Grandpa was brought home to Mom’s house Sunday afternoon, and peacefully passed away yesterday morning around 6 am. I took Monday off of work to be with him and Mom, and we spent all day just waiting for the inevitable. Grandpa was pretty much unconscious the entire time he was home; hospice workers were there the entire time and kept him comfortable with medication. Monday night I slept on the sofa, listening to his breath all night. Early that morning, Mom came out from her bedroom to check on things; we were joking around on the couch, were laughing about how tough Grandpa was in the fact that he just kept hanging on. I’d noticed that since Mom entered the room his breathing slowed down quite a bit, and all of a sudden, he was gone. He didn’t move, gasp, or struggle. He just didn’t take another breath. I’m glad that he waited for Mom that morning – two minutes after she came out to the living room he finally let go, and I can only imagine that he was cheered by us laughing and playing with the dogs in his final moments.
It was Mom’s birthday yesterday, and she saw his hanging on until her birthday as a final gift.
Today Mom and I went to pick out his urn; we were originally going to get a simple wooden box, but I spotted a beautiful porcelain-like urn that Mom connected with right away. It was bright red and orange, and had autumn leaves on it outlined in gold. Grandpa’s favorite color was red, and he especially liked autumn. Mom has fond memories of taking family car trips in the fall, going up to Vermont to see the leaves change color. And, I found an urn for me, too! It’s really cool – mountains, trees, hills, and a waterfall in all the colors I like. So keep that in mind for my wish list, ok? Just kidding about that last part!
What a relief though – not only for us, but I’m sure for Grandpa, who had suffered these last years with back pain, sickness, and a deteriorating mental state. I’m so glad I had this past year to get to know him, and am happy that we were in each others’ lives even for a short time.