It Happened This Morning, an Hour Before Sunrise

January 8th, 2021:

My father has died. It happened this morning, an hour before sunrise.

Last Saturday, January 2nd, Dad went to the hospital with symptoms in line with a mild-to-moderate stroke. At first, we believed the great distress he’d felt at the passing of his sister — our beloved Aunt — a few days prior might have provoked it. But a CAT scan didn’t reveal signs of stroke.

Instead, they discovered cancer throughout his body. In his kidneys and spleen, in his lungs, and a trio of tumors in his brain.

The tumors in his brain were causing the stroke-like symptoms. Within a couple days, Dad’s physical and mental health deteriorated rapidly. He lost the ability to walk and began displaying behaviors akin to dementia, which became severe. On the third day, the doctors confirmed after many tests that no options existed to save him. During this entire time, we couldn’t see him in person because of the pandemic and hospital lockdowns. We called him in the ICU, but as he lost clarity of thought, those quick calls soon became more heartbreaking than helpful.

The doctors gave Dad two weeks to a couple months to live on Wednesday, and they transferred him to a hospice care facility yesterday, on Thursday afternoon. By that point, his physical condition had collapsed, and he was comatose. And today he passed away.

We are devastated.

I will be silent here for a week or more to focus on my family and privately work through my grief. We lost my mom in 2012, and with Dad’s passing their generation of our family now lives only in memory.

But I will return. Writers write. And I’ll keep writing because stories are all we are.

In the end.

Bless you all.

~Jason H. Abbott

20 thoughts on “It Happened This Morning, an Hour Before Sunrise

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  1. My heart goes out to you and your family, Jason. This is not a time to be shut away from each other. I am so sorry you have had to go through this without being able to be with your father and those you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue. It would have been a difficult death even without the pandemic, and with it it became a nightmare. We have strengthened as a family instead of being torn apart, but the scar of the ordeal will remain.

      Like

    1. Thank you for your sympathies, Michael.

      My mom had a long, drawn-out death. From the moment I was made aware of Dad’s crisis to his death, it was a little under 6 days. Dad’s passing was hardly instant or painless for him as some deaths can be, but comparing the two, I’d say the drawn-out death of my mother was the worse of the two for me emotionally. Losing someone slowly over months and with declining health over years grinds you down… as if you are losing them over and over again. With Dad, even with how horrible things were situationally, it was over and done. The wound isn’t being pried open again every day and not let alone to heal.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry for your loss. Please take as much time as you need to mourn and grieve. This has been a rough week for most of us. I look forward to reading your works soon. Keep the Faith, and keep writing. It can be great therapy in situations like this, a true emotional release. At least, it has been for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robert.

      Today I start a slow return to my goals and what is good for my soul and sanity. I’m going to do some writing this week, and take time for joy, rest and healing now that my father is at peace.

      It’s a time for new beginnings. And writing is my great healer.

      Like

    1. Thank you, James. As we piece together the picture of my father’s physical condition given the evidence, it became clear that he must have not have felt well in many ways for some time. He’d seen many doctors for other minor things, so the only answer is that he was concealing his conditions. None of us have any firm reasons why, but my best guess knowing my father as I do is that Dad feared losing his independence and “becoming a burden” more than death. The tragedy is that if he had spoken up early or consented to tests years ago, this might have been averted with comparatively minor surgery back then.

      But I miss him too bad to be angry with him. Instead I find solace in that this was likely in line with how he wanted to go.

      Like

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