One of the most difficult things about aging is coming to a point when you start to rely on others to care for you. We all have the desire to be independent and to care for those we love. Father’s especially have the desire to be the provider, but at some point, those dear father’s will need us to care for them. With hospice, the patient’s family is supported and taught how to care for their loved one. That loved one receives support in many ways including how to cope with this new situation and unknown process. Below, Maria shares with us her father’s end-of-life story as a way to honor him this Father’s Day.
“The last chapters with my dad were difficult, yet beautiful. My dad was a prideful, strong man who thought his forever mission was to care for our mama and to be present with his family. For him to be taken care of was unacceptable and difficult so the struggle was real. As one of his children, I saw his ups and downs, but also witnessed the love he had for his wife, the one to push him to live life.
At 89 youthful years, he was going to show us all, he would make it to 90! This meant by all medical calculations three months longer than anyone thought. Never knowing how to care for him or that he would leave us, opened other doors to help us cope with what was coming. Taking it one day at a time was important and we had such great support from all the professional help we received. His nurse practitioner guided us through so much and she brought hospice in to assist in every single area of living life so that it was as normal as it could be for him. He looked forward to his baths, nurse visits, spiritual support, and the social worker who gently nudged him to think and vocalize his final thoughts and wishes. Yes, that was the toughest because it meant his mission would no longer exist–taking care of mama and enjoying his family grow in life. In reality, he did take care of all of us up to his dying breath by voicing his wishes. What I learned was that we have no control or say in anything during this difficult process, but that we can love and respect them for who they are and where they are in each moment. I learned that we are never too young to get our affairs in order and to live life to the fullest because that is how my dad lived his life.
Looking back, when times got tough and emotions were heavy it was because that is all my dad had control of, his attitude and independence, and no one could take that from him. Patience is love and it is powerful in times like these. There can never be a person to fill that role of my dad, but I can honor him in continuing forward, to enjoy life to the fullest and to do it with the people that matter most to me because that is what enriched his life to his dying day. When our loved ones leave this earth, you can never go back and fill that void. I miss my dad every day, but I know I will see him again one day. Cheers to my dad and all the dad’s, may they know how important they are to so many today and always.”
It is never easy to loose a loved one. Finding ways to honor and remember them helps keep their memories alive. If you have a loved one who is nearing the end of their journey here on earth, we can help. Hospice gives patients and families extra support, guidance, and medical services in your home. To learn more, contact us today.