The Goodbye Party

The last few days have been a wonderful opportunity for Dad to see how many people love and care about him. Our house has been packed with people each night who have come to celebrate his life. We gave Dad his last dose of Dexamethasone on Friday and we were blessed that he was able to keep his strength up until yesterday. We enjoyed the long weekend and Dad even said that he felt like a celebrity. He was able to eat many of his favorite foods, visit with his favorite people and tell all of his favorite jokes. Many of his old friends from his fraternity have been in town and they have been swapping old stories.

Dad had wanted to go to Vegas so on Saturday Mom brought in a black jack table and hired a dealer. Dad loved it! He got to play along side his fraternity brothers, close friends as well as with me and my long time friend.

Unfortunately, the effects have worn off from the steroid and Dad is now experiencing more and more fatigue. While yesterday he was able to get out of bed and talk for a little bit, today he has been in bed all day.  As expected, he is spending more time asleep than awake at this point. He has mostly lost his appetite and is eating and drinking very little. Dad has very little pain, but we are also giving him some morphine to make him  a little more comfortable and less anxious.

Yesterday the hospice nurse and social worker came by and they prepared us for what is coming. They also delivered a hospital bed and as of this afternoon, Dad has moved out of his regular bed and into that bed. Today, we had a priest come and do the anointing of the sick.

While everyone is still welcome to come by at the usual time (7pm -9:30pm), we would like to let people know what they may not be able to have meaningful visits with Dad at this point. His communication is at a minimum. They say that hearing is one of the last things to go, so he will still be able to hear his family and friends having a good time which will make him happy.

We’ve been getting a lot of requests to know how Dad is doing, so I thought I’d share some resources on the dying process. These are from several different sources and are similar to the materials that we received from our hospice. All of the resources stress that we make sure that he knows that its okay to leave and make sure there is nothing holding him back. He is letting go of his grasp on this life and reaching for the next. The more peace we can give him during that process, the better.

Again, we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We couldn’t do it without all of you.  If you are interested in sending photos of Dad for the slideshow, please send them to bobgourleyslideshow@gmail.com.

We will do our best to keep you posted. Lots of love.