What was the last thing you said to someone before they died?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 22, 2020 09:04 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 22, 2020 09:04 AM

My father had been basically dying for ten years. He’d been a smoker since the age of 13 and it’d taken its toll on his body. It was constant hospitalizations, procedures, medications, for a few years before he passed away. I’d had a rocky relationship with him because he’d also been an alcoholic. My siblings and I had grown up in a chaotic, dysfunctional, alcoholic home. By the time I was 15 I was able to realize the causes for alcoholism, my dad’s depression, and the role my mom played in the situation as well. Thankfully I was able to get past the blame and anger and hurt to see my dad as a man who did love us but who was fighting demons bigger than himself.

When my daughter was born he immediately became so attached to her. I believe even today he saw her as his second chance to have a close, loving relationship with a child. And he definitely did that. I have numerous photos of him with her when she was a toddler, playing with her, holding her, and she ADORED him. It made my heart so happy to see him like that and to see my little girl being so loved.

During what turned out to be his last hospitalization I was with him almost constantly. When I got off from work I’d go to the hospital, on weekends I was with him at the hospital. My mom was there too, but I often made her go home to rest while I stayed. My daughter made him a card, a piece of printer paper folded in half with a picture of him and her together and “I love you PaPa, please get better” inside. One day while I was sitting with him I heard him rustling around and saw that he was awake. He’d been drifting in and out of consciousness and wasn’t “there” even when he was awake (he thought the ice chips my mom gave him were apple pie). I got the card out from my daughter and showed it to him, standing it on his chest so he could see it. He looked for a long time at the cover that had her drawing of him and her holding hands, then nodded his head so I opened it up and he read what she’d written to him. He looked at me and said “Tell her I love her.” I told him I would tell her and I told him that she already knew because he’d been such a wonderful grandfather to her. He went back to sleep.

He passed away the next day, at 12:20 am, on his birthday. He died only 30 minutes after my husband had convinced me to leave and go home. I was upset that he was alone until my husband, who was a nurse, told me he’d more than likely deliberately waited until I was gone, that he’d seen patients do this often. They don’t feel they can let go until they’re alone and so soon after family or loved ones leave they let go and pass on. I was always there, my mom was there, my older brother was there, so he felt he had to hold on.

My daughter today has a beautiful 6 month old and I wish with all my heart my dad was here to see her. She’s the identical image of my daughter at that age and I know he’d feel the same love towards her that he had for my daughter. I still miss him. I am my mom’s caregiver now as she descends into dementia and it’s heartbreaking seeing all those years they spent together disappearing as she, in her mind, becomes younger and younger. She’s moving past her years as a wife and mother and is now a young girl living in the same house as her parents (both of whom have been dead for a very long time). I lost my dad when he succumbed to respiratory failure and I lose my mom more every day.

The last thing I said to my dad while he was awake was to promise to tell my daughter he loved her. The last thing I said to him, in his casket, was that I loved him and that my daughter’s card was with him. He was cremated and her card was cremated with him

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