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My precious Dad

Old 04-06-08, 02:04 PM
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Yen
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My precious Dad

We let go of my precious Dad last night, April 5, at 7:20 PM. His mental status had declined to the point that he was no longer opening his eyes at the sound of our voices as he had done earlier in the week. His diaphragm was not doing any work to breathe over the ventilator. His right hand and foot were cold as ice, another neurological sign of decline. His only response was to grimace in pain and discomfort when they tried to adjust his position. When he grimaced, a tear would roll down his cheek. The doctors unanimously agreed that he would not show any improvement after tomorrow when they initially said they'd determine an official prognosis.

All week we waited and stayed by him from morning to night. We looked for any sign of neurological improvement and hung on to hope. They wanted to attach the halo to stabilize his neck so it would heal; that procedure was repeatedly postponed while we waited for his head wound to heal and his anti-coagulant level to go down. His neurosurgeon had recommended surgery to fix his neck before attaching the halo. He also recommended an MRI to get a better picture of his neck, but my dad had a pacemaker installed in February to control atrial fib. MR can interfere with a pacemaker so a cardio-thoracic surgeon was called in to determine if my dad was pacer-dependent. He wasn't, so this doc offered an experimental MRI procedure that shields the pacer from damage during the MRI procedure. It's not without risks and would be difficult to do with a patient on a ventilator.

Finally, yesterday afternoon, my dad's internist -- a sweet angel in a white coat -- came to us in his room and gave us the hard truth. The doctors unanimously agreed that his condition on Monday would not be improved and he would continue to decline. He would be ventilator-dependent. He would gain absolutely nothing from the halo and surgery.

My family and I discussed his options. We did not want to put him through unnecessary surgeries and risky treatments, given the obvious signs of his declining condition. Last evening, we made the agonizing decision to let him go. The doctor placed the order to remove his breathing tube, and we let him go.

I swing from mind-numbing shock to anguish over his sudden loss and the tragic nature of his accident, especially in light of his vitality and overall good health. Yet, we believe God allowed this for bigger reasons and let it happen the way it did. We were ministered to by those who cared for him. His sweet doctor held us in her arms and gave us the cold hard truth in the most gentle way possible.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life without my dear, precious father. I want to call him and hear his cheerful voice say "Good morning!", which is how he would answer the phone day or night. He was a very out-going, lovable people person, genuinely interested in everyone he knew. Though he could not speak this week, his internist and the nurses said they could see that he was very special.

If you have not told a loved one that you love them, do it NOW, while they are here.
If you have been waiting for another time to visit, do it NOW if you are able, while they are here.
If it's hard for you to say "I love you" and show affection to your family and friends who mean the world to you, do it anyway, NOW, while they are here.

I'll be back when I'm ready to talk bikes again. I'll probably lurk until then. I truly appreciate all the kind words, prayers, and encouragement you offered in my other post. I feel among friends here.

Jen
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Old 04-06-08, 02:15 PM
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I'm so sorry this happened. You have been through such a terrible week.
Our prayers are with you all.
God Bless.
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Old 04-06-08, 02:21 PM
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I'm there with you Jen. I've lost both my parents over the last two years. It's not easy.

Not many of us achieve any degree of immortality in this world other than through the memories of those we've touched during out time on this planet. He'll live on through your's and your family's memories. And from your description of how he answered the phone I'm sure he'd want you all to remember and enjoy the good times and celibrate his life rather than mourn his passing.
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Old 04-06-08, 02:23 PM
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i am sorry to hear of your loss,my prayers are with you and your family
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Old 04-06-08, 02:25 PM
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May you be left only with pleasant memories of those you have loved and lost.

I have said prayer for you and your family.
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Old 04-06-08, 02:37 PM
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I am so sorry to hear about this Jen. My condolences to you and your family. God bless.
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Old 04-06-08, 03:06 PM
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Its one of the toughest moments of life. You've survived it. Help your Mom through the transition. That will help you. My condolences.

Time for a recovery ride.
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Old 04-06-08, 03:10 PM
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Yen I am very sorry to hear about your dad, I just can't imagine loosing a parent, specially when you are so close to them.

I know there are no words that can help, but you really seem like a strong woman & will be able to work thru this part of your life.
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Old 04-06-08, 03:10 PM
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Yen, So sorry to read this sad news. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 04-06-08, 03:54 PM
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This hits me close to home as well, as my parents are in their 80s. I'm so grateful that I took some initiative ten years ago and restored our relationship (we had been estranged). Now we talk often across the coasts, and email nearly every day. I dread the time when I too will get that awful phone call. You're so right -- don't wait to tell someone you love them, or to reach out. It's never too late if they're still here.

Hugging you tight, as best I can, through cyberspace...
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Old 04-06-08, 04:16 PM
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Thank you for the update, Jen. I can only offer my condolences and best regards to your entire family.
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Old 04-06-08, 04:43 PM
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Sorry to hear of your loss. Hold on to the good memories, with time most of the pain will pass.
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Old 04-06-08, 04:49 PM
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My thoughts & prayers are with you-
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Old 04-06-08, 04:53 PM
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Jen:
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We offer our deepest sympathies....
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Old 04-06-08, 05:06 PM
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Sincere condolences, Yen, to you and all of yours.

Nothing we can do really prepares us for that moment when we are confronted by a doctor, presented with the options and asked to make our decision about someone we dearly love. It's been nearly six years now since, as a family, we were confronted with making that choice only days after Mum suffered a severe stroke, and it might've been yesterday. We intellectualise about that moment, we think we've steeled ourselves against it, but the reality of that moment is beyond what we could imagine. I shed a tear yet again as I type this, for my Mum, for your Dad, for you.

I take comfort in knowing that, right up until those last few days, Mum led an independent life which was as active as the passage of years would allow it to be. I suppose that's right up there amongst the best of things we could hope for in this world, and I hope that you can draw similar comfort, regarding your Dad. It's a wondrous blessing when our farewell to and remembrance of a parent can be a celebration of their life. Some folk, sadly, aren't so fortunate.

The days and weeks ahead are sad ones, as you come together as family in your mourning. May that also, though, be a beautiful time. It should be, and you all deserve for it to be so.

Thinking of you.
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Old 04-06-08, 05:06 PM
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My first post here. But I've been lurking so long I feel I virtually know you, Yen. Your father was uniquely your father and in many ways known only to you. But, by now, we've all experienced our own loss and can sympathize with another's. You surely aren't alone.
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Old 04-06-08, 05:07 PM
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My deepest sympathies.

Your strong dad lives on in you and your family. Your own strength shows in your post and your dad would be proud.

My prayers are with you at this time.
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Old 04-06-08, 05:37 PM
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Oh, Yen. I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for letting us know what's going on with you and your family. Losing parents is very, very on topic for those of us in the 50+ forum. Take all the time you need. We'll be here when you are ready.
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Old 04-06-08, 05:46 PM
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Having lost my Dad 11 years ago, I know there are no words that can be said to help you through this hard time... The sharing you have done here will help the greiving process--

my thoughts and prayers are with you--
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Old 04-06-08, 06:05 PM
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Your message brought back such memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I think though, I see a your father in your post, in the strength that allows you to post at all.

Paul
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Old 04-06-08, 06:16 PM
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Sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
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Old 04-06-08, 06:19 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss, Jen. He was lucky to have a daughter who loved him as much as you obviously did.
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Old 04-06-08, 06:22 PM
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Jen:

My prayers are with you and your family!

Reflecting on the posts in this thread and your earlier one it strikes me that your Father - John - through you has touched each and every one of us in a very deep and personal way. Love is not a feeling, but a verb, an action. Your love for your Father and you so graciously sharing with us here in the 50+ Thread serves to implore each of us to reflect on our lives and our own relationships with family and friends and the importance of expressing our love to them in a meaningful way. To celebrate and appreciate life, ours and others, while the opportunity is still with us.

Jen, we now all share a common connection with your Dad, your family and you. A gift and cause for each of us to celebrate life in remembrance of your Father!

God Bless!
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Old 04-06-08, 06:24 PM
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Yen-I'm really sorry to hear that news. My family has been in the same position in making a really hard decision like the one your family made so don't feel too alone in that respect. While my Dad has been gone for a few years, as strange as it may sound I still talk to him and sense his presence. Solo bike rides are a terrific time to share my thoughts with him.........
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Old 04-06-08, 06:30 PM
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Its never easy to let go but you all showed great love in your choices. Bless you.
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