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A release

Just before 8am yesterday morning, dad was released from the pain and suffering he has endured these last few weeks. It was sad to see him take those last few breaths, but it had been worse to watch him become a shell of the man I knew.

Gradually over the weekend, he had lost the ability to swallow and stopped responding to our words and touch. He lay in his bed, in the living room, a presence, but someone you felt was not really there. Over night on Sunday, his breathing had seemed even, though at times a little laboured, but at 7 when I began to get ready for a day’s work, he seemed stable. I truly believed at that time, he would last at least till evening. At around 7.50am, I sensed a change in his breathing (we had rigged a baby monitor into my room) and I ran down. He was taking just the occasional breath. I called mum and she came and sat with him, holding his hand and speaking gently to him as he passed away.

No one wants to lose someone close, much less a parent. As one of my brothers said yesterday afternoon – I never thought this day would come. But come it has and when it did it was a release for him and for all of us.

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