Saying Goodbye to Dad

My baptism day

I don’t know if I’ll hit the publish button.

I’m collecting thoughts after the most memorable Father’s Day of my life.

My dad is dying.

At one point today, my mother, sisters, and I crowded around my father’s bed in the assisted living facility. We professed our profound love for the man and each got “this close” to his face (so he could hear us) and said, “It’s ok, Dad. You can go whenever you are ready.”

We told Dad, “We know you stuck around this long (he’s 88) because of Mom. Yes, she is scared, but we are all here for her and she is going to be fine.”

Mom had the courage to say the same. “I’m going to miss you, you’ve been my husband for 60 years, but I’ll be all right. I don’t want you to suffer any more.”

Dad, with Grandma, 1960s

He kissed us, said he was ok, that he loved us, that he knew we loved him. A priest visited and he received the Anointing of the Sick (as he has a half-dozen times before).

We’ve been saying goodbye to Dad for years.

Two years ago, I got a recording of Dad giving my young children “life-long” advice. Last year, after recovering from a THREE HOUR-LONG heart attack he said, “I’m still here?!”

Now that he’s on constant pain medication and he eats almost nothing, surely this is “his time” … defined as days or weeks from now.

We’re ready when God is.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us such a good one. And for the gift of unity, love, and closure.

:: Joe Hage is CEO of medical device marketing consultancy Medical Marcom ::

See also The Last Day with My Father
See also Eulogizing My Father

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