Goodbye to My Dad

Goodbye-to-my-dadMy whole life I have been truly blessed when it comes to death. With the exception of grandparents,  who died at the end of very long, full lives, I haven’t had many people pass away that I have been close with.

Last week I watched my dad die. Four months ago he was given a few short weeks to live, but he managed to hold on, giving me and my family the time we needed to share special moments and love. He only spent two days in the hospital, mostly sleeping, before he quietly slipped away, and I am profoundly changed for having the privilege of baring witness to that event.

It was peaceful. Having little experience with death, I didn’t know if it would be unsettling, scary, and maybe even awful…but it was really quite beautiful. My mom, my two sisters and I were there at the moment he left, and I have no doubt that he felt the love and support of his whole life in those moments.

I feel now that nothing will really bother me again. Death is many people’s greatest fear, because it takes us into the unknown. My dad gave my family the biggest gift though, by allowing us to be present to watch and to experience a unique kind of love.

I will carry this experience forward with my work, knowing that there is nothing to be afraid of. There are just challenges to overcome. I know my dad will be keeping a watchful eye on me, because he was a believer.

I love you Dad!

Breathe & Believe

Deanna Hansen

17 thoughts on “Goodbye to My Dad”

  1. A beautiful tribute to your Dad, and I know he will be watching over you always. My love to you and your family.

  2. So sorry for your loss sistah … I’m happy to hear it was a peaceful transition for your dad! It makes the whole experience a little easier for the heart to embrace! Big love and hugs

  3. My father passed away almost 30 years ago at 72 years, and my mother 7 years ago at 95 1/2 years. They lived in Dauphin. I wasn’t present for my father’s death, but had seen him only a couple of days before. My mother’s hip broke and she died about a week after surgery. I was fortunate to be able to stay with her in the hospital in the bed next to her during the last five days of her life. She didn’t want to die and feared it greatly. Her own mother had lived to be 100 plus 5 months and she was wanting to equal that record. You are indeed lucky to have been present for your Dad’s passing. I still miss them terribly. My condolences to you and your family. God Bless

  4. Nicole Matthews

    Deanne, that was so beautifully written. You are truly an inspiration. I wish you continued love and peace.

  5. Norma Drosdowech

    Thanks for sharing your memories Deanna – those from the past and those from his last farewell. Today, I am going to meet with a friend from the UU church who wants to have one last traditional lunch at McNally’s a tradition of long standing for a core group of members of our congregation and which follows our Sunday service.

    Today, my friend, Joyce has now moved into a palliative care mode but wants just one more lunch so I am awaiting her call from McNally’s. I will join them.

  6. Maureen Senden (MacKay)

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful experience of love you shared. I too am a believer and trust he will always be looking after you.
    I experienced loss at an early age…I was 10 years old when my mother passed. Death has always been an very huge part of Life for me. I was present for both my grandparents passing and it was very beautiful to be a part of sending them off to continue their journey elsewhere.

    Deanna, be well and continue the beautiful work you do in teaching others what God has gifted to you.

    Take care,
    Maureen

  7. You truly are very inspirational with the words you have expressed. I know he is watching over you. In fact, I even believe he was able to be around you long enough to see you work through the roughest years of your life, and to blossom into a physically and mentally healthier individual. I don’t believe this was just a coincidence. Keep your head up and know that you have many friends supporting you!

    Cheers

  8. Liisa Johnson

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Deanna !! What an incredible experience and what a privilege to have shared in that moment. I too have been there for a few people including my dear parents. I liken it to being at the birth of many of my grand children…..a religious experience …profound !!! Having the assurance of ever lasting life helps those of us, left behind, comforted , though still missing the person sometimes painfully much. Thank you for sharing with us, your experience…Blessings always, Liisa Nygard Johnson

  9. You truly are very inspirational with the words you have expressed. I know he is watching over you. In fact, I even believe he was able to be around you long enough to see you work through the roughest years of your life, and to blossom into a physically and mentally healthier individual. I don’t believe this was just a coincidence. Keep your head up and know that you have many friends supporting you!

    Cheers

  10. Deanna, I know there will be days ahead when you miss your Dad, but know that he will always live in your heart and that if you are a believer as we’ll you will see him in eternity

  11. Having lost both of my parents in my early adulthood, I share both your wonder and sadness over the experience of witnessing a loved one die. Grace is most present for us at those moments. My condolences, Deanna, and thank you for sharing your goodbye with us.

  12. Deanna,

    Sorry for the earthly passing of your Dad. It was a gift that you were able to say goodbye and that there was no suffering. I believe your soul passes from this experience to a far greater one and still maintains contact with loved ones. Know your Dad is forever with you….the soul never dies.

    Blessings,

    Debra

  13. Deanna, so sorry to hear about your Dad. Thank you for sharing these beautiful insights with us. Wishing you strength and peace in the days ahead. <3

  14. Dearest Deanna,

    Just catching up on emails now.
    After witnessing many people as they take there last breath, I am so glad your dad was at peace.
    I believe your work allowed more space and ease in transition. What a wonderful gift!
    I trust he will watch and guide you always
    Many Blessings dear one
    Shelley

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