He's gone and thank the gods, pain-free and relatively peacefully with none of his almost legendary obstinacy in the early hours of this morning which was also the birthday of his younger sister who died 9 years ago.
My mum was convinced he'd 'hang on' until Xmas day to give her 'a challenge' - he was always proud of her ability to put the willies up useless or dodgy service-providers call centres and helplines.
Yesterday I went over to spend the afternoon and early evening with them and my sister. Mum had sounded rather calm but sad on the phone when the arrangement was made, but by the time I got there, the district nurse was finishing the paperwork having got him on a timed-delivery diamorphine drip around 10 am, which had taken all of 20 seconds to sedate him for the duration after a very disturbed period during the night. He had been adament that he should be moved because there were rats under his bed.
So by the time I got there both mum and my sister were visibly relieved and beginning to relax.
All that was needed the rest of the time was to keep his mouth moist with swabs, he never regained consciousness and his breathing was as relaxed as it could have been. It was much better to see him truly asleep/unconscious and out of pain, than constantly drifting in and out of various levels of lucidity as he has been for the last 2 weeks or more so the three of us passed the afternoon talking and laughing a little about all kinds of things, some connected with dad, like what to do for an obit for the local paper and other times about anything and everything. We were all glad it was looking like being over v. soon. The Marie Curie nurses and the district ones had taken us through what to expect, so it was just a question of waiting and passing the time pleasantly until it ended without too much wallowing or wanting it to last any longer than was absolutely necessary.
I left at 7 pm, came home and went online to see how to get the obit done and even got it priced, so this morning when I eventually made it out of bed, it was to the welcome news of dad dying at around 3 am, having never regained consciousness. We'd already said goodbye so many times and in many ways by then, so there really was the minimum of regret and when I spoke to mum at last, she sounded almost happy and relieved that we could start to move on again as the waiting has been too much for everyone.
Here's what we're saying in the paper -
Much loved husband of Patricia; father of Janette, Tina, Catherine and Helen and grandfather of Ben, Lara, Alex, Joshua and Jessica, peacefully slipped away from us on 12th December 2009.
We will always remember you with love, respect and pride. We will always treasure the time and attention you lavished on us and the dignity and courage you showed us in your leave-taking.
I am thankful for the meds I take that have enabled me to stay calm and mostly detached in this period and not cause more concern and aggravation to others in having to cope with my lack of control. Most of all though I am so grateful to all my online friends, here and elsewhere, for their unerring support and many kindnesses which have and will continue to play a significant part in my own dealing with all this. I expect to be online a fair bit over the next part and taking part in business as usual as much as I can. This and other forums are the sanctuary for my comfort as well as my sanity and you all are the forum. Thank you all for being here for me