The Bitter Sweet Passing Of My Dad



As some of you may know, my Dad passed away on Saturday night.   We were blessed to be able to be there with him, but it doesn’t change the fact that I watched my father die right in front of my very eyes.

I watched as his body slowly gave up the fight.

We should go right back to 2000 when his body first started giving up on him.  He was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, a rare (1 in a million) form of Muscular Dystrophy that slowly degenerates every single muscle in the body.  For 14 years he lived with having to re-adjust his lifestyle every time he grew to weak to do another thing – first it was being able to get up from the floor, then it was bending his legs, then it was driving, then it was walking, then it was the littlest things that we take for granted every single day.  Just lifting or moving his own arm was basically impossible for him.

He was being trapped by his own body and yet he was mostly the most positive man you could have the privilege of knowing.  His body may have been failing him, but his mind was a sharp as a tack.  I have so much more to say about how brave and strong he was in light of his affliction, but I’m going to save it for another day.  A day when I will do him justice with my words.  Which will be a very hard feat.

We knew that his condition would be the reason that he left us behind, but we just never knew when it would happen.  No one did and no one could.  As his condition worsened over the last year I dreaded unexpected phone calls from my mother in case it was actually happening.

And now it was.

At first, when he was admitted into the ER and then the ICU for pneumonia, his high heart rate was scary – no one should have a resting heart beat of over 130, but then it became a comfort, knowing that it was working so hard to keep him with us.  Despite various forms of antibiotics and physio to try to get the gunk out, the pneumonia remained.  He just didn’t have the muscles he needed in order to cough it up.

In the days after his admission we went to visit him every day, filled with hope for the possibility of a cure but knowing deep down that this was probably the end, the last time that we might be able to tell him we loved him and for him to actually hear it.  Sometimes we were filled with guilt and pain at the fleeting thoughts that death might actually be the release he needed to escape his human prison – an end to his suffering, his pain, his humiliation, his despair and his worry.

And then the call came.  It was time.  The Doctor didn’t think that he had much longer with us.  We rushed off to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and tried to communicate with him even though he was very clearly unconscious.

We watched as the machines kept beeping and shouting that his body was not doing what it was supposed to do.

We watched as they took him off the ventilator that was manually filling his lungs with oxygen in a desperate attempt to get clear the gunk and keep him going.

We watched as they pulled off the mask and his pale, slack face emerged, tongue lolling out the side, covered in bruises from the various gadgets that they had him hooked up to over the last few days.

We watched as they put on the normal oxygen mask and how his heart rate just kept dropping and dropping. 99… 87… 82…60… 44…  37… 20… 37….

We watched as his lungs gave up first, from desperate (but peaceful) attempts to get air in to just nothing.  No movement at all.  37… 29… 20… 10… 36…

We watched as his heart, the heart that loved us all so much, kept beating.  Despite his lungs failing him.  10… 4…

We watched as his heart stopped.  But then started again.  Stubborn all the way until the end. 0… 4… 4… 4…

We watched as his heart stopped for good.  0 —

We watched as my beloved Dad went to be with our Saviour.  Our Jesus.

We rejoiced in the knowledge that he is with our Lord with a perfect body – running and jumping and dancing and singing.  We grieve that we are left in this World without him.


36 thoughts on “The Bitter Sweet Passing Of My Dad

  1. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I know nothing anyone says will make it any easier… But please just know my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Your father was a very brave, inspiring and friendly man xxx

  2. Cindy, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you, your brother and mother will get through this heart renching time and I also pray that the amazing legacy that your Father left behind will live on through you, your children and everyone else he inspired. God’s strength! XXX

  3. So sorry Cindy and family 😦 My utmost condolences. Lots of strength to you during this difficult time. Xxxx 😦

  4. My deepest sympathy Cindy… sitting and crying at my desk at work. The way you explained it reminded me of my dad passing away two years ago. terrible to watch him pass on. Take your time to grieve, dont rush it. Sending you lots of love and light.

  5. Condolences to you and the family. What a heart felt post, has tears running down my cheeks. May your dad be at peace, and may he be remembered for the wonderful sense of humour he had xxx

  6. My sympathies Cindy… it is never easy watching the one you love leave..I pray God gives you and your family the strength you need during this difficult time. xXx

  7. Cindy this has brought tears to my eyes, I cant imagine having to go through something like that. I pray that God brings you all strength at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. xxx

  8. Crying for/with you. There is nothing on this earth as terrifying or as humbling as watching a loved one, especially a parent pass on. Strength to you and yours!

  9. Thank you for sharing this very personal happening in your life. It took me right back to when we had to take my mother in law off her ventilator after a sudden brain aneurism ruptured. Funny how even though you’d think 14 years will be enough time to prepare for this inevitability, one is never truly prepared for when the inevitable happens. Hugs x

  10. So sorry for your loss. May God give your family the strength to deal with this difficult time in your lives. He is at peace now.

  11. Cindy this post has just brought back many memories of my own Father’s passing 4 years ago. It is the worst thing to lose a loved parent. I pray healing and His grace over the ones your Dad has left behind. All I can say is take your grief one day at a time. With time you will be able to think of his passing without feeling that sense of loss and dispair.

    Many, many hugs to you all.


  12. Beautifully written. Thinking of you and your family at this time. And YES and AMEN, he has his new body on in heaven, take comfort in that xxx

  13. Dearest Cindy, Thank you for having the courage to share this with us.
    Praying for strength for you and your family through this time of mourning, especially for your Mom.
    Remember (through tears, anger, uncontrolled emotion) that only we – Children of God through His eternal promise can rejoice in death. We can look forward to eternal relationships with our loved ones. Death “wins” on earth, but our Souls are immortal through the blood of Christ.
    Take refuge in the Lord. Allow yourself to Mourn the way YOU need to. I pray for your precious Little Ones as they try and understand that their Grandfather is in a better place. And that one day they will be able to jump on him!!!!
    much love
    Nadine xx

  14. I am so sorry for your loss…by total co-incidence I used to follow your Dad’s blog on Letterdash and then when we moved over to WordPress I followed it there too…..I always found his blogs so inspirational… Please pass onto your Mom and the rest of the family My deepest Condolences on your loss….

  15. I am so so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you and your family. But as you said, he is now with our Saviour… happy and healthy. Much love xx

  16. Oh Cindy, I am so very sorry for your huge huge loss. I am way behind on blog reading and did not even know. I pray that peace will be with you and the rest of the family, And what a beautiful fitting photograph to end your post.

  17. I have just stumbled across your blog and read this post. A love for a father is only surpassed by the love of a father. May he rest in peace. Love, light and Divine Blessings

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