Dad's parting in my home (his son) early Saturday morning


Dad died very peacefully Saturday morning - 17 Jan. 2009.  He was living at my home in his last month. (notes by son Ted Elden)

He spoke to me.  "Thank goodness you are up.  Help me to the toilet."   We got up about 4 am to go to the bathroom, but he just expired in my arms as I was helping him.  Very peaceful.

He lived very well right to the end.  Nice meal the evening before,  Occasional conversations.  He'd been out to visit his friends in homes & nursing homes a few times in weeks before.

He was comfortable living with Ted in last month.  It was very convenient for me to be with him, talk, eat, etc. 
 We had some really nice day trips in the recent month.
We'd traveled to Boswell & Johnstown Penna. where he grew up about 1 year before.

Many friends, even near contemporaries, were always glad to see & chat with him.  When I got him on the phone with his friends, he would light up to be the center of curiosity & charm.

He had some funny dreams recently about old architectural projects.   I was giving him dinner one evening at his home.
He said
"No need for dinner.  Some ladies from Wyoming County (2 hours away) came to talk to me [Henry] about building a school for them next spring and while they were here they fixed my dinner."

I tried to explain there were no plates lying around in his living room and I did not think that strangers came in to feed him. 
Did he just wake from a dream ?  Was he courting angels ?

He was annoyed that I did not believe him.

We had generally found peace, knowing where we disagreed & leaving that unspoken.
We dwelt in the areas where we agreed.

He did stretches with me, tried to eat fruit & healthy food  like me.

Before caring for Dad, I'd never really cared for anyone,
nor paid much attention to human needs like comfort, food, appearance or style.

My dog Grace died in recent years.  I did not realize she died, I only thought she'd drifted into a coma or something. Grace died beside me in my bed.

Then Bozo, my calico cat, broke her leg. She was old. 
I took her for surgery, It was too much for her frail condition. We came home.  Bozo laid in my lap, & died.

So when my father grew quiet and stopped breathing
I could see that he had died.
We had spoken to each other just before.

My pets had taught me the face of death. I had not expected Dad to die, but I recognized it when it came.

Everything is very peaceful here in Charleston. 
Sister Barbara & I are calm about his passing.
Many relatives have called, saying wonderful things.
People from around the city have been calling me to say of their special relationship, memories of Henry.
Henry was born in 1914, He died in 2009 at age 94.
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