Yesterday was the first anniversary of our father's death. I called my mother in the morning and she was surprisingly calm. Perhaps the rest of the day was different; I don't know. The call was uneventful, though, so I'm thankful.
Our father's dying was also uneventful, and, for the most part, calm. There had been one evening of confusion, of disorientation and extreme restlessness. That was the night he was hospitalized.
There was no lingering for days and weeks, no frail mother trekking to the hospital day after day. There was no agonising pain, no bedsores, no wailing in fear. Just tiredness and fading. Some response went to no response. In five days he was dead.
The manner of his death was a gift. There were no soul searching decisions to be made as there were no life support systems involved. No switches to be turned off, no plugs to be pulled. There was just him in the bed, just a person, no equipment, with his family. There was breath and then there was none. There was life and then... gone.
Actually, we were all a bit surprised. It was almost anticlimactic. When you've braced yourself for drama and it does not come to pass, well!
So, we stayed for a while and marvelled that the shell which had served him for 91 years now no longer contained him.
Last year, we welcomed a new baby into the family. Now there are 5 great grandchildren; they all have little bits of him in them. I think it's marvelous.