I am 28 years old, and still think I'm too young to loose either one of my parents through death, but on Halloween night of 2006 I found out differently.
My dad was diagnosed of emphysema when he was right around the age of 50. When he found out that he was diagnosed with cancer, he decided he would finally quit smoking cigarettes to allow him some more years on this earth for my sister and I, but also especially for his 5 grandbabies. However, the summer right before he turned 55, or should I say, the month right before he turned 55, he got even worse news than knowing he was going to be dying from emphysema. My dad found out right on my sister's 26th birthday, June 20, 2006, that with his emphysema and asthma, he now had lung cancer as well. Well having the emphysema before getting his cancer, all the doctors could tell him was that he was indeed going to die. That because of his lung troubles already he could not use medication (radiation), nor could he have surgery. Then in July, his birth month, we came close to loosing him. His appetite had ceased, and he could not eat for 2 full weeks. Finally Hospice had to be called in, and when they came to see him, he was pretty much nothing but a bag of bones.
My sister and I went through the next couple months having a very hard time watching him go, but knowing that it was indeed time, knowing we could not watch him suffer any more. You see, my dad was like mine and my sister's best friend. My parents' had gotten divorced when I was 12 years of age, and my dad had finished raising his two teenage daughters by himself, making him our mom and dad both, as well as us 3 becoming very close in this 3 part family we had.
To tell you the truth, my sister and I were ready for him to be out of pain, but can you ever be ready for one of your parents' to die? The answer for us of course was NO!
My sister and I, as well as the rest of his family, stayed by my dad's side the last two remaining days of his left on this earth. It was the hardest 2 days of my life. At the end he was like in a coma, just waiting to go. I feel, having had kids, that there are differences, as well as similarities between death and birth. So anyway's, the day that my dad did finally go was Halloween day. My sister and I were exhausted, having stayed by his side for the last 48 hours. My sister was beginning to think we were waiting for nothing, in fact she had said "Why don't we take the kids trick or treating?", to which I replied, "No way, believe it or not we are in dad's last few hours, and I'm not leaving till he is gone." So I asked my cousins to take our kids trick or treating. Well half an hour after this the whole family went to his room by his side, feeling like this was it, the time had finally come for him to rest. Within about 5 minutes I could feel what I call "His Spirit" first go through my body and then just totally leave the room, it felt kinda like a swoosh, and being right by his side, on his last breath, every single one of us in that room watched my dad's beautiful face turn into a skeleton. That is the saddest thing I have ever seen, and unfortunately I now have that memory etched in my mind probably for the rest of my life.
A couple of things I find ironic with this story that I must say before I finish with this story. 1). My dad, having lost his mom at the age of 9 and having a drunk for a dad, went to live with his brother and his brother's wife. Well this brother's wife became like a mom to him. What's ironic about this is that my dad died October 31, 2006, and she (his second mom) died october 7, 2006. Also when I heard she was going, I felt in my heart that he was next. Also, they both died of cancer, however hers was where it made her bones very very brittle. Also, all of her kids saw the same death face on her that we did of our dad. 2). My dad died 16 days after my birthday (I am the oldest of my sister and I) and 7 days before my daughter's (she is his first, which makes her the oldest) grandbaby of his.
Well, there you have it, that is my story. Also I write this in his name and honor, for a very special, loved man, dad, and grandpa.