Mum and I said goodbye to dad last night.
In his struggle with cancer he’s grown gaunt and has a yellow complexion. He can no longer communicate, though he stirs slightly when we speak to him. I took the day off work and spent it just being with them both, reading a book and sorting through his stuff.
A friend of the family rang mum early that evening and told us both how the nurse present at the death of his father-in-law had told his wife not to cling on to her dying father, but to be ready to say goodbye. Not long after she did that her father slipped away. Another friend had a similar experience too; his father died a few minutes after he told him it was ok to go. It seems us letting go helps them to let go too.
Dad’s made it clear that in himself he’s ready to go, quite looking forward to it actually, but we remembered how last weekend one of my cousins asked him (while he was still lucid) why was he hanging on. He said he didn’t want to leave me and mum.
So mum and I made the journey down the corridor and sat either side of dad’s bed, holding his hands, his eyes still closed, seemingly asleep. He stirred as my mum started. She told him it was ok, he didn’t have to hang on for us, he could go now. All I could say to him was thank you.
He had a peaceful night last night except for some pain in the morning. He’s ok but a bit weaker, we’ll see how he goes. I feel glad for having said goodbye properly, and for the opportunity to thank him.