Saying Goodbye To Dad

Saying goodbye to a parent is not fun, but is so important. My last phone call and real conversation with my Dad was on Wednesday afternoon.

It went something like this:

"Hi Dad, how are you?"

Muffled... "How are you? Are you all OK?"

"We're fine, Dad. How are you feeling?"

Progressively fading... "I thought I lost my eyeglasses, but they are in...."

"In your nightstand drawer, like I told you. You just didn't have them the two days you were in the hospital."

"Well, isn't that something?"

"I love you Dad. We'll be there to see you Saturday!"

"WHERE ARE YOU?"

"In my apartment in NY, Dad."

"WHERE ARE YOU? MILLIE..." Phone drops into lap.

Suddenly I realize he is no longer talking to me, but to my dead mother.

I called his hospice nurse, Chris. "Is he eating? He sounds scared, confused. Why is he in a wheelchair sitting in the hallway when he has fallen out of the chair or bed nine times in the past 11 days? Why is he sitting in the dining room for dinner when he's not eating?"

Yesterday morning Chris went to see Dad. Only semi-responsive and only talking now to Mom on other side. Ordered bed rest only with discontinuation of all meds except Atavan and Oxycodone, so he can rest and is not in pain.

We will go tomorrow to say goodbye to Dad.

We said goodbye to Mom on September 7. Mom died September 9.

End of life sucks, but if you have no plans in place you should get on that. Seriously. Otherwise you will be stuck in a system where you have no control over how you live and die in your last years.

My Dad advocated for my bipolar mother consistently for 50 years. I now advocate for him.

In fact, I will probably be arguing his third stage Medicare appeal after he is buried, since the timeline is backed up due to the government shutdown.

So not fun!