Term Paper: My Father

Pages: 3 (989 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Death and Dying  (general)

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Death & Dying - Hospice

REFLECTING on the DEATH of MY FATHER

My beloved father died recently. In life, he was the source of many lessons, about love, friendship, honesty, compassion, fairness, responsibility, sacrifice, and the meaning of personal integrity. In his death, he provided one last lesson, a lesson represented more by questions and the opportunity for self-exploration rather than a lesson of definitive answers or solutions.

We all knew that my father was dying, because while still a hospital in-patient, his doctor advised him that he had approximately a week to live without dialysis.

Because dialysis meant merely extending a life that had become more difficult to prolong than to relinquish, my father declined the treatment; he had had enough suffering and discomfort. I recall understanding his decision but being aware of a vague feeling of anger at his choice, despite the fact that I did not want him to suffer.

My father spent the last week of his life confined to his bed at home, where we cared for him 'round the clock, changing his position in bed to avoid bedsores, feeding him, changing him, and keeping him clean. We had arranged for delivery of whatever equipment we could find to make the end of his life as comfortable as possible, including hospital bed and supplemental oxygen.

For the first time, our respective roles had reversed completely, with my father's absolute dependence on us, instead of the other way around, for even the most basic human needs. In many ways, it was similar to caring for an infant. At times, it was difficult for me to grasp the reality that this dependent person barely conscious in a hospital bed was really my father. Looking back on it afterwards, I was already in a mild state of psychological shock, just at my father's deterioration, even before he died.

At the same time, I tried to focus on the fact that my father was still alive, which meant that I hadn't yet lost him. In reality, most of the person my father had been died long before he actually drew his last breath. Psychologists would probably say that I was in a state of denial in pretending that my father was still "OK" when in truth, he obviously was not "OK" in the least. Nevertheless, I had also begun anticipating the grieving process while he was still alive.

At first, my reaction to his death matched my expectations as my tears flowed more freely than ever before, at least more freely than ever before as an adult. The morning after he died, my grief seemed at first to have passed, but gradually, I realized that I had become numb. I helped arrange for his funeral and for family gatherings as well as carrying out daily routines that still had to be done. In some respects, the numbness was even worse than the first day of grief I experienced, because nothing else in my… [END OF PREVIEW]

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My Father.  (2007, October 4).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/father/65916

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"My Father."  Essaytown.com.  October 4, 2007.  Accessed December 9, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/father/65916.