Dear Dr. Laura,
At 89 years of age, my dad had already had a couple of life-threatening episodes before he broke his hip and went to live at a nursing home. He always held high hopes of going back home to live, but never could regain quite enough strength to do so. He had health issues that required an occasional hospital stay, and several stays seemed as though they would result in his death. But just when the day seemed darkest, he would rally and recover.
As a result, even when the hospice nurse assured us that the end was imminent, and as I sat at his bedside, I was profoundly disillusioned when they eventually pronounced his death. How was it possible that, even at the age of 95, this strong, durable man could really be gone when so many times before he'd been able to recover?
It's been close to two years, but I continue to feel that huge void in my life. Even so, I have many dear memories I hold on to and recall often.
I have come to realize I never did actually say, "Goodbye," but I finally did manage a "So long, Daddy; 'til we meet again." This was mainly because I know he'd not want us to prolong our grief.
This earthly life is but a vapor. I'm looking ever forward to spending a joyous eternity with my loved ones in that land where we'll never grow old.