My dad passed away this afternoon.
He wanted very much to live but the disease and the pain were too much for his body. It was hard to see him struggling toward the end and I am glad that he does not have to endure that anymore. It also hurts to know that he always made the most of his time and opportunities and that now those are forever lost to him.
I also believe the hardest experiences distill us down to the purest parts of our souls. And what I saw most in my dad in these last weeks was love. There was a fierceness even in his smiles, as if he willed himself to feel and show love even has his body failed in painful and often degrading ways. It is the most awesome and terrible beauty I have ever seen. Sometimes I wanted to look away, not because he was sick but because I felt I looked into the sun and burned my eyes. But not for anything would I look away.
Now we abide.