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Loving a Parent Till Death

Updated on April 20, 2017

A Glow To Light Our Path

Snow at night
Snow at night | Source

Quality Life and Death

A family member is ill and the disease has no cure. There are many mixed emotions as memories good and bad take a mental struggle to win dominant control. This is when we children helped each other by discussing our understanding of past hurts, choose to forgive, and actively give quality love to our parents as they did their best to raise us. There is so much a family member can do for our dying person, who was our dad. We children wanted to make our new experience satisfying, have a sense of fulfillment, and not feel emotionally guilty. We can only share with you the process we had with our dad who honorably took his illness without complaining onto death. He has taught us family members so much about the dignity of suffering and dying. He was not one to talk about it, so we could only ask questions and observe him in this process.

Make Precious Memories

We children knew what made our dad happy and did all we could to honor him till death. Each one of us children visited him once or twice a week, while he lived in rehab after a fall at his home. He loved going outside, going somewhere in our vehicle like his home community, church, and his children's neighborhoods. He looked out the car window to see all he could take in. We would take pictures of experiences we had and take them into him to show and tell him about them. The pictures needed to be larger, like on an iPad vs a cell phone, so he could see them better.

We took him to Doctor appointments so that all concerns were addressed. We could support him through to his next required medical procedures and through his follow-up appointments. Doctors loved when family members assisted him in his visits.

When he could no longer get into our homes, we as a family planned meals and get togethers at his rehab center in a kitchen activity room. Once again, no matter how tired he got, he had strength to take in every moment of our visits. We took lots of pictures so he could look at them weeks later. He enjoyed the meals we children brought in to eat with him, which reminded him of old times. We were careful to make what he could eat and have, to not jeopardize him of his restricted diet.

A Family Matter

We children knew our responsibility in the care of our parents. My brother and I, as twins, were made POA's. My brother took care of the finances and I took care of the medical concerns. We would ask for each other's consent on issues as a check and balance consensus. We shared together our thoughts and worked well together concerning his care. My younger sisters each had their part in helping to assist with his needs, and we let them give suggestions for decisions that involved all of us. Rather than dwelling on hurtful statements, or our disagreements, we thanked and praised each other for each part in helping out in his care. Love covers many possible hurts!

Keep Family Informed

Then it was time for our dad to go to the hospital. I noticed his breathing was not normal. He was rattling in his throat. I kept sending messages to my siblings that this is not a good sign. This was serious. Our mother and I were able to spend many hours with him during his short stay. He was very content knowing someone was there with him. My mother and I visited each other, brought things along to do while we waited. We kept the atmosphere normal, like as if he was just sick. We missed church this one Sunday morning, so I asked my dad if he wanted to listen to Gospel music. He said he did. So,we put on AOL radio, and played it so he could listen. The first song that came on was, "The Joy of Heaven". He was able to move his feet to the rhythm of the music! He smiled, and soon afterward, passed away. The other siblings were planning to come in on the afternoon to be with daddy, but he just could not hold out long enough. Because our mother and I were able to be there, we were soooo relieved to experience his passing, which gave us a peace that the other siblings missed. If I would not have been there, his passing would have been so much harder to bear.

The Funeral

As we prepared for our dad's burial and funeral, our whole family was involved. Dad had the church service planned, casket picked, and who would do what. Our mother picked the funeral cards. It was not what we children wanted, but it what she wanted. To us, that was the most important! We let her know we disagreed, but she knew what she wanted. We all chose to be happy with the choice.

The service was reverent with the devotions and message. The congregation sang his chosen songs. Then, each one of us children wrote our respects, memories, and love for our dad and the In-Laws and Grand Children read them to the congregation. At the last viewing, we each placed them in his hands to go with him into the grave. We also have a scrapbook of memories and pictures of our life experiences growing up and put the copies of eulogy in it to remember. We all love reading through that at times. This will help the generations ahead to understand where their ancestors came from in life experiences. It is just like the diaries I am now reading written by my Great Grandfather, back in the 1924 to 1964 years. It has greatly helped me understand my dad so much more! He is a product of the past, and so are we!

Till We Meet Again

Because our dad was a born again Christian, and Jesus was his Lord, we know that he is with Jesus, rejoicing and at peace. We know that leaving earth, you go through a dark tunnel with a light at the far end, to meet Jesus on His throne at the judgement seat of eternity. Many dying Christians have told us witnesses of this transaction experience when our soul is lifted out of their bodies. So, now is the day of Salvation. Heaven and hell are real. Be ready when it is your turn to ascend from earth, that Jesus will know you and say, "Come with me to Paradise, a place that I have prepared for you!" Ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and become Lord of your life. Tell Him that you want to do His will for the rest of your life. You will be the most blessed person within, for He gives you a peace beyond understanding, and pray the Holy Spirit to come in and be your comfort and guide. God be with you till we meet again!

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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We recently experienced the passing of my mother-in-law. Although she was unconscious during her final hours, the time spent there was in reflection of a life well lived. We were able to have our children communicate their love to her on the telephone, and say their good-byes. It was hard for all, but well worth the time spent.

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