My dad died last month.
I was sitting with him in the hospital for the second night in a row, hoping that he’d defy the odds yet again and hold out for another sunrise. We’d all made it back that day, though, and had a chance to say good-bye. Now we were just trying to make him comfortable.
As I sat stroking his arm, his breathing slowed, first down to 10, then 8, then 4 breaths per minute.
I knew it wouldn’t be long but it’s still amazing how suddenly it happens, that last breath.
I looked away as he inhaled one last time, stealing a quick glance over at my nephew and my sisters, all of us waiting for the next exhale, the extension of his life.