It would take a book to describe what happened only during last month with my dad. I had to make an emergency trip to Ohio on Dec. 16th because he had gone into hospice on Dec. 13th and would have to be out five days later. He wanted to pass at home, a 6′ 3″ invalid who used to weigh 185 and more pounds before illness began to waste his body in the last few years. I was there alone with him most of the time and with the help of neighbors, friends, cousins, other family, hospice workers, a Visiting Angel and a whole lot of major spiritual help he passed at home during the early morning hours of Christmas Day, not long after 2 AM which was the last time I checked on him before 9:20 AM. It was his Christmas gift to himself as a neighbor aptly put it. No more suffering in the physical. The hospice nurse told me later that he passed on his own terms and I say that is a fact. He was determined not to linger no matter what anyone said about the dying process and how long it would take, and so it was. I worked with him to honor his wishes and we did it!! There was nothing nice or pretty about this dying process, and I often felt I was in over my head, but once he was gone I felt relieved and happy for him.
One of my lovely and valuable cousins printed this out for me while I was with my dad and reading it helped my perspective greatly: