A Weight, Like Lead

a weight, like lead
sits in the pit of my stomach
a pain, greater than anything physical
permeates my entire being

tears come and go,
either refusing to come,
or coming in a flood

today, I go to say goodbye
to the man my wife calls “Daddy”
to the man I had the priviledge
of calling my father-in-law

he claimed it hurt
to have his hair cut
and so he let it
“wear off on his shoulders”
in the ponytail he wore
for longer than I ever knew him

involved for years
in leading Scouts
in helping children
learn to love the outdoors
as he himself did

a man who loved
to get grease on his hands
as he fixed engines…
first in cars,
and then in oilfield pumps

a man who was always healthy
my wife doesn’t remember him
ever taking sick days…
…always healthy, until the
last few months

the nurse who admitted him into ICU
told us that before they hooked him up
to all those machines,
while he could still talk,
he spoke with great love of
his 3 grandsons. My sons.

Then they hooked him up
to machines…to help his body recover…
to get his blood-pressure up…
to get his oxygen levels up…
to clean the blood
while they waited to see if his kidneys would recover

but sometimes,
God has other plans…
and instead of his organs recovering,
they continued to fail, and
his liver decided it was time to close shop too

today, we go
to say goodbye, as
the nurses are going to
turn off those machines

in truth,
Dad is already gone…he fell asleep
3 days ago, and hasn’t woken up since.
He’s gone, and all that remains
is his shell…hooked up
to pumps and tubes and machines
that give his shell the illusion of life

it’s hard to say goodbye
68 is far too young to go
…We love you Dad!




Note: this was written on July 9 – the morning of the day that my Father-in-Law passed away.  I wanted to share this with my friends at dVerse for Open Link Night


11 thoughts on “A Weight, Like Lead

    • Yes, 68 is much too young in our way of seeing things. We know you will find comfort in knowing that God does not make mistakes. This morning’s Our Daily Bread says it better than I can. “God is sovereign. God is all powerful. God is Love. And God knows what He is doing.” “Our greatest comfort in sorrow is knowing that God is in control.” Dad

  1. be sure to give your wife plenty of hugs…my wife lost her mom a few years ago….not easy…and def too early…i am sorry for your loss…celebrate the good times/good memories…

  2. Way too young. You’ve told the story of this loss with sensitivity. I’ve seen a lot of death as a hospice nurse and I think the hardest is when a family has to make a decision to remove life support. Thus the importance of Advance Directives. Please know you, your wife and family are remembered tonight in prayer.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. What a moving tribute for a very special person! I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this – 68 is younger than my parents, far too young to die.

  4. So sad – yes too young, and it will be quite a loss, but you have written a moving eulogy. Make sure the stories stay alive so that your boys can tell them down the years. That’s the way we all stay connected. We become a bridge to at least five generations. We saw a lot, our parents, our grandparents – we experienced our children and grandchildren’s time as well. We saw the wonder in their eyes. … and so it goes. My condolences to your family.

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