Slice of Life Meme 'Good Byes'

Texasblu at Slice of Life has given us the topic of 'Good Byes' to write about.  I actually needed to write this down.

The hardest goodbye I ever made was in my heart in the dark of night in a hospital room. 

I was no stranger to good byes.  My  grandmother, father, father-in-law, and friends had passed from this life to a better one in the next life.  My husband and I along with my mother-in-law and his siblings, sat at my father-in-laws bedside and watched him pass from this life.   I had spent so many hours with him while he was ill, that he was a part of me too.

This was different.  This was my husband that I loved so dearly and we had been one so long that I never thought we would have to part for longer than a short time.  I had been at his side every moment while we went through his cancer treatments, fighting like a lion for his recovery.  This incidence he had had an overdose of morphine and ended up in ICU for draining his lungs and stabilizing his breathing.  While he was in the intermediate care, he was not back in this world a hundred percent.  I was sitting with him and he did not know me.  That was another fight to get them to change his medication; however, what happened during that time had a significant impact on me.  I was holding his hand, which he normally wanted, when all of a sudden he jerked his hand and said 'Let me go'.  I let his hand go, but could not quit reflecting on what he had said.  I knew he did not want to be kept on machines and sedated to mindlessness.  As I lay upon the couch that night listening to his breathing, I reflected upon what he had said.  Was he asking me to let his hand go? Was he asking Me to Let Him go?  I cried like I had never cried before.   I knew in my heart there was the cry in his heart to let him leave this life.  I silently told him good bye that I would get him home to die in peace. 

I accomplished that goal. He was able to come home on hospice.  He was able to tell his children and grandchildren he loved them.  I remember him looking up at me, as I was changing his tubing, and saying 'I love you' through his oxygen mask.
The morning he left us, my son was holding his hand and we were in the living room next to his bedside as he took his last breath. 
It was expected.  I handled it well, because I said good bye many weeks before in a different room. I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him.
I know I will see him again, and I am thankful that my heart heard his cry to prepare me for letting him go.


Eva Gallant said…
How sad, but loving.
We were just talking today about letting go and giving it to God, and how exactly is that accomplished, so that Christ can make up the difference through the atonement. I believe here it was because you were able to look beyond what you needed and wanted and let your heart be filled with the love you had for Dad. Thanks Mom for being such a great example to us. I love you.
It takes courage to respect our loved ones' wishes when they are ready to go. You did the right thing, and he was able to die in peace, at home.
chitra said…
Very sad indeed. It is difficult to terms with life when the dear ones leave.
hummer said…
Wendy, I am so sorry that my finger stuck on my mouse pad and rejected your comment. I have pasted it here.
Thank you everyone for your comments. It was hard, but I am glad.
Wendy has left a new comment on your post "Slice of Life Meme 'Good Byes'":

What an act of courage and faith on your part to let him go. And how lucky you were to have him home. My hubby never came home - but I understand that he made the right decision for him.

I too felt in my heart and in my thoughts what my husband needed at that "sleeping time" before he died. I wanted to wash his face or put a cold facecloth on his forehead to ease whatever discomfort he might have been feeling. I wanted to change him out of a hospital gown and into a shirt. That was me wanting to nurture, to frantically hold on to him. But all the time, I could "hear" or "feel" him saying "no, let me go. I need to leave my body and I can't if you keep anchoring me here."

I don't know how long it's been for you, but I am sure a day doesn't go by that you don't miss him.

Good-byes are sad, but I know it's just a matter of time until we are together again.