Just like a book has a final chapter, my Dad experienced his final chapter in this world.
It’s been an emotional roller coaster for me during this time. I was doing everything I could to stay present with what was ahead of me. As much as I wanted “what’s next” for him, I was already grieving what I was losing each day I spent with him while he was in hospice.
Watching his body decline more and more each day felt unbearable at times. When he rallied for a few days, I knew this was part of the process that would most likely be short lived…which it was.
Even though I was with him every day, there was a part of me that wanted to stay safe and not have to “feel all the feels.” It just felt too painful.
That all changed when the nurse asked me to hold his hand when going back into the room. She let me know that Dad had a tear in his eye from when she was with him and thought he could use the support even if it didn’t feel like he was aware of what was going on.
My Dad always told me that I was his number one cheerleader when it came to doing what I could to help him create a better life for himself. And I wasn’t going to let him down this time.
Once I reached for his hand, it was as if any barriers that had been there began to melt away. I could feel my body begin to relax as I let go of any expectations (real or perceived) around how this time would go. It was just me supporting my Dad in his final few days.
Saying goodbye to him each time I left hospice was so emotional with not knowing if it would be my last goodbye. But I knew that I had done everything that I could to let him know how loved he was and to be in a peaceful place when it was his time to transition out of his body.
It’s been almost a month since Dad left this world. Some days it feels like it’s been so much longer, and other days I feel like he just left.
I don’t know what’s ahead of me as I continue to process what I’ve been through. I’m traveling in uncharted territory as I make sense of my world without my Dad.
Reflecting back on the last month, the greatest lesson that has come out of this experience is my desire to be even more intentional about how I live my life. It has me questioning how I want to spend my time and energy moving forward.
Stepping away from social media for the last month has me more fully involved in my life. Sure, I’ve been on it here and there, but I’m finding that it doesn’t bring more meaning to my life.
I want to show up in my life and focus on what matters most to me. Whatever that happens to be at the time.
Have you learned a lesson from losing someone you love? Go ahead and let me know in the comments below.
As always, should you have any questions or want to connect, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.