Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good-bye, Papa

Papa's 85th birthday party in February 2013
Last Wednesday, my grandfather passed away. While he had ongoing heart issues, the end came more quickly than I think anyone in my family expected. Before his death, he and my grandmother were still totally independent. Even at the age of 85, he was still living in the house with my grandmother that they had raised their four children in. He went to the hospital a few days before his death after battling a cold the week before. It turned out it wasn't a cold and was fluid around his heart. Although, my family was told that fluid buildup would ultimately be his demise it didn't appear that the end was so imminent. He was recovering in the hospital and they talked about sending him home shortly.

On Tuesday during the day, my cousins saw him and he was his usual self. He was giving the nurses a hard time, trying to get people to bring him a soda, and talking about going home. He then took a quick turn for the worse and passed away during the night. I was able to see him Tuesday night before he passed away. He was unresponsive but peaceful. When all is said and done, although we never want to lose anyone, this is how we want people to go. It was fast and peaceful. After watching my mother slowly deteriorate and have a horrible final week, I can really appreciate this ending. I would never want my grandmother to watch her husband of 62 years slowly fade away in front of her. Learning to live a life without him will be hard enough for her.

In times of struggle though I'm reminded of the amazing people in my life. I have friends that I don't need to ask for help because they've already offered. Friends that rearrange their days and schedules so that they could babysit for his services. Friends who leave wine and chocolate at my doorstep. Family who sends flowers and cards. These people shine the light in the darkness. These people are incredible and give me the time and tools to mourn an incredible man. So to everyone who has helped me this past week either in person or sending positive thoughts and prayers, I send a big thank you to you. It is most appreciated by me and my family.
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