Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Died died yesterday afternoon, just a couple of hours after I posted yesterday. He simply stopped breathing while our son Tobias stood by the bed, stroking his Camper's head.
Not two hours before, he had still clearly recognizes his special hospice aide. (He had been on hospice from last December until July, and he was discharged because he had improved so much). He'd always said that no one got him as clean as April did, and I'm sure she appreciated that he remembered her.
About half an hour before, our special Christmas (the Boston pup he'd given to Paul for Christmas 2011) kept standing on his hind legs at the bedside to lick Dad's right hand. When I put him up on the bed, he'd simply lain quietly at Dad's hip - not what one would expect from the dog still often called by his nickname "Wiggle-Bottom"! And Eve had spent the last hour or so jumping up by his left foot and then walking up to sniff his left hand ever-so-gently. Our MandyCat, who NEVER sticks around when someone other than Dad, Paul, Scout (T's wife) was in the house? Well, she spent all afternoon on the back of a chair near Dad's bed, watching everything that went on. Yes, April got to meet and pat her for the first time ever! Clearly, they were all keeping track of what was happening!
I'd thought ever since early morning that we were looking at sometime overnight. So it was just a bit earlier than I was expecting. But Tobias is the one who will take Dad's death harder than anyone else in the family, so I'm grateful that it was as it was. T is well aware of how peaceful his death was, not having to trust what someone else tells him. And over time, that will help to ease his grief, I know.
So another WWII vet is gone, as well as a wonderful Dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather. We will mourn his death for a season, but we will celebrate his life for a lifetime.