Goodbyes are terrible

My dad died yesterday.

He was an amazing person, and we were so so lucky to have him. Whenever I had to tell anybody about his being sick, especially the folks who worked with or for him, they mentioned how kind he was. That’s a wonderful legacy and memory: kindness. Let’s all be kind to one another. We’re still figuring out what to do about a memorial or reception, given restrictions on groups. There will definitely be something as soon as it’s safe.

We were fortunate (eif that can be said) that during his hospitalization, which began in March, Mom was able to stay with him. She didn’t leave his side until the very end of his stay, when he went into the ICU and they did not allow any visitors at all. My brother and I were able to visit until the end of March, when the hospital locked it all down.

He came home April 20. We had been planning, until April 18, for him to come home into recovery and physical therapy. That changed when the tests came back showing that his cancer was growing, resistant to all the treatments. So I did a lot of phone calls with various services, sending the home health care equipment back and setting up for hospice instead.

The hospice staff were so wonderful. They have a tough job, made even more difficult during the lockdown and then the restrictions for COVID19. Still, we all felt very supported during the month that Dad was with us. I can’t really describe the experience, except to say that my perspective and reaction to announcements online about people who die of cancer has changed forever. For all that we were wonderfully, terribly grateful to have Dad physically with us for a little longer, the way that cancer eats its victims from the inside out is awful.

What do we do now?

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