Brewing Thoughts

June 6, 2007

A Moment of Silence

Filed under: Family — jidd @ 12:48 pm

John Douglas & John David at Airport.jpgSorry things have been so quiet for a few weeks. As some of you may know, my dad passed away last month on the 14th, which just happened to be the day I was supposed to start my new position here in Fresno. Twice now with my company I’ve taken a week of bereavement leave when I’ve transferred to a new position. Last time it was for grandma when I was supposed to start in Sacramento. Let this be a lesson to my family, if I have to move again you could be next!

Dad’s death was the most involved I’ve ever been in something like this. It all went very quickly. Working around the state as I have for the last few years, I hadn’t been seeing him as much as I should/wanted. Once I started up in Colusa, I tried to make a point of stopping by Madera on my way home Friday afternoons to have dinner with dad & his girlfriend. Recently, I’ve taken a little bit of time off for trips to the hospital when he went in for his first surgery about a week and a half before he passed.

The short(er) version of what happened is that he went in on a Thursday for a Friday morning surgery to have an intestinal tumor removed. He was discharged the following Tuesday, returned via the ER on that Thursday night in extreme pain with his stomach obviously very distended. I got to talk to him a bit that night, but it was difficult considering the pain he was in. Friday morning we spoke briefly before they did another surgery to address the complications, this time moving him to ICU for recovery and keeping him heavily sedated to allow him to heal without complicating things by moving around. While the doctors say that patients medicated as he was can hear but not respond, he was never “conscious” again.

I was at the hospital off and on throughout the weekend, keeping abreast of any changes in his condition and keeping family informed of what was going on. Having medical power of attorney for dad, I was also the one to sign any documents necessary to direct his care. While there were various other complications, the worst was that his kidney (yes, only one) was not recovering after the surgery and he was unable to pass any fluids. By Sunday it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t going to come around.

Monday morning I met with the doctors to make the decision to withdraw the respirator and increase his meds to make him as comfortable as possible. At around 10:15 they withdrew the respirator. There was only myself, my dad’s girlfriend Ruth, and the attending nurse there in the room with him. I held his hand and looked into his vacant, medicated eyes. I tried to smile for him, not knowing if he was able to look back or not, afraid to look away if he was. His breathing slowed and started to come in spurts, then finally ceased. He passed at around 10:20.

A week from today dad would be 77.  Happy birthday and thank you.

My heart is heavy.



  1. wow. sorry man. my condolences is all i can offer.

    Comment by ed — June 7, 2007 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  2. Yeah. Sorry.

    Comment by Adam — June 7, 2007 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  3. me too, jd. i’ll be thinking about you the next while.

    Comment by timidvenus — June 9, 2007 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

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