I Loved Him

Jim Claussen

My dad has been dead for two days now. He had a massive stroke on July 26, 1998 and died July 28th. His mind was in tact, but all he could do was move his eyes. He had a look of absolute terror in his eyes. He could not respond with anything other than tears as his five children one by one went into tell him how much they loved him.

He was only 61 years old. He should have had more time. When it was my turn to speak to him I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry that I had never said it before. Two days later, I now know that he knew that I loved him, and I know that he loved my.

God this hurts. I've never had to write an obituary before. I did that today. How do I sum up the life of the greatest man I ever personally knew? No, our relationship was not always perfect, but it was pretty good. My mom gave me the watch he received from Boeing for 30 years of service. Very nice watch. If I am ever mugged and someone wants it, he will have to take it off of my dead body, because he won't get it any other way. I thought about deleting that last sentence, but I'll leave it. It shows that my own mortality has entered my mind for the first time.

After we talked to my dad, my mom asked the doctor to increase the morphine and Ativan so he would sleep. I think he could still hear us, though. At around 9:00, my mom told my brother and I to say good bye to our dad and leave. I kissed him good bye and told him that I loved him one more time. She and two of my sisters stayed with him. My mom leaned next to him after we left and said "Darrell, I sent the boys home, I know you wouldn't want them here. You can go now." That is a direct quote from my sister. He stopped breathing right after she said it and was gone. That is cool to me. He died 5 days before my parents were to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. I guess after 40 years, my mom knew him well enough to send "the boys" away.

It hurts so much. I didn't know how much I loved him until this happened. I will miss you, Dad. I will wear your watch with pride. I feel numb right now. God, will I ever feel normal again? I love you, Dad, always have, always will.

Jim Claussen

You can send email to Jim at: [email protected]
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anniversary date 07-28-98
date of post 07-30-98

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