Thank You - Quizzical Looks
Dec. 19th, 2006
10:02 pm - Thank You
Thank you everyone for your condolences and hugs and prayers over the weekend. :)
I hope you'll forgive me if I reply here instead of to each comment. I do feel the need to write, but at the same time I just can't handle too much writing of it, you know? I'm still finding the emails to some old army mates hard to do, and I can't face the Family Tree Maker program...
Ok, where to start... Dad had already been started on the morphine by the time we got there, and the dose was increased as time went on. He wouldn't have realised that he couldn't cough anything up normally and had to have his mouth swabbed/suctioned every so often (that's what happened to make them call). He was only in pain once the first day when he was being turned and a pump had stopped working, after that he was just settled further and further.
Saturday morning I had wanted to go and freshen up a bit (having been in the hospital over a day), but the nurses said I mightn't want to even take the time having a quick wash, that's how close and settled they saw him as being. By this time they'd taken him off the oxygen, which wasn't helping anymore. A couple of hours later they came in to give him a quick clean up and turn him. Mum and I went out to the lounge to give them some space. A few minutes later they came to get us, and we held his hands as he took his last breaths. Yes, it was hard to watch, but I can't imagine not having been there. I don't think I could've forgiven myself if I hadn't been.
It's strange. All this time we were given estimates - two months, two weeks, and so on. Last week whenever I heard Mum talk about Dad's condition on the phone, I thought maybe we should bring the family get-together forward a few days (especially since the 21st is actually his birthday). I would have liked him to make it that long, but once we got to the hospital and saw his condition there, I just wanted him to let go. He was alive for all that time (from the fact we were called in early-morning, I was surprised he made it to sunrise at first), but it wasn't really life for him. He was a soldier, independent. The most he wanted people to do for him was to get him a cup of coffee, I can't imagine what he'd think of the level of care needed at the end. Indeed, he was still insisting he could manage to clean up himself when he was at home, and still trying to talk rather than write.
So, the funeral is tomorrow - managed to find a director for about half the price of the company that Grandpa used (he pre-paid his). No frills, but Dad was specific about getting as cheap as possible - if he'd had the strength, he would've probably gone down to WA Salvage, bought some wood, and built the casket himself. We can use some of the money saved towards a plaque at Karrakatta. Of course, I won't actually see the eulogy I'm meant to be giving until about three hours beforehand. :lol: Not to mention adding my own notes to it, and anything Dad's sisters might phone through. So, big and long day tomorrow.
Oh, and I got to a scanner yesterday (had to go in to work to put in the leave paperwork, change over the computer stuff and clear desk-stuff and all), so I've edited in a photo to the last entry like I said I would.