I sat with my Dad for nine of his last ten days. I watched him go from weak to unresponsive and unable to control his elimination to not-my-Dad. I think I am now ready to see this without the veneer of our cultural myths. It is death and my enemy, not “going to a better place.”
Yes, this decline into death is not a significant portion of his 85 years of life; it’s just ten days. A sliver. But it’s the sliver that took down a mighty man. For 31,357 days, he laughed, thought, guided, blessed, assisted, loved and grew in a thousand ways. The .03189% of his life mocks the rest of it and triumphs over our attempts to laugh, think, guide, bless, assist, love and grow now.
Ten days is all it took to destroy his body and to tear through all my preconceptions of a peaceful passing. I once was blind, but now I see- I see death for what it is. The ultimate enemy.