Dad was dying and I was ready. I was ready to close his eyes.

Many years ago, I was with my mom when she died. It was a long battle with cancer, a withered body. She suffered. Finally, she stopped breathing. Justlikethat.

I called Dad. He was out in the hospital hallway. He ran in, leaned over, and closed her eyelids. And then he wailed.

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

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

And his eyes slid back open.


– Tom Sakell

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