We tried to get comfortable in the cold, dark room. But a hard, white hospital floor isn’t made for sleeping even with extra blankets and pillows. Neither is the small chair in the corner of the room. The racket of the machines wouldn’t have let us rest anyway.

Not that we were very concerned about resting. Our main concern was that the transition home went well for Daddy. After the doctors told him there was nothing more they could do, he decided to go home. We were waiting with him at the hospital to help with the move. To do whatever we could. To be with him.

We don’t know why Dad took off the BIPAP mask.

He had tried to communicate with us several times earlier and was aggravated that we couldn’t understand him. Everything he said was distorted by the air being forced into his lungs by the mask. He was already struggling and even more so when he had to repeat himself. We were heartbroken to the point of tears watching him struggle, still failing to understand his words.

Maybe he was tired of the mask and the straps pressing into his face. Maybe he took it off because he wanted to tell us something and he needed us to understand him. Or maybe he knew he couldn’t handle the trip home.

We will never know.

The alarm shrilled as soon as the mask came off. We rushed to him, panicked. Desperately and clumsily trying to put the mask back on. Calling for the nurses. Yelling, “Daddy, Daddy!”

Daddy looked beyond us, holding the tube of the BIPAP machine tight in his hand. We couldn’t get the mask back up to his face. When we realized he was taking his last breaths, we rubbed his arms and face, held his hands, reassured him we were there, told him we loved him. My older sister sang a hymn.

We burst into tears when we realized he was gone. A nurse came in and verified he had no pulse. She told us to take as much time as we needed.

We kept looking at him. Crying. Wondering.

We called Mom first. Then our youngest sister. Then our families.

I walked into the hall, then back into his room. Unsettled. Restless.

Some other family members came to comfort us. We cried together. Lingered there beside his bed.



What now?

It felt strange to leave him. We stalled. Kissed him on the cheek. Held his hands again. Told him we loved him.

We left reluctantly. Silently. Exhausted.

Missing Daddy already.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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  1. HumaAq on May 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    This brought tears to me.. The loss of parents is the greatest, just imagining it breaks me thousand times.

    • mariegriffith on May 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      It is a difficult thing. I try to think of all that my dad taught me and how much he loved me. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      • HumaAq on May 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

        Is it real or fiction?

        • mariegriffith on May 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

          It’s real. I’m not good at fiction.

          • HumaAq on May 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm

            Oh I feel for you sister! It must be really hard for you. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do wonderful at fiction too:)

  2. handikwani02 on May 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    While it was difficult and hard for you to loose your dad,I am pleased for you that you shared those last intimate moments with your dad.That is a priviledge we can only be grateful for being there when your parent departs. Praying that you can draw comfort from that. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

    • mariegriffith on May 24, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Thank you for your sweet words. I am very grateful that I was with him. It was a gift. And knowing that he is with God brings me peace.

  3. CurvyLou on August 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Oh, that was hard to read. I was with my own father when he died, with my sisters and my mother. Missing him is hard some days, but I do look back and thank god I was there for him—that we all were. So I can relate a little bit to what you felt, and how hard it must have been to write this.

    • mariegriffith on August 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Yes, we are blessed to have been with him. Dad wasn’t sick long so we were all shocked, including Mom. She wanted to go before he did but she was still with us 7 months after he passed. She missed him so much. We were with her as well when she passed in January. She was at home surrounded by her family like she always wanted. Treasured moments with my parents that I’ll always be thankful for.

      • CurvyLou on August 11, 2015 at 4:22 pm

        Oh, wow. You have been through a lot lately. It sounds like you and your family are handling it as well as can be hoped, but nevertheless, I’m so sorry.

        • mariegriffith on August 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm

          Thank you. I’m sorry for your loss. But what a blessing my sisters have been. Yours are too, I’m sure.

  4. susiesopinions on November 26, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Sorry for your loss. I have been married 36 years to my second husband, and he has lost 2 of his daughters, and a granddaughter at age 18. Very hard.

    • mariegriffith on November 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you. A loss of a parent is hard but losing a child seems even more difficult. I’m so sorry for his and your loss.

  5. The 2016 Rundown | Full-Time on December 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    […] these things. At last something broke inside of me and the words came for the first post called Linger. It took months for the other healing posts to happen but I found the words. I’ve received […]

  6. theandyclark on April 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Losing my father undid my mother too.

    • mariegriffith on April 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you. It was a difficult season. We lost Mom 7 months later but hers was much more peaceful. She was where she wanted to be….at home with her girls.

  7. Margarita on April 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Transitions are difficult. For those who leave. For those left behind. xoM

  8. mumsthewordblog1 on April 27, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    This was heartbreaking to read. It is beautiful that you were there with him. I was with my Mum when she took her last breath and I know exactly what you mean about being reluctant to leave… I was nearly 8 months pregnant with my twins who will turn 20 this year. I am lucky to still have my Dad who is 93 years young ??

    • mariegriffith on April 27, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      You’re right..we were blessed to have been with him. How wonderful that your dad is still with you!

      • mumsthewordblog1 on April 27, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        It is. ??

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