Saturday, February 19, 2011


My father-in-law went into a hospice last Thursday. Sunday he became unresponsive.  We spent the past week at his side. At one point I had time alone with him and I talked to him and told him everything I wanted to say (including the score of the Canucks game that was on that day because he would have wanted to know). I recorded Lincoln blabbering and gurgling and squealing and Ruby saying "Hi Grandpa Stan. I love you Grandpa Stan". When I played it for him he responded to it and turned his head towards my phone and tried to talk and reach. It was bitter sweet and heart wrenching.

He passed away on Thursday morning at 7am with his best friend at his side.  I am glad he wasn't alone.

That morning at exactly 7am, Lincoln started crying. He had been awake for 20 minutes already and had been happily playing with his toys on the floor. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.

The hospice placed a butterfly on his door as they use the butterfly to symbolize a person's natural transformation from life to death.

The next day after I got home with the kids, I put Ruby down for her afternoon nap.  Oddly she was up within 10 minutes knocking on her side of her bedroom door.  When I opened the door - she had a butterfly in her hand and held it up to me. It was a beautiful handmade butterfly that she got when she was born. It has been hanging on the back of her doorknob and this was the first time she's ever taken it off.

Steve was given his dad's watch the day he died. The next day the watch stopped.

In my dreams that night I saw him from behind, walking, holding Ruby's hand.

We will miss him. He truly was a special man.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my friend. I am so sorry for your loss. Know that you and Steve and the whole family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am wishing you peace am healing in your own time. xoxo

Eb 40+ said...

My deepest sympathy.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Tara, I am so sorry to hear about your Father In Law's passing. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Jenn said...

Hello, I'm here from LFCA and just wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your father in law. Saying prayers for you and your family and wishing you comfort as you go through this difficult time.

Emily said...

I am so, so sorry.

Those moments and dreams are special. I had lots of them (dreams & funny things happening with my Dad). Lincoln was crying because there was something happening that he didn't understand. Ruby had the butterfly for reasons we do not exactly know...

In my opinion, when someone passes, they stick around for a short while. They reach out to whoever is receptive. (You & your dreams). When they feel that they have made their peace and are 'done', they go. I honestly believe this to be true, and I am a first hand witness to it.

Wishing your family love and strength.

Anonymous said...

I'm am very sorry that your family lost your father-in-law.

I am glad that he's leaving signs for you. I've seen this happen in my own life when my grandfather died.

My condolences to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

These little things that happen have given me both a warm feeling and cold chills all at once! I believe our loved ones let us know they are watching! I am so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

What precious winks you were given from the other side. I am sorry for your loss.

E. Phantzi said...

This gave me the shivers - in a good way. So sorry for your collective loss; I hope that the love you all share for your father in law will sustain you in the coming weeks and months.

Kristen said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father-in-law last's hard. Praying for peace for you and your family.

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