My father died quietly in the hospice today, after a very rapid decline. Mom and I were with him most of the afternoon - he was sleeping quite peacefully, though his breathing was laboured. He didn't wake up - though he was awake yesterday, laughing at a few jokes I told him and listening to music. The last song he heard today was the Oak Ridge Boys' "Elvira," which he always loved - he opened his eyes as it was playing, though I don't know if he could see us, and Mom and I crowded in to say hello to him, and tell him we loved him, and then wish him goodbye as his breathing slowly stopped, just after the song ended. Thanks to those of you who have offered me support these last few months, and who sent in jokes. I didn't get to tell him all of them, unfortunately. My favourites were:
Q: What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
A: ANYONE can roast beef.
And (in slightly modified form from how it was told to me):
Q: What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot dog vendor?
A: "Make me one with everything."
He was one month and one day away from his 76th birthday.