. 

And when the funeral home staff came to take him away, his gurney was draped in the American flag. Another special and reverential act that was  tremendously moving to me. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in the Pacific on landing crafts.  The fellow from the funeral home was also kind, and physically reminded me of my own father--tall and distinguished looking with white hair. 

I'm glad that I spent time with Pop and pushed him around the complex over the weekend.  He sat in the sun and listened to the birds. We went to a meditation garden, and he seemed to enjoy being outside.  I told him about the vegetable garden and what I was harvesting,  how his cat was doing and that C. was out of town for a few days.  He seemed to be tranquil and peaceful. 

I debated about whether to call my wife, but thought that she would want to know.  So I talked with her this morning, and she seemed accepting. I want her to enjoy the rest of her vacation.  I'll go to the funeral home this morning and make calls to his siblings.  Everything is taken care of here. 

It's a lot to absorb right now.  I will miss my visits to him.  He was a force. And now he is gone.

40 comments:

  1. You and C have gone through so much transition this year. I hope you take good care of yourselves and each other as you move through these cycles of life and death. Praying for both of you xo

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    1. Trying to, Nyssa. Doing my best each day.

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  2. There can such a feeling of peace when someone dies after such a long lingering. It is as you can take a breath now- the work has been done. I will be thinking about you and your wife. It is been a hard year for her and for you, too. It will be a different world without any parents in it. May you hold each other tightly and venture out into it together, figuratively now that she is away, but literally when she gets home.
    Peace.

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    1. I know that he was ready to go. I am glad that he isn't suffering and feeling sad. But I still miss him.

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  3. hugs man.
    i am glad you got that time as well.
    hard too with your wife still out of town,
    i hope she is ok. and know he is hopefully
    by the one that gave him reason in life,
    his wife...smiles.

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    1. Me too, Brian. They are both in the spirit world now.

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  4. Sorry to hear this, Syd. But it sounds like you have been able see him and spend time with him. I hope there's solace in a difficult time.

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  5. Sorry for your loss Syd. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and C.

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  6. So sorry Syd. Prayers and kind thoughts for you and your wife as you deal with your loss. It's been a tough year for you guys.

    Sherry

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  7. Dear Syd:

    I've started reading your blog some months ago. Your words have been really helpful to me. I've received a lot from your strenght and courage to face life on the most dignifying way. I know there are not right words when there's a big sorrow in our hearts, but I just wanted to stop by to tell you: You will overcome from this, Syd; but you don't have to do it right away. I wish I could tell you something else to cheer you up, cause what you've written in this blog has been like a life-jacket to me so many times.

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  8. Oh Syd, the flag got me too. I am so sorry for you and C, but I am relieved for Pop. Also....you, my secretly famous friend, are an amazing husband, son in law and friend. (((HUG))) You and C are in my thoughts.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss Syd. I will keep you and the family in my prayers. ((hugs))

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  10. Syd, that is such a beautiful entry. I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was at peace and I am glad you got to get him outside one last time.

    My grandfather was a WWII vet and I remember the flagged draped over his coffin and the given to my Grandmother in ceremony.

    I hope your wife can still enjoy the rest of her vacation. I am sure she was prepared (well as much as one could be) sense you knew he was fading into the after life already. Take care my friend. I will be praying for you.

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    1. It is powerful and such a dignified moment.

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  11. Dear Syd,

    It seems that another chapter has ended for you and C - - - hopefully, the wisdom and strength of these two very senior folks will radiate spiritually in and for both of you.

    God bless you for all the service that you provided during their last days. Giving of one's self is just about the most unselfish thing that one can do. You are a great example of Al-Anon recovery: in order to keep 'what you have' you must give it away. You have.

    Hugs,
    Anonymous #1

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  12. Sending my condolences Syd. Sometimes the impact of the loss of these important people catches us off guard in quiet moments. That is how it has been for me. We will keep them forever in our hearts and remember them with love.

    Caring thoughts sent to you from Texas ~
    Robin

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  13. Isn't it awesome that C got some restful peace? So sorry for your loss.

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  14. You didn't mention if you saw Pop on Father's Day like you'd planned, but I hope you were able. I hope your wife is ok. At least she is among friends.

    My thoughts go to you both. It's been a difficult year for you both, but your strength through it all has been inspiring to read.

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  15. My condolences to you and your wife. May you both feel at peace. It must be comforting to know you brightened one of his last days.

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  16. What a year you and your wife are having, Syd. I'm glad your father-in-law is at peace and I was moved to think of him as a young man in WWII, that gurney with a draped flag. Sympathy to you and C, take care.

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  17. Oh Syd, I'm so glad you were able to be there for the rituals of his passing. I think it is an important passage for the living to participate in. It preserves the dignity of our loved one. You were a good son in law and you did right by him and C. Wishing you ease and comfort over the days to come.

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  18. My dear Syd, What a huge difference you made in that man's life. You were there when it really mattered, and when no one else was. God bless you.

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  19. So sorry for your loss. You write so movingly, and you've touched my heart many times. Prayers for you and yours...
    Eve

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  20. Dear Syd, my heart felt sympathies to you and your wife. You were an important part of your father in laws life and a constantly good son in law. Be good to yourself.

    Canadiancat
    Kathy

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  21. So sorry for your loss but I am so grateful that you and your wife took an active part in the passing of her parents. You were there for them much more than many people are. I have no family and I know my passing will be left to others to arrange. I think we all need to leave the details seen to as C's parents did. I feel most strongly about the hospital or whoever honoring my living will. Much too much money is wasted on senseless procedures to prolong a life that is leaving this earth. I love God and know that there are many mansions in His house. Love, Kathy

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  22. My heart is with you, Syd. You showed up for your father-in-law in such a deep and loving way. Both you and C. have faced profound loss this year with incredible grace.

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  23. I'm sorry for your loss. It's such a blessing that you spent time with him over the weekend. That will be a sweet memory. Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.

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  24. Syd,
    My My Dad was a WW2 veteran. He had a military funeral. He hadn't ever expressed any particular wishes with regard to his funeral. Those things mattered very little to him. But we (his children) decided to accept the offer on his behalf. It was moving and my son still has the shell casings from the gun salute. You were kind to share in his life and his death. Sorry for the difficult year you have been having.

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    1. It has been a year with a lot of loss. I am hoping the rest of the year is about the living.

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  25. I'm so sorry, Syd. The love and compassion you have shown your father-in-law through challenging times is inspirational. What really touches my heart, though, is the relationship you have with C -- the love and compassion and respect. It really shows in your words: "I'll go to the funeral home this morning and make calls to his siblings. Everything is taken care of here." Sending you and C many thoughts and prayers of peace.

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    1. Thanks Dorothy. I don't think that I did anything that was special--just what I think a person who has feelings must do. I feel so much compassion for those who are left behind. I have been awakened to loving others.

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  26. Your tags say it all Syd. For all time the forces of one generation have been giving way to what follows. We may have a few years left us yet but we too will give way. Give the old sailor a salute from me.

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    1. Mark, will do. You understand.

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  27. Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts. I surely miss him. He was cantankerous and took no prisoners but somehow we had an understanding and a bond. And it was good that we spent time together, often he would not speak at all, but I would talk to him and tell him that he was loved. One sided conversations are okay and sometimes that's just enough.

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  28. Awwww, He heard you Syd. I know that he did.

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  29. I wonder if he served with my father! I'm so sorry, Syd. Double loss, what, six months? Thoughts are with you.

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  30. So sorry Syd...the pain of loss is so difficult...Prayers go out to you & C. Here is a powerful poem about finding hope through loss...John O'Donohue also writes "On the Death of a Beloved", which is beautiful
    God Bless...
    http://youtu.be/ZfvS2LYbZLQ

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