My dad passed away

On Sunday morning early I got the phone call from my brother, that the hospice had called and our dad had past away shortly after midnight, August 16th 2015. Curiously, it’t the date when the hunting of deers begin in Sweden. Something my dad hasn’t missed before.

The shock wasn’t there. We knew it was close. We knew it had to happen. I can’t say I felt relieved in any way because I honestly didn’t. I felt empty and lost inside. So we focused on what we needed to do: Meet the undertaker, call the cemetery people and priest and arrange for the funeral and the restaurant arrangements for after.

The nurses at the hospice told us briefly that he had felt bad a few hours in the evening and they had given him pain relief and something to calm him. They could tell on his breathing that it was close, but since we had requested that unless we could do some good by being at his bedside, they shouldn’t call us until morning. So they didn’t.

They had dressed him in his hunting clothes and he looked very nice and peaceful as he laid on the bed. His soul had gone home and his remains was what we had to say goodbye to. My brother gave him his binocular and gave him “a hunters salute”. I gave him his hunting knife and said my teary goodbye. He felt cold. He looked pale. But of course without his soul, it’s just an empty shell. Still, it’s the “shell” I have learned to recognize and love as “dad”. And I miss him! I know it was for the best and he is at peace now. But I miss him.

His funeral is Friday. He will be laid to rest in a pine tree coffin and we ordered beautiful flower arrangements in blue and white and green colors. My daughter is scared of the funeral, because it’s connected to her grandpa or because she never tried it before I do not know. She stops talking the second I mention funeral.

The hospice place a card in a photo frame and lit the candle in honor of my dad. The print says “Today we said goodbye to Egon Kjær Rasmussen. Honor be to his memory”. I thought it was beautiful.

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3 thoughts on “My dad passed away

  1. MarieinZushi

    Dear Lene, I’m praying for you both as you prepare and attend your father’s funeral. DD will be ok, even though this is scary now. I remember feeling similarly as a child. The ritual of it all helped me, the love that was there in the copious stories and the catharsis of the open casket helped me to understand I would not see this family member again and yet be ok with it. My heart is there with you both! I’ll tell my DD tomorrow. She’s been asking about you both.

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  2. Oh, Lene – my heart is with you and your family. It is especially hard when we aren’t sure of their spiritual condition (not sure about my dad, either), but our comfort is that Messiah is a true and faithful judge, and since His ways are not our ways, we are foolish to try to second-guess Him! He may really surprise all of us!

    I am praying for your daughter. I hope she finds that the funeral is not as bad as she expects. I went to my first funeral (open casket for a man I dearly loved) when I was about 10, and I remember being really scared until I got there and saw that there was nothing to be scared of. (All the grownups acted sad but not scared, so I took my cue from them. They acted like this was a normal part of life – which it is – so that really helped.) I also remember that the body – even to a little kid like me – was very obviously ’empty’, which helped me grasp the idea of eternal life and to see flesh as something that contains life but is not the sum total of life.

    Praying blessings for you and your precious family.

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