Last breath

On Wednesday last week my father died. I held his hand as he struggled to breathe. I told him that we were with him. It is all I knew to say. Rest easy Dad, I’m with you. You are not alone.

You made your choice to stop the pain and the indignity that you felt.

I don’t think that i will forget those last seconds when you pulled yourself out of the sleep induced by pain medication. Were you asking for help to breathe? Were you trying to communicate something else? Was your body just not working any more and reacting to the lack of oxygen?

All I did was hold your hand and comfort you as best I could, telling you that you were not alone. I didn’t do anything else. What else could I do? Could I have lowered the bed? Moved the pillow? But you chose to stop treatment, to remove the oxygen. To be left to pass away. Did you pass away peacefully? You were without pain.

But those last two breaths… I don’t think I will ever forget.

I am grateful that I got to be with you. To hold your hand. To say goodbye.

A friend said “There is no grief without love.”

I loved you so much that I’m afraid of the grief that must surely come.

I am numb. Will I stay this way?

My world was a joyful, loving and safe place because it had you there and I am a stronger person for it.

I love you dad xx