Friday, 27 May 2011

He's gone

And I am sad. It's the end of a very long road.

Monday, 23 May 2011

We carry on

I am waiting for the phone to ring and for my sister to tell me he is gone.

I hate leaving him. I hate leaving him, so dosey on morphine now delivered intravenously because he struggling to swallow the pills. I hate leaving him alone with his music and the kind nursing staff.

Mum doesn't seem to want to stay beyond him falling asleep. She is trying to keep hold of the remnants of 'normal'.

Weeks have become days, and days will become hours.

I feel guilty for not being at his side, but must follow Mum's lead. She is is the person who we now need to travel along with. We'll do whatever is right for her as she loses the love of her life.

We have said our 'I love you's and goodbyes.

I hope he knows we are with in thought even when were are not present. I don't know what he knows of it all.

It is so very lonely for all of us. We can't reach the person we are so desparate not to lose.

I know that in years to come I will read these pages and weep. Today, I just want someone to hold me. Does he too?

I feel guilty leaving him there, but the time for vigil will come. Until then there is work to be done, and dishes to be washed, and tears to be shed so that when we are there gentleness and smiles are what he hears.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

It's time to say goodbye

My father is dying. I have said goodbye to him so often, fearing that he would no longer be there when I came back. This time though, I know it's real. I've returned early from a holiday to be with him and my family.

I'm beginning to regret leaving the hospital this afternoon. Mum, and my brother and sister are due to return in hour or two and I think I should go as he may not be here tomorrow.

His breathing is laboured. His chest rattles as struggles for breath and to cough. He is grey.

Nothing will ever prepare you for the sadness of helping to feed the man who once fed you, or hearing him desperately trying to cough and failing. Knowing that nothing you do will make it better, only less difficult.

He is in his last days, if not his last hours.

The man I love most in the world is leaving me.

The last seven years have been so very hard. He's gone from knowing something was wrong as his memory began to fail him to being bed bound and shrunken, unable to do anything other hold our hands. Dementia is cruel. A silent thief.

Nothing will now stop this relentless decline. Each week has brought a new loss. We have fought hard for him, to get and give him the care he has needed with respect and kindness, and he has fought to stay present.

It is time for him to go. It is time for us to help him do that with peace and love. I just don't want him to be alone or scared.

Perhaps this evening will be the last time we are all together as a family, and I will say good bye one last time.