Revel in Paradise, Dad!

Hi Everyone,

This past few weeks has been such a blur of travel, visitors, hospital, hospice, 40-50 phone calls per day, 5-10 people in and out of the house each day, house closing, financial arrangements for my mom, moving arrangements and more. Mostly, we spent the time with my dad and/or honoring his last wishes.

On Friday and Saturday, my dad had the family reunion he had hoped for, as all three of his brothers and their wives came into town before my brother left for Chicago. My dad was so happy to see everyone together again, and each person got to say a personal goodbye to my dad. While my dad rested, we all spent quality time together at some good local restaurants and got caught up on the time since my grandmother passed in 2013. Some of them had seen each other since then, but not all together. The big family meals celebrated my dad’s life and all he had done for my grandmother.

David arrived last Sunday, and my dad immediately had the father-son-caregiver-to-caregiver talk he’d been so looking forward to. My dad felt a strong bond with David, because both of them took care of their parents — David continuing to care for both of his, my dad having cared for my Grandma Van for 37 years. My dad was so cute during that conversation. He had obviously given David’s situation a great deal of consideration, and he looked like a Zen Master in his hospital bed, with closed eyes, folded hands, and then quiet insights and words of wisdom. It turned out to be perfect timing, as we spoke for about an hour and a half. My dad didn’t have that kind of stamina after Sunday.

On Monday, he went for a platelet infusion, and one of his favorite ministers from my mom’s church surprised him there with a prayer session. Even though the journey and treatment took hours, my dad arrived home extremely lucid and enthused — quite different than his usual knocked out response to platelets. He and I spoke for awhile that evening, and he said, “Laura, this was a good day!” By then, I had arranged a date for their move, and we were on countdown to signing the paperwork for my parents’ new house.

Tuesday was a very rough day for him, but fortunately, by that point, we had a live in caregiver who had already really bonded with my dad. She made that day as easy as possible for him, as did various hospice visitors, while my mom, David and I ran all the errands and made and answered the avalanche of phone calls related to their move, his care, relatives, and setting things into place for my mom. Somewhere in there, due to David’s extra support, I managed to get caught up on most of the previous week’s cancelled phone sessions.

Wednesday, my mom, David and I met the realtor at the new house for the walk through and then attended the signing with my mom, while I kept my sister and brother apprised of any developments and got my mom’s utilities set up and switched over to her name. Their power of attorney wasn’t strong enough for my mom to sign for the house on her own, so the title company woman drove to my parents’ house and waited for nearly two hours as I coached my dad through all those signatures, held the clipboard for him, and ensured he got sufficient breaks along the way. She was wonderful. It was heartbreaking seeing how difficult signing his name had become for my dad, but we all knew this was a key goal for him before he passed. He did it!

On Tuesday night, I had let my dad know we wanted to take my mom out to celebrate the house signing and asked if he wanted us to bring him anything on Wednesday for his own celebration. He suggested taking my mom to a Turkish restaurant near their home and asked for us to bring him a Menchie’s frozen yogurt on our way home, since the places were next door to each other. Even though my dad had eaten nothing for days at that point, he made sure to eat his celebratory vanilla frozen yogurt! He thanked me, kissed my hand, and said he loved me. He finished the other half of his yogurt on Thursday morning, and then slipped into a largely non-responsive state.

Thursday was a rough day for him — and for all of us who heard him suffering. We switched prayers for healing to prayers for a swift and easy transition. By evening, a night nurse with a lot of experience at this stage came for an overnight stay and helped us to figure out which medications would help and which increased his agitation. She got him calmed down, but he was still somewhat restless into Friday, when we had arranged for a massage therapist/Reiki Master from hospice to be here, as well as his minister. My sister took off work that day, too, and read him a message and some verses from a minister my dad had really connected with before the pastor moved to Texas. As the hospice worker sent Reiki to my dad’s feet, I sent it to his crown, so he was bathed in healing energy for much of the morning. I had trained my sister last July to Reiki Level 1, and she gave him a lot of Reiki during that time, too.

Yesterday afternoon, I realized for sure that he would not make it until next Wednesday, when we had the appointment with the funeral home, so I called to see if they could meet with us sooner. David agreed to stay with my dad while my mom, sister and I made arrangements to honor him in an appropriate way. David says that as soon as we sat down for the meeting with the funeral director, my dad’s breathing changed, and his body became completely peaceful. He remained that way for the rest of the day.

Since David had planned to leave this morning, he and I met my sister and nephews out for gluten-free vegan pizza to help them process losing their grandpa. My mom and a caregiver my dad knew were both here while we ate dinner. We all had a good time together, and then Google maps directed David and me a truly bizarre way to get home. As a result, we passed the ABE airport, and I remembered all the times my dad had dropped me off there, all the goodbyes. I cried and told David, “My dad’s never going to drop me off at the airport again.” Then I remembered how happy my dad was when my flight got cancelled after Grandma Van’s funeral. He picked me up again after hours at the airport and even though he’d need to drive me there at 5 a.m. the next day, he said, “I’m so glad you missed your flight. It felt too sudden to have you leave so fast. I’m glad we’ll get the extra time together.”

When David and I returned home last night, I sat with my dad for awhile, gave him some Reiki, kissed his forehead and said I love you and goodbye. My father passed very peacefully around 8:30 p.m. East Coast time last night (3/11/16). I had just said my goodbye and stepped into the shower. David and my mom ran up to say my father had stopped breathing. I threw on some clothes, ran downstairs and put my hand on his heart, which was still beating strongly. I gave him Reiki until his heart stopped, so he passed with Reiki, me, David and my mom there, plus a nice caregiver he had met before and liked.  It was as peaceful as someone could pass. So glad I came when I did, and David and I felt he would pass while we were both here.

My sister and I agreed that I’ll post my dad’s prayer testimonial she read two Sunday’s ago as my blog’s memorial service to my dad. I had written his eulogy while he still lived, so that he could read it. Not only did my dad read that eulogy, but he printed it out and read it each morning “to strengthen” him. My sister and I both independently had the idea for me to post his speech on my blog, and I will do so on the day of his memorial service. We’re still making arrangements.

Last night, after hospice and the funeral home had taken care of my dad’s body, we spent time with my mom and then got ready for bed. As we were in my dad’s old bathroom, I clearly heard my dad say, “Thank you, Laura.” Then he paused and said with delight, “Wow, it’s really nice up here!” Another pause, and then, “Tell your mother I love her.”

My dad, who always loved his physical space, got his new home after all — just much more expansive than he imagined. His parakeet, Buddy, has been very subdued all week, but this morning, he started singing and ringing his bell to the point where David said, “Maybe Buddy’s singing to Steve right now.” Buddy cocked his head at us and went on singing.

Revel in Paradise, Dad! We love you!

37 responses to this post.

  1. Dear Laura and family, reading through your post my tears flowed as to the beautiful flow of everything that led up to your dad’s passing. I love the a conscious allowing and love to honor each aspect of the journey. So loving. I know there is sadness at no longer having him in your everyday lives Yet there is such beauty in the way he closed out his life with love all around him and an incredibly open and amazing heart. So thankful for your share of what can be during these times Much love to you all. Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Reiki Dawn and commented:
    Much love goes out to Laura and her family. Her dad was and is surrounded by love. As is her mom and the rest of her family. Tears flowing at what a beautiful process this can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Posted by sky on March 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Laura, thank you for sharing your dad’s homegoing with us. i am glad your dad passed in peace and love. It sounds as if your dad’s parakeet, Buddy, was celebrating your dad’s homegoing, too. Singing and ringing his bell to let everyone know his joy that his buddy Steve is no longer suffering and indeed is in a wonderful place now. From which I am sure your dad will continue to watch over you, your mom, David, your sister, and your brother.

    I am glad you were able to hear your dad’s words from heaven to you. Hang on to that in the coming days, months, and years. I know you will miss your dad bunches, but know that he will live in your memories and heart forever.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Posted by Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature on March 12, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Aw, Laura…
    No words for this really. Such a beautiful deathing/birthing into another realm. You were so lovingly there for him, as were other family and friends. The eagle has flown. You are left with such love and peace…and the sadness of the loss. Such hustle and bustle with phone calls, visitors, arrangements, etc like a train rushing in, blowing its whistle, and now the sound of it fading in the distance to a beautiful, sweet silence. I send love to your beautiful heart, Laura, as the sadness sinks in and the task of learning to live without his physicality now deepens. Death of a loved one brings such deep heart opening. As much as it hurts, the heart is so full of love and gratitude for the relationship – and all the healing that took place. Peace, Love, Blessings. So many people sending you love right now. Take it in. I am deeply sorry for your loss and the grief that follows, and also so happy for you that it happened as it did. It was a good death.
    Love and Light,
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much, Mary! Much love and yes, it was a good death. Thank you for all your messages of support over these past few weeks. I haven’t always had time to respond, but I do appreciate them. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you deeply, Sky! Love and blessings to you and your memory of your own father. ❤

    Like

  7. Thank you so much, Dawn, also for the reblog. I love you! Thanks for all the healing and Reiki along the way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Posted by Demitra M. N. on March 12, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    How beautiful — so much love in this family. What most people experience as tragic loss, you and yours have expressed as a magical transition of great import. Who wouldn’t want the honoring and respect that such a send-off embodies? What a gift. Thank you for sharing the details of your final days with your dad, Laura — i, too, am better for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So much love to all of you. Such a beautiful example for everyone how beautifully your family has gone through this together and for peaceful closure full circle. Thank you 💚 I love you

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Demitra! My dad did death right. 🙂 So glad this has affected so many people in such a deep way.

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  11. Thanks, sweet faery twin! I love you, too, and thanks for amplifying my request to Nestie to aid in the transition process. She’s a powerful one! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love you too Laura.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a beautiful transition for your dad and thank you for sharing this aspect of the journey. Inspirational for all. Much love to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you, zigeunerseele! Much love and gratitude

    Like

  15. Posted by Cheryl on March 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Love an blessings to you, Laura – and your family. So beautiful, thank you for sharing. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ❤ Thank you, Cheryl! ❤

    Like

  17. Posted by Mitch Mattraw on March 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    So much love to you and your family Laura, so happy your Dad passed with your hand on his heart getting the full Reiki love, wow, so beautiful, thank you for sharing this with us! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Posted by manyhahama1955 on March 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve been thinking of you and your dad so much the last few days….and then i get your post. What a beautiful ending you all had with your dad….if only we could all experience such a peaceful transition. I am glad he is happy and all is well. Love and blessings to you and your family. You are an amazing Being, Laura, and I am so grateful you are in my life! Yes, thank you for sharing your journey. With great love!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Posted by Barbara on March 12, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    What a neat gift that you were all with him Laura!
    Next week it will have been 40 years since my mom left this earth with a first day of spring send off.
    Thanks for sharing this with all of your faithful readers. May your dad and my mom be resting in peace always!
    Barbara in MN

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks and so much love, Mitch!

    Like

  21. Deep gratitude, Sophia! And much love.

    Like

  22. Blessings, love and peace to you and to your mom, Barbara! Thanks for all your comments along the way.

    Like

  23. Posted by Barbara on March 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you for building such a beautiful and love-filled Rainbow Bridge. Love to you, Laura, your Dad, family, friends and care-givers across the grid. Safe journey. Love, B.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you Laura, that you have continued to support others when times have been so rough. I am sure your Dad is in a great place. I studied many NDE’s over on AngelicView, and think when you feel grief reading NDE’s will help you feel closer to your Father. It is a peak into his new world, where he is watching over you and I am picture him on the deck on his new house in a rocking chair. He has a cup of his favorite drink, and a vast meadow of wild flowers in front of him. He also has a cloud like screen that he can look into to see his family. He loves you, and knows that the Universe will keep you safe for him. Perhaps the Universe will take a form you Love of Faeries and plants growing to send you comfort. Some NDE’s suggest that your Father can even visit the part of his family’s souls that stays on the other side while we come to Earth. So in a sense you can ask you Higher Soul to visit your Father any time you need. Allow yourself to grieve even if you are used to supporting others. Yet, also know that the space between you is an illusion. Take as long as you need, with no feeling of rush. Feel exactly how you need to feel in every moment. Be free to feel anything, even the anger at the Universe that is part of the known stages of grief. Do not fear that any ‘negative’ feeling would attract more ‘negativity.’ That creates a prison, and doesn’t allow for the stages of life to occur naturally. Take your time recovering. Your Father is indeed in a good place. I think he decided to create a simple house after seeing the expensive one. He might even spend some time gardening beside you this Spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Posted by Kathleen Kirshy on March 15, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Laura,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I love your words, what you did for your dad and the love between the two of you. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this as I am in the process of getting to know my dad, he is 73. I’m actually going to see him to have some father/daughter time Easter weekend. I want to know so much before the time we have is no longer.

    Much love.

    Kathleen

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Namaste Laura,

    It’s been an amazing lesson for us all to be a part of your life during your Dad’s transition hOMe.

    Your Dad’s words “I’m glad we’ll get the extra time together” resonate so strongly. You really made the most of your time together in physical form, we are so glad that it worked out for you and David to be there just as planned.

    You and your Dad will continue communicating deeply together (in particular, I picture your writing). Your Dad’s words will continue to resonate with others, as will the hospice workers be open to new ways of transitioning for those they care for. It’s wonderful how you taught your sister Reiki and you could both work together. The waves of blessings go on!

    Sustained Vibrations of Healing Light and Love to you and your family,
    Here and Beyond,
    Sri Devi, Ashtar Ron and Michi

    Liked by 1 person

  27. […] « Revel in Paradise, Dad! […]

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  28. My condolences to you and yours; thank you for sharing your challenging, beautiful and inspiring family journey, that will give many of us strength when we face our own.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sending so much love and healing to you and your family. What a beautiful example of how to handle these powerful transitions. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us, as it helps to see the process from a new perspective, which is healing for us all. I am looking forward to seeing how your Dad will be supporting you from beyond. Love you! ❤ XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks and love, Allison! Yes, I’ve wondered the same about my dad. 🙂 ❤

    Like

  31. Thanks so much, ForeverUnlimited! Lovely name for this special time, too….

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Dear Sri Devi, Ashtar Ron and Michi, thanks so much for the ongoing energy, love and support. Beautiful blessings, love and light to you and yours…

    Like

  33. Thank you, Kathleen!

    Like

  34. Thank you, PeaceNowFlower. My father does love my garden! ❤

    Like

  35. Thanks and love, Barbara!

    Like

  36. […] Mercury went Retrograde in early January 2016, and just as it went direct, my father’s long term battle with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma took a major turn for the worse. He could suddenly no longer tolerate the medication he was convinced had kept him alive. February brought my brother and me to Pennsylvania to help manage our father’s care, and then March included lots of returns and release as my father began his obvious transition beyond the veil. […]

    Like

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