My father passed away this afternoon. He took a turn for the worse last night and they advised the family to get down there as soon as possible. His organs were starting to shut down and basically just the ventilator was keeping him alive at that point, and the medicine/antibiotics they were using to try and treat the pneumonia weren't working. I was just leaving the ICU and heading home after being with him for several hours, when my aunt, who was still there, called me and told me he was coding. And by the time I got back, he was gone.
I'm heartbroken, of course, but at the same time, I'm glad he's not suffering and in pain anymore. He was in so much pain the past few years, and his body was just shutting down from exhaustion. He fought the good fight until the very end, but his body just wore out. It was just time. And I think I kind of knew that, even though it's still extremely painful.
I was not there when he passed away. My aunt and my grandmother were. They said it was very peaceful. I'm just so happy that I got to see him one more time, and say what I needed to say, and tell him how much I loved him, and to say goodbye. I thanked him for being such a good dad to me and told him how much I appreciated everything he ever did for me. He took me to my first Phillies game. He taught me to tie my shoes. He passed down his love of classic rock to me. He took me for my learner's permit. He gave me his crazy thick hair and a good sense of humor. I thanked him for all that and everything else. I said what I needed to say, and even though he was unconscious/heavily sedated the entire time, I know he could hear me. And I'm so glad I got the opportunity to do that, to say goodbye. I would not have been able to live with myself if I had missed that opportunity.
We're having a small memorial service on Sunday, just the family, at my uncle's house. In the meantime, I'm coping the best way I know how. In a way, since I know this has been coming for a long time, it's not a shock, but it still feels surreal. I knew that this day was coming, but now that it's here, it just feels like it's still not really here. I know it's going to take time and it's going to hurt. But I am glad that he's not suffering, and I hope that he is finally finding the peace he struggled to find here on Earth. The last few years were so hard on him, physically, mentally, and emotionally... I'd like to believe that he's at peace now, at last.