I got the call about 11 am. Her sister had walked into the house and discovered her father, seated in his chair, without his oxygen tube, TV blaring, dead. He had struggled with health issues for years, but none of us expected this. In fact, I had just given him a ride home from the hospital a few days before, and he was doing better each day.
It took me about an hour and a half to get home, cleaned up and over to the house. He was still sitting there in the chair as I talked with his daughter and a hospice nurse finished up some paperwork. In some ways, it felt just like the times I went to visit, except he was unusually quiet. He usually did most of the talking. More than once I thought to myself, “You know, there’s a corpse sitting here!” But He looked peaceful, so I waited with his daughter until the staff from the funeral home arrived.
We sat and talked about family, the in-and-out of the hospital routine of the past year, his many friends in the neighborhood and the only thing he really ever wanted to do: go fishing.
Actually, I’ve been in similar situations before. A number of times I’ve stayed with a family member until the staff from a funeral home arrived to take the body of a parent or spouse away. Just part of the job, I guess. It never really bothered me. Though the body was there, the soul had gone to be with the Lord, and that is a very reassuring thing to know.