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Many of you know that Dad was facing his last and perhaps most difficult challenges, declining from complications of dysphagia, losing either, strength and/or agility, yet still battling his way to reach 100. He almost made it. Dad lost his battle with life yesterday evening, about 40 - 45 minutes after I had left him at the SNF where he was getting hospice services. That's also the time it generally took me to get home when I left his house. He would call to make sure I got home safely. There will be no more calls now. I find it hard to even convey the depth of the bonds we had, the admiration I had for his stamina, his self taught knowledge, his adventurous spirit, and his insight into human behavior. Suddenly that's gone, but the benefit is that he's no longer struggling just to swallow water. He's no longer struggling to urge his compromised body to help him just turn in bed. I brought him to the SNF for post-hospitalization rehab, with the expectation that once again he could summon that tremendous spirit he has and overcome obstacles. But he was unable to do - the ravages of aging were winning. Gradually I saw the deterioration, my attitude changed and my hope diminished, and I began to look to the support of first palliative care, then hospice, to ease his suffering. I will miss him more than I can express; it's hard to articulate the meaning of a parent who was so strong and so inspiring, even in the face of so many obstacles, including intervention of others. But he's at peace. Goodbye Dad, and thank you for everything you've given me.

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GA, all we can do at this point is to cherish the blessings of having loved and been loved so truly. I know the depth of love you are feeling for your father...and I have recently started facing the reality of loosing my own. My heart goes out to you and I wanted you to know that your beautiful tribute has given me comfort, too. Peace and Blessings.
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Hello. This is my first post. My father is 81 and in hospice care. I take care of him every 2 weeks, my brother who is 10 years older than me takes care of him the other 2 weeks so i can go into work. I was with my dad 3 weeks this last time while my brother was in Ukraine and Moscow visiting 2 women he is dating. He is separated and getting a divorce. He shares stories of all the expensive places hes taken these women. I am at my boiling point. Our father, our last and best parent is dying and he is acting like its no big deal. In 2 weeks his lady friend is flying from Russia to visit him in LA and they will travel around CA. I can barely function. Life has lost all joy for me as I watch my father die. Don’t know how to deal with piece of @@&$ brother. Advice?
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"I'm still trying to reach an emotional position which allows me to respond to everyone w/o becoming emotional."

GA, I read your post here a couple of days ago, and I was feeling too emotional with my OWN emotional response to your description of this relationship you had with your father... that I didn't post at the time. I thought I would wait a day or two and then offer condolences. If that's how *I'm* feeling about your loss, I can only imagine that you are feeling very raw indeed.

I'm so very happy for you that you had such a friend in your father. I can only imagine what it would be like to have such a wonderful friend, a lifelong friend, taken away, the incredible loss you must feel... even while you celebrate his life and your special bond with him.

I think a journal is a great idea. You could "talk to him" when you're missing him.

I wish you growing peace in coming months. Many (((((hugs)))))) to you.
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Hugs Garden Artist. So sorry for your loss. I love the idea of a journal to continue to share your life with your dad.
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Thanks again for all the responses. I'm still trying to reach an emotional position which allows me to respond to everyone w/o becoming emotional. This is still a rough time.
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GA, I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to him was beautiful.
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Dear GardenArtist,

My deepest sympathies and condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful and loving tribute you wrote to your beloved dad. We are the lucky ones to have a good dad. Thinking of you during this sad time. Sending hugs.
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Beautiful sentiments on a life well lived, Garden
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Oh GardenArtist, I am so sorry about your dad. He sounds like a loving, wonderful dad and a very special person. He couldn't have had a more dedicated, thoughtful person caring for him. From what you've written about your dad, it sounds like you both shared a love of nature and great curiosity and spirit. I am so sorry for the loss you are experiencing. Your work in caring for your dad and the considerate way you address people's concerns have helped so many others here, so thank you. I hope you find consolation in the coming weeks and months. Thinking of you.
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GA - my deepest sympathies your profound loss. You had a very special bond with your father which will stay with you, and help sustain you in the days, months and years ahead. I too think the journal is a great idea. I lost my father over 40 years ago, but he is with me still. Wishing you peace and healing as you travel this journey of grief.
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GA so very sorry for your loss. What a lovely accolade to your Dad. I know you will miss him terribly. I still miss my Dad everyday.(HUGS)
Much love and prayers for you and your family.

The hournal is an excellent and beautiful idea
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Ahhh, GA I just saw. I am so sorry. His struggle is over. ((((Hugs))))
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As I drove past a lake on the way to the cemetery to pay the charges for opening and closing the grave site, I noticed a swan sitting on her (?) nest. Dad and I loved swans and often went out of our way to pass by lakes where swans nested.

I immediately thought "I need to call Dad to tell him I saw a nesting swan", then the reality hit me. So I've decided to start a diary/log of what I would have told him were he still alive. It'll be a sort of journal of the things we shared together. I hope it helps me get past that abrupt shock of no longer being able to share events and sights.

I may even add some art work, as that always relaxes me.

And again, thanks to everyone for your condolences and suggestions. I hope to spend more time responding to them after getting some more arrangements made now.
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Garden, so, so sorry for your loss. I heard something the other day that made me smile.
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"

You were blessed to have such a wonderful bond! Biggest hugs to you (((((Garden)))))
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GA, I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. You had a special bond with him. Sending you big hugs and a shoulder to cry on, should you need it.
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Thanks to everyone who offered condolences. It really, really means a lot to me.
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Your experience and insights have been so helpful to me and others here. I am so sorry about your loss. And while he is at peace now, I know that doesn't make up for the grief you feel.
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Dear GA I also have tears in my eyes for your sad loss. You are such an inspiration to others his spirit will live on through you. Please continue to share your wisdom with us when you feel you can.
May you have comfort in the difficult days ahead.
Blessings
Veronica
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I'm so sorry to read this, GA. Especially the no more phone calls part - it will indeed be a long time before you stop expecting to hear his voice.

Take extra care of yourself, wishing you peace.
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I'm so sorry GardenArtist........You and he were so lucky to have each other and as long as you did,thanks to his fighting spirit and your good care.
Take good care of yourself in the days ahead.
Many {{{hugs}}},Lu
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GardenArtist, my heartfelt sympathy to you. What you wrote about your Dad sounded something like I would have written about my Dad, my eyes became misty.

We are here for you if you have any questions. Please keep being a regular on this forum, as you add so much professional information.
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My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. What a wonderful tribute to him.
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Oh GA, I'm SO sorry for your loss. I'm all choked up from reading your beautiful post, thinking what your pain must be like, and remembering my own lovely father. You are right, his suffering is over, and that, at least, is a blessing. (((((Big, big hugs))))) to you.
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I am so sorry, GardenArtist. He sounds like a wonderful man. What a loss for you.
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Oh, GardenArtist, I just saw the post about the loss of your father. Your words are so touching and what a wonderful description of this fine man, friend and father. I'm sure he is so proud of you and what a wonderful child you have been to him. It is obvious how proud you are of him and what a wonderful and loving relationship you shared. Thank you for sharing with us about your father. Please accept my condolences.
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GA, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your post brought tears to my eyes. It's wonderful that you were able to retain such love and admiration for your father throughout the trials of caregiving. I hope you will continue to come here and contribute to this board - you are one of the wisest and most eloquent members of our tribe.
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Garden, what long road it has been for you. You dad was so lucky to have you at his side all these years. My deepest condolences.
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What a lovely tribute to your father. I am so heartbroken for you today. Peace & prayers for you during this difficult time.
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GA, you are so strong but we are all lessened when someone like your DAd leaves. So sorry for your loss.
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I'm so sorry to hear that GA you have my sympathy, even when we know it is coming we can never be adequately prepared.
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