My father was put on a respirator. By Sunday, it was apparent that he wasn’t going to recover, so my mother, brother, and I made the fateful decision to have the respirator removed. It was removed at about 1:30 PM. We sat by my father’s bedside, held his hands, listened to his breathing, and watched the heart rate monitor. His breaths grew less and less frequent, as his heart rate dropped. When his heart rate dropped below 30, the monitor sounded. The nurse came to shut it off. My father died 3:42 PM, Sunday, April 22, 2007.
That was not the end of bad news. Susan called to let us know that her son was diagnosed with cancer. Also, the daughter of my mother’s late friend called to say that her father had died. As I had to contend with my mother at the same time, I’m sorry that I couldn’t be fully present for these people when they called.