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My Turn: Her father's perfect death

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-11 11:07 AM
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My Turn: Her father's perfect death
An oncology nurse recalls how her father's final days were as good as they could be.

When people ask about my father's death, I always respond the same way: "Except for the fact that he died, everything was perfect."


He was home on hospice. He was comfortable. His wife of 53 years, his six children and several grandchildren surrounded his bed. We are stoic folks, but as Dad drew his last breath, one sister, perhaps tapping into our Irish heritage, started a keening wail. Her cries rose like sacred smoke, mournful and sad, yet wholesome. She spoke for all of us. The moment we were waiting for had finally come, and Dad was released from us.

The day before he died, Dad lay on the couch. I had gone to pick up our close family friends, and we raced back from the airport, afraid we might be too late. Monsignor had just finished praying, his palm resting on Dad's forehead. "We're here," I said, relieved to see Dad was still breathing. One of our friends is an opera singer, and she took his hand in hers and started to sing, first the "Our Father" and then Dad's favorite, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-11 11:25 AM
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