ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Caring For A Parent In Their Final Hours Of Life

Updated on August 21, 2013

My Dad and His Plane (the Red Baron)


From the Second We Were Born

From the second we were born our parents have taken care of us, loved us and cherished us from our first breath in life.

I was so fortunate that I had loving parents and parents that would go to the ends of the Earth to protect me.

It is sad to say that not everyone has had a loving family life. There are parents that give up their new born child for many different reason that I will not get into in this hub. All I can say that I was blessed to have a the best Mother and Father in the world and miss them dearly.

As Your Parents Get Older

As you get older, your parents are getting older as well and you start to see their age catching up to them, and in many cases their health beginning to decline. As hard as it is to see your parents getting older and their health declining, this is the circle of life, sad to say.

it certainly breaks my heart to see anyone get older, but that is life and we have to deal with whatever health issues that may arise.

Our parents have taken care of us from the very beginning of our life, but there comes a time in our life that we need to do the same for our parents as they did for us. That is to love and care for them as they did for us.

This may mean sacrifices for us, meaning you may have to give up somethings in order to care for your parents, and especially if they are ill and need you as you needed them your whole life.

It is time to give back what was given to us from our parents.

Here is my story of how I took care of my dad in his final hours of life. Caring for a parent a parent in their final hours of life is what everyone of us should and must do. Our parents need us as we needed them all through the years of our life.

My Father was a very active and strong man. He had his pilots licence ever since he was 17 years of age and flew his entire life. He owned many different planes and always wanted to teach me to fly, but I was not interested for the fact that I was afraid of heights.

When my dad was 80 years old he was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma and began treatment for this cancer. Although nothing would hold my dad back from flying, people thought that his cancer would stop him and they were all wrong. My father was a strong and intelligent person and knew where to draw the line, but his cancer didn't stop him from flying. He flew that plane (The Red Baron) three weeks before his death.

When We Got the Horrible News

After about one year of treatments we got the horrible news from my dads Doctors that there was nothing else they could do to stop the cancer he had, and advised him to be admitted to the hospital and to be on Hospice.

The man my father was, said to the Doctors, "there is no way I will die in a hospital!" He wanted to die with dignity, and to die in his own home with his family.

It was my turn to take care of my father as he took care of me my entire life. It was my job, and my honor to give my fathers last days on Earth the dignity and love that he most deserved.

I left my home and moved in with my mom and dad to help with his care and to be there for my loving mother in her time of need. She needed her son to be with. My sister also stayed in their home and was a huge support and tremendous help for all of us.

This is where family needs to stick together, and love each other more than ever! It is now the time to say goodbye to the person that has brought you life into this world, but we will meet again someday in Heaven Dad!


Remembering My Father (remember Me)

Time Was Getting Near

I stayed with my parents for three weeks. The Hospice nurse informed me of what to expect in the days to come. I worked in a Hospital for 10 years and have seen many patients die, but to see your own parent dying in front of your own eyes is something totally different.

To see your father that was strong, intelligent, kind, loving, caring and full of life man decline right before your eyes is something words can not ever be described.

There was a photo of my dads parents hanging on the wall behind his bed, and he knew it was there. He asked me to move that photo from the back of his bed and put it on the wall in front of his bed so that he could look at his parents and had passed away so many years ago.

To hear him ask that of me ripped my heart out. He wanted to look at his parents that gave him life and to see that in a few hours he would be with them once again in Heaven.

The Hospice nurse said to me, in the final moments your dad will take 3 deep long breaths and the third breath will be the last one.

I went to the head of the bed and placed my arm behind my dads head and held it up so that he would have a clear view of his parents photo that he asked me to hang on the wall. I wrapped my other arm around his chest and witnessed and heard the first of three deep long breaths. Followed by the second and the final long and deep breath.

My Father that gave me life, and brought me up to be the man that he was has now died in my arms, as he held me in his arms when I was born.



© 2013 Mark Bruno


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Alun- Thank you so much for reading this hub. Your kind words touched my heart and hopefully this article may help someone that will face death in a family sooner or later. I appreciate your words, kindness and thoughtfulness .


    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      4 years ago from Essex, UK

      Heartfelt and poignant Mark. It's difficult to write about these things, but one can gain some contentment from the realisation that one has done the right thing in the final days.

      Regrets about past actions, or about things left unsaid which should have been said, are an awful and almost inevitable consequence when a loved one dies - I know from my own experiences - but it seems you have nothing to regret about your conduct here - you did the right thing, and I am sure that made things much easier for your mother, and more peaceful for your father, and you in turn can feel content about that.

      And hopefully others, reading this whilst going through a similar trauma, will gain comfort. Death is a shared experience, in that almost everyone has to handle the death of a loved one at some stage in their lives. It is good to read how it can be handled well. Alun

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Kathi- I didn't want you to cry. I am so sorry for the passing of your husband. You are so right Kathi, they are watching over us each and everyday. Your comment here in this hub is so touching to me and I thank you so much for that. It is wonderful that you were there with your husband Kathi in his last moments of life. Don't worry he and my dad knew we were there.

      God Bless you and big HUGs as well :)

    • Fossillady profile image


      5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Now why did you have to go and make me cry like that? This is so touching and beautiful, there are no words to describe the love flowing in this article. I lost my husband to cancer and I too was right there holding his hand while he took his last breathes. Our loved ones look over us now, I understand that more than ever before. Thank you for sharing such a sacred moment, Hugs and Blessings, Kathi

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      smcopywrite - Thank you for your comment and for reading. I know how you feel trying to write something like this. I had to stop many times for my eyes got teared up. After I was done it did feel good to get it out in the open and share my story and love for my father.

    • smcopywrite profile image


      5 years ago from all over the web

      i considered writing one of these for myself in the same situation, but every time i start i simply cannot get through it. thank you so much for putting it down on paper (or in writing) to share with us. great hub.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      wilderness - I am sorry about your dads passing. You are so right. To grant them their last wish. I am so glad I was with my dad up to the final breath. My mom and sister were also at his side. It is something I will never forget and now being years later I still think of him and that is why I have written this hub. I sure miss him so and three years later my mom passed away. I didn't make it in time and could not be at her side when she passed away. That is a totally different story which I just might write about one day.

      Stay strong my friend for we will both will be with our parents again one day.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      You bring back memories to me. My dad, too, made the request to go home rather than die in a sterile hospital and I and my siblings were able to grant his last wish. When he left us that last time it was in his own home, surrounded by his loved ones and he was at peace with the world.

      It is wrenching, as you know so well, is also beautiful. Death will come to us all one day and I have come to understand that the greatest gift we can give is our love and presence to help ease the way. Given his own home, with his family around him, Dad fooled the doctors and left us within hours rather than the week or two predicted. I have always been grateful that we could give him that choice to move on rather than linger.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      lovedoctor926- Thank you so much Marlene for reading and your comment. I feel much better now that I have written this. I don't know why I felt the urge to write this, but I appreciate you and your support to me.

      Thank you so much :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      That is pretty impressive of your father to fly that plane three weeks before his death. That is courage, faith and unfailing strength. As his son, you did the right thing by taking care of your dad and being by his side till he died. To watch your father die in your arms must have been painful, but at the same time you probably felt relived that he was no longer going to suffer anymore. This was a very touching story. thanks for sharing and by the way your dad looked great in the pic.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      vocalcoach - Thank you so much for your comment and your kind words to me. That really means so much. It was tough writing this but I got through it with a few tears I might add.

      God Bless you my friend and thanks again!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is so touching and beautiful. And you are just a wonderful son! I'm so glad you have shared this story and the photos are precious. Blessings to you, my friend.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)