Eleven years ago today, my Dad passed away. And although he had been ill; in and out of the hospital for many years, I fully expected him to recover and go home, as all the times before. But this time was different. A couple of months prior, unbeknownst to me, he had checked himself into hospice. I had become his full power of attorney including medical, many years prior, and noone contacted me regarding this situation. Every time I spoke with him on the phone, I was under the assumption he was still in the hospital recovering but never was I told he was dying.
Three days prior to his death, I flew to Victorville to see him. At no time, during my visit, was I informed, by hospital staff, that my Dad was in hospice. On the second day of my visit, Saturday April 19th, 2008, I took my Dad out for lunch. His kind of lunch consisted of apple pie and hotsauce. Not your average, healthy lunch but that’s what he wanted and I made sure he got it. The following day I sat with him in his hospital room, watching TV, laughing and just enjoying our time together and still not knowing that he was in hospice. We said our goodbyes and I drove back to the airport and flew home late that afternoon and after tossing and turning all night, I awoke Monday morning feeling as though something wasn’t right. Then came the call. His hospice nurse called to speak with me about my Dad, his meds and how they handle things at the “end”. My response to her was, “the end, the end of what, his stay at the hospital”?