I awoke to a disturbed, fitful dream of my father’s death early this morning.
My father had passed away not too long ago, his body was found looking as if asleep, in his leather chair in front of his TV, feet set on the ground and a sandwich on a plate in his lap. Peaceful. As if he’d fallen asleep while eating. So I know with fair certainty that he did not know that the next moment of his life was it. We don’t have cause of death but I believe it took him suddenly, like a fast moving shadow of a cloud – where once there was life, death was left; leaving no time for regrets or hopes or dreams or yearns.
While I don’t think he knew the reaper was coming for him at that moment, he knew cancer was eating away at his liver. But the doctors weren’t concerned. Testing had been done, experts had been consulted, a treatment regime planned. While he grew reflective in his illness, he was not saying his goodbyes to friends, family and life.
But I dreamt he saw the end coming. I dreamt he saw the scythe falling. I dreamt of scared eyes, of panic. He was not afraid of what was to come but was left undone. I dreamt the pain of regrets flash through his mind. I dreamt he tried to shout the things he wanted to say and bolted from his chair to do the things he’d put off. I dreamt he grasped for life: to say his goodbye, to share his “Rosebud” moment.
I’m still haunted by the dream. Not for what it may have meant for him but for myself. I’m going to be more diligent to say and do the things I need to so my daughters don’t have the same fitful dreams about my death as I had about my father’s.