My truth. My life.

He Knew

Do you know what I hate the most?

That I wasnt there when he died.

Did he feel deserted and unloved?

Maybe he was waiting for me to leave.

Could it be that he didn’t want me to see him let go?

He was strong.

He was a fighter.

Every day for a week I sat by his side.

The Doctors said it was time.

Every day for a week.

No one knew when.

He held on, his heart continued to beat

a rhythm that told us how much love he had for us.


I needed a break from the hospital.

No one knew.

I didn’t know.

I went to work to catch up for an hour or two

before going back to my seat by his side.

They told me it would be ok.


Everyone left except my mom and my uncle.

His final breath was in my mothers arms.

He knew.


He waited to give my mom that moment.

He knew.


One month from now my dad will have been gone

for 1 year.

Do you know what I hate the most?

That I wasnt there when he died.



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44 thoughts on “He Knew

  1. I won’t hit the like button, as I think I understand what you went through and that is something that one shouldn’t like. For your words and honesty and describing your pain thank you. My father feels his time is soon, he is 85, I know not when his time may be up, he may last another year, another 2, another week. I am consumed by the thought that I too want to be with him when he leaves this earth. 😦

  2. Sorry for your pain. You won’t forget but in time it gets easier.

  3. That was a very sad piece. I can really feel your pain reading it.

  4. You were there all of the other times. The multiple trips to the hospital, care facilities, helping Mimi, and taking great care of your 3 children, his grandchildren,

    You were there in the end, in his heart. It’s what helped him let go and go to the Lord. You were there.

  5. akateraka on said:

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for reading. Im glad you stop by to read my words.

      • akateraka on said:

        Thanks for sharing. I wonder how you do it.
        Many things in my life are still too painful to share. To share is to bleed. I can’t even write them at all, not even just for my own consumption; to write is to touch the wound. So, when other people share, it means even more to me.

      • Thank you. Sometimes I write to release the pressure. I dont publish more than half of the things I write. Sometimes I just need to.

      • akateraka on said:

        Yes, I understand the “needing to”. It’s the strength to farm the more painful fields of your memory that I admire.

  6. I agree with ~ramblingsfromamum~ that “like” is a wholly inappropriate word/symbol for this poem, but I clicked what in my eyes says “compassion”.

    I’ll make no attempt to offer words of consolement or some spiritualist’s explanation, but offer simple heartfelt sorrow for your loss and hopes that you have/will one day find solace in your (other) memories of him.

  7. God Bo, that was beautiful. I will be warning Amy again. She and I were there when my Dad died. Not sure he didn’t wait til my stepmom left. Sorry you were not there, but that must be how it was supposed to be. She will probably have more to say. Hugs

  8. La vie est dure mais on doit l’accepter et la vivre telle qu’elle, puisque certaines circonstances nous dépassent et nous n’avons pas la possibilité de les deviner.

  9. No words I can offer will ease your heart, just know that your Dad loved you and knew you loved him. Perhaps he waited until you weren’t there as he was protecting you from further hurt or perhaps he wished for you not to see him and remember him that way. You were in his heart and that is all that matters I was hundreds of miles away when I had to give permission to let my dad go I still think of that day and it has been ten years in May. Hugs

  10. The important thing is you were there while he was alive. I totally understand where you’re coming from though. Just keep reminding yourself he probably wanted that way. His terms. Leaving you the gift of knowing his strength and protecting his daughter from that moment. I was with my stepmom and grandfather when they took their last breath. I understand the closure you seek in that sense, but the pain that stems from witnessing that is so painful. Keep writing it out. He sounds like an amazing man. Now he lives through you.

  11. Hope Newby on said:

    I can guarantee you that NO ONE who clicked “like” clicked on it because they liked what happened. Clicking “like’ means we like the meaning of the story and that you allowed us into your personal thoughts. It was a meaningful, heartfelt account. I clicked like as a thank you.

  12. I understand the feelings you’ve shared here, losing someone we love is the worst kind of loss. I was there when my Mom died and it was not the quiet drifting to sleep seen in films. The experience was raw and frightening and it left me traumatised for a long time (I moved cities a year later because I couldn’t stand passing the hospital each day on my way to work). You were there so much for your Dad and he knew how much you loved him. He’ll always be in your heart. Our loved ones may leave us physically but their spirit is within us forever.

  13. Thank you for sharing this emotionally-charged piece; love to you!

  14. No one was there when my dad, grandpa, or grandma passed. With my Dad, he died when my mom had left to go run some errands. Everyone had gone home for the night from hospice when my grandpa passed in the wee morning hours. My grandmother died after my mom and I were both heading to the hospital to see her. Don’t feel guilty about it. You did nothing wrong. These things happen and if they were around, they would never dream of being upset over it.

  15. I’m sorry for your pain. Death can be so complicated. The thing is, I think some people actually wait for the moments of being alone so they don’t burden their loved ones with the pain of watching them pass. (Yes, I do believe a person has some control over when they go.)

    On the flip side, I think a person can rally until their family is gathered. When my grandpa was in hospice, my mom called and told me it wasn’t looking good. I left as soon as I could and as I pulled in the parking lot, I got a frantic call that he had died – the nurse checked his pulse and there wasn’t one- then a few minutes later, they realized he was breathing. He died (for good) within an hour of me getting there.

  16. That is that thing that I worry about living so far away from my parents. They are both not in the best of health, and getting up there in age. I only hope I can be where they need me to be when their time comes.

  17. D, I know exactly what this feels like. A little different b/c my brother was taken from me in the blink of an eye. I’m sorry D. My heart is with you.. ~ Jen.

  18. I do feel your pain, Deana. I lost my father similarly, and my pain is very raw. I would have loved for him to tell me something. We are still preparing for his funeral and burial. And for me, every moment fuels my guilt that I was not with him when he died.

    Take heart, Deana 🙂

  19. Very raw. I wasn’t there when my father died cause he died suddenly though he was in the hospital. I last saw him on Sunday. He was supposed to be dischared Tues. My mom went to get him and he was gone. That was 30 years ago. Thanks for sharing something that emotional.

  20. mairzeebp on said:

    My Dad is my heart and soul. Forever in my corner he is the reason that I think I have so much hope about people. I am always struck when someone writes in a way where I feel like I could be one of their close friends, sitting at the kitchen table as they tell me about their life. I felt like that with this, like you cracked yourself open and poured yourself out. I hope it helped, if even a little to put it out there. And although I’m not sure there is anything I can do, I’ll hope that you find some ease as the days pass and will keep you in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

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