My Pal's dad died on Tuesday. It was kind of sudden, but his health had been failing; he'd been in and out of hospital a lot lately and My Pal had been feeling the pressure that comes from the impending drop of the other shoe. But as we all know, even though you're kind of expecting it, it still sucks when the shoe actually does drop.
But her dad had a pretty good last day. He'd been staying with his son & family since he'd been too weak to stay alone. He felt good enough on Saturday to take a field trip to his house to handle some errands, then back to his son's house for a steak dinner with the family. The last person he spoke with that evening was his grandson, with whom he was very close.
Then he went to bed and didn't wake up. He was alive but unresponsive on Sunday, and never woke up in the hospital before he passed.
You know, if you have to go, I think that's a pretty damned good way to go. Feeling a little better, wrapping up some loose ends, a great dinner with the family, surrounded by love. Then you go to sleep.
I first started thinking about this when my Dear MIL* died some 16 years ago. Her health had been declining steadily for quite a while; she spent most of her last weeks in the hospital as her body continued to fail. My Ex got the call from his brother one night -- it was time to fly back home. Now.
The beautiful thing was that even though she was struggling, she managed to stay until all six of her kids arrived. Once my Ex arrived and each kid had a chance for some private time with her, she went that very afternoon. Even though she wasn't entirely conscious that last day she seemed to know that everyone was there and that it was OK to leave.
Even thinking about it today, I get choked up.
I hope that I manage to live my life so that I can have that kind of passing.
*That's not sarcasm, either. I really liked her.