Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Death and Dying....

An old family photo. My dad is standing in the back on the right.
After he passes, I am the only person in this photo who is still alive as his brother, parents and my mom have passed on before.

I must come clean just a bit here. For several years now, I cared for my father who has been declining in physical and mental health as he has aged. About 4 years ago, he entered assisted living nearby where he thrived for quite some time until the past couple of months.

When he began to be hospitalized about 6 weeks ago, I began a struggle with doctors, the nursing home, and other powers that be to help me find a new routine for him going forward where we would offer comfort but would acknowledge the fact that his heart condition and other problems were too advanced to actually "treat" anymore. Last week, the plans were finalized to bring him back home. And the new goal is comfort all the way.

I've been working closely with our local hospice. We set up the front room here as a bedroom with hospital furniture and on Friday morning, we brought Dad home. One of my sisters is a registered nurse. She came into town on Thursday night so that together, and using any resources and help we could get, we began to care for him here in his home.

It's been a bit shocking how quickly he has relaxed into his final decline. So we are into the final period of his time here and it's been both very sad, and very gratifying that his children are here or have been coming through; friends are stopping by to visit; and he's receiving 24 hour care with plenty of TLC. He seems to know that he is back home and so can begin the process of his final "letting go."

So everything else on my "to do" list except for the final plans for his funeral and memorial are on hold. And I'm not really working on any of my "normal" work right now....I felt compelled to post this update for my friends and readers here and so that I would have this explained in one place that I can direct my Etsy and ArtFire friends and customers to for as long as needed.

I expect to post an update when he passes on and can write a little bit more than. Thank you friends for listening and more later, Karen


Anonymous said...

How wonderful for your father, and for your family. He will spend his last days in a familiar place with loving people. With Spring coming on he will watch the world dress itself in beauty. May we all be so fortunate at the closing of our earthly lives.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear this. But glad also; glad that your father can come to rest in his own house surrounded by familiar faces. That's really always the best, and I'm sure he appreciates greatly everything you are doing for him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

randomcreative said...

Prayers for you and your family during this time. I hope that things go smoothly in every way that they can and that your dad has the peace that he needs in his final days. *hugs*

Ann said...

I'm so sorry to hear Karen. It's good though that your father is surrounded by loved ones and relaxing in. My thoughts and prayers are with you

Anny said...

You are doing a wonderful thing to bring your dad home to familiar grounds and faces. May you have the strength needed to get through this and may your dad's journey home be a peaceful one.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Duni said...

Karen, I'm sorry to hear about your father's declining health, but glad that he is back home and in the care of you and your family. This makes me think about my mother and how I will cope when the time comes...
Wishing you and your family strength during this trying time.
Keeping you in my thoughts,


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