July 24th, 2015 by Jan

I haven’t publicly written much about my dad for a while — but he sure is on my mind. He is true to form and not going gently into that good night we call death. But, others tell me and I’m close to believing them, that he is going.

He is one tough cookie — and while I do think every phone call I get will now be the news of his death, he continues on.

It is amazing how a body or is it the mind keeps us going, when really, everything is shutting down piece by piece. He is hardly alive. But, hardly alive is not dead.

My brother, Art is his chief cook and bottle washer — in other words – Art is doing the very hard work of caring for dad. He is my hero and while he is not doing a lot of cooking these days, as dad doesn’t eat, nor is he washing bottles; he does spend a lot of his time cleaning up.

Art is there, full time, on call, and dad is well cared for, not in pain, and safe. I can not shout high praise enough for my brother.

When I was talking to Art the other day, he brought up a very interesting idea, that I’ve been pondering on it a lot.

My dad is an atheist. He has been since his time in the war on Iwo Jima. He says that is where he “lost his faith”. All my life, my dad has talked about and just about, made a religion out of his non belief in god.

So, anyway – Art seems think that because dad believes that death is the end of everything — dad doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want it to end. He doesn’t want to end.

Art wonders, if dad thought he would be greeted by say, Grandma or some other loving presence, or if he thought his life would go on in some other fashion, maybe, just maybe, dad wouldn’t hang on to his life so hard.

I don’t believe in a god, gods or an afterlife either. I also think when we die, we die. In fact my belief or some say, lack there of, brings me great comfort.

Still, for some strange reason, this really bothers other people.

In fact while I was in NM this last time, and many times before this – I was surprised at how many “well meaning” friends of dad came to talk him into being saved with jesus or getting anointed or having last rites preformed on him. So many people — worried for his afterlife. But, none seemed to worry for his now. He has spent so much of his last life force arguing with these people. Saying NO, time and again, is exhausting. He does not want the grand blessing. He is sure he does not need saving. And yet, finding someone to talk to about his death without this god stuff is hard to find.

Dad and I had many a conversation about this when I was there but still, where are the dusters when we need them? Perhaps this is why is it so hard for him let go. Perhaps not. Who knows?

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