The End Is Near

This is the first time in my life where I have had to face the reality of losing someone I love in death. Both of my parents are still alive and well, and both sets of grandparents passed away before I was born, so watching my father in-law move closer towards his final day brings about emotions never experienced before. I’m not liking this one bit.

He was released from the hospital this past Tuesday, and moved to a senior rehab facility where he is under 24-hour nursing care. He is still not eating, so the doctor’s have prescribed something called Megase to hopefully increase his appetite, but so far no change.

We talked to the management of his Senior Independent Living apartment complex, and were able to get his lease cleared at the end of the month, then worked on the beginnings of packing up his apartment and belongings. That was hard to take, going through his things and deciding what we will need to do with it all by the end of the month.

Seeing the pictures and various momento’s of his life and achievements, family portraits of him smiling and happy really touched my heart. Remembering how he’d hear certain songs on the radio that he liked, stand up and start doing his little “jig” around the room like he was Fred Astaire, gave me and my husband moments to smile and reminisce.

The family has come to the realization that his days are numbered, and it’s quite clear that he has completely “given up” on trying to get better. He has no energy whatsoever and sleeps most of the time, and efforts to get him to eat in order to build his energy are quickly thwarted and ignored.

Taking him in a wheelchair to the main sitting room of the facility, with chairs and couches for family to visit with him, doesn’t even bring a sparkle of interest and within a few minutes he’s wanting to go back to bed.

Phone calls are being exchanged amongst friends and relatives to let them know the current status, as well as informing them to expect the dreaded phone call at any time that he’s gone to heaven.

For now, we just want to spend every moment possible with him, going through photos of happy times with his wife, children and grandchildren. Until he is taken Home.

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20 Responses to “The End Is Near”

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  1. sending hugs your way!

  2. Frank C says:

    I remember this happening to my grandfather who was worn down by a long illness. It was tough for us to watch him decline like that. I’m sorry to hear that you are also going through such a difficult time. Best wishes to you and your family.

  3. arnold says:

    This is sad news indeed. I have had the misfortune of having to say goodbye to so many of my loved ones but that does not make me an expert. No-one can ever get used to that which you and your family are going through right now. I wish you all well over this difficult time. Best wishes to you and your family.

  4. Lin says:

    Thank you everyone for your kindness and prayers.

    Frank, watching him decline further twists my stomach into knots, as it does with everyone else in the family. He’s lost so much weight that he doesn’t even look the same in the face. So drawn, so very thin, dark circles under his eyes that never used to be there.

    For a man of his height, 6’5″, to be so thin and frail (he now can wear a 36 inch waist pants, with a bit of room to spare), is sickening in itself. Seeing his ribs and hip bones protruding through his hospital gown makes me have to look away to keep from bursting into tears.

    Yet he reaches out for me, kisses my hand and tells me he loves me, and I of course do the same. Facing the reality of our own mortality in this life gives me many moments of pause and deep thought.

  5. It is indeed sad when we lose someone we love. My grandmother passed away last year and my mother and her two sisters had to clean out her house in Arizona. It was hard for all of them, but I think they were happy to know that she was finally with her husband again. My condolences to you and your family.


  6. Lin
    my thoughts are with you all, and with him too. I hope his end is peaceful and gives him the relief he now seeks.
    I am glad that you have been able to derive some smiles from his past behaviours – how wonderful to have such good memories.

  7. Lin says:

    Thank you Megan. He’s still with us so far, but not eating much of anything, so we just don’t know how long he has left.

  8. Wish he'd listened says:

    Hi Lin,
    I feel your pain and sense of premature loss. Just knowing the day will come soon leaves you with an extreme emptiness. I have lost my parents and inlaws. They passed in thier 60s and 70s. Too soon for my liking.

    Be grateful that he is able to leave this earth with dignity. All too often, we feed them artificially and fight hard on every level to keep them alive. They know when they are ready.

    When everyone passed around me, I chose to work activities in a nursing home. There I can share my love of life for the forgotten generation. They just love the attention.

    Be sure that your father in law has his favorite music, old movies, warm touches, his delicious desserts (they love sweets), and a comforting throw from home. Stay close and let him know how loved his is.

    Remember that when he is gone, he will always be there in spirit and without any pain. What a gift.
    Take Care, Debbie

  9. Lin says:

    Thank you Debbie, I really appreciate your comment.

    Just this morning I got a call from my hubby saying his father has once again been rushed to the hospital (he’s been in a senior rehab nursing facility) with breathing problems and we’re about to head over there ourselves. Thanks much!


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