Dad was dying, but I knew what to do. I had to close his eyes.

Many years ago, I was with my mom when she died. Long battle with cancer, withered body. Finally, she simply stopped breathing. I called dad. He was out in the hospital hallway. He ran in, leaned over and closed her eyelids.

Why hadn’t I thought of that! Damn it! It was obvious, an ultimate sign of respect. Close their eyes. Send them on their way.

So now it was my turn to get it right. Dad had stopped breathing. Propped up in his bed, lifeless, staring at the ceiling. I kissed his eyes, said goodbye, and closed his eyes.

And his eyes slid back open.