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Holding Dad’s Hand

My father died. They called us from the hospital, early-early in the morning with news he was in serious distress. I have always suspected he was already gone by that point, or nearly so. There had been some telephone mix up. A transposition of telephone numbers and they were unable to reach his home. I said I would handle it, and we hung up, but the phone rang immediately with my sister saying only “It’s time”. When I came into his room, it was crowded. There were a lot of students and someone explaining how to remove various tubes and hoses. I asked the first kid I saw if it was over and she… went into shock. I turned to the next with a similar result. Clearly, we had not reached the how-to-talk-to-family chapter of the textbook. “I am Virgil’s son. Can anyone here tell me if Virgil has died this morning, please?” Finally, a voice near the front said, “Yes. we’re sorry for your loss.” I explained the family was coming and we would like the room, please, and if it all possible, could they continue to remove the various tubes, hoses and apparatus? This was quickly done while I waited outside the room. At some interval, I saw my sister coming down the hallway with Dad’s widow. I didn’t […]