Monday, December 29, 2014
Last night was a kind of a rough night. My dad was somewhat responsive Saturday morning. He opened his eyes when we called him, and when my mom pointed to me standing at the foot of the bed, he even looked towards me. It only lasted about a minute, but it seemed like he was making progress.
He hasn’t been responsive since then. Four visiting sessions in a row now, he’s been completely out. If you’re doing the math, I guess we’d call this one step forward and four steps back. So, we’re at minus-three if we’re keeping score.
Once we got back to the house we’re staying at (one of my dad’s friends, Tony, has very graciously offered to put us up), we started talking. My sister mentioned how there was so much stuff she wanted to say to him, and how hard it was knowing that she may not ever get to say these things to him. She wished that it didn’t have to happen so suddenly, that there was at least time to say… something… anything… before we may potentially have lost him for ever.
After a moment, though, the callous irony hit us….
Sure, it was sudden. Sure, my dad never knew (and probably still doesn’t) what hit him. And sure, we never got a chance to say what we wanted to say to him.
But from his perspective, it’s easier this way. At least he’s not suffering right now. At least he’s not going through the long ordeal of, say, losing a battle to cancer. Sure, the long, losing battle would give us time to say goodbye. It might even give us a chance to make peace with everything before losing him. But it also means months or even years of painful suffering.
It would have been easier for us, but not for him.
We still haven’t lost him, of course. Far from it, and I don’t want to sound so fatalistic. It’s just that… well, tonight was the first night we started considering the possibility of actually losing him.
And, you know what? If you have to go, this is probably the best way to go. I mean, it sucks for everyone else, but at least you won’t suffer.