Throughout this summer, Daniel's dad has pretty consistently declined after Daniel has left to come home. So it was no surprise to us when he slipped into an unconscious state on Thursday. Daniel had come home Wednesday after saying his goodbyes. On Friday I was sitting at my computer, catching up on work and taking a conference call. The call wrapped up at 11 and minutes later a skype message came in from Daniel, saying his dad was about to pass. I called the kids down from the living room and the three of us prayed for a peaceful passing for Grandpa. And he passed shortly after that.
By Friday evening we were up in Vancouver, where the kids did an excellent job of being funny and loud and distracting and helping with the first tough evening. Daniel's parents had been married just short of 52 years, so his mom is, understandably, very sad.
We stayed through Monday with his family, helping take care of funeral details, gathering old family photos, sorting through things. In a bit of timing that worked out for us (but pretty much not anyone else), the kids haven't started school yet because of the strike. So they didn't have to miss any school for our travels.
I'm in charge of the photo scrapbook for Daniel's dad. It's been a sad/happy morning, looking back at old photos and remembering fun times, but also seeing the faces of those who have passed on.
It was quite a summer. The cancer started right at the beginning of the summer and he passed just as the weather cooled and the leaves began to change. It's such a strong visual, the obvious changing of seasons around us as we leave one family season and enter a new one. Lots of changes. Daniel is now the only "Daddy" in his immediate family. Ethan is the last with the family name. Daniel's mom has never lived alone before.
The kids have been coping really well. They are old enough to understand the idea of and the permanence of death, but aren't so old/emotionally mature that they are grieving. The funeral on Saturday will probably be hard for them, especially for Ethan. There's the possibility of an open casket, so I've been talking them through that as well and reassuring them that they don't have to do/see anything they aren't comfortable with.
Back to photo sorting.