Dad, Close Your Eyes

by Sherry Riter in Dad,Death,Family


My Dad


You Can Close Your Eyes


Well the sun is surely sinking down
But the moon is slowly rising
So this old world must still be spinning ’round
And I still love you

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s all right
I don’t know no love songs
And I can’t sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When I’m gone

It won’t be long before another day
We gonna have a good time
And no one’s gonna take that time away
You can stay as long as you like

Only close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s all right
No, I don’t know no love songs
And I can’t sing the blues anymore
So, but I can sing this song
Yes, and you can sing this song
When I’m gone

For several years I’ve tried to convince Dad to come live with me – partly for him and partly for me.

I knew that he would be well taken care of, would experience things he never had the opportunity to do, could know me face-to-face and I would get to capture a lost childhood with him if we shared a roof.

I feel cheated.

It won’t happen now because of the cancer that has ravaged Dad’s body in a mere few months and as of yesterday, his kidneys are beginning to shut down. The doctor has said that with the high calcium and morphine levels in his body, he will probably die in his sleep peacefully and without pain.

The end is near at hand and I don’t want to accept it. I don’t want him to suffer or make him linger longer for my own selfish desires, but my father is dying and there isn’t anything I can do about it.

The emotion I’m feeling isn’t pain…it’s agony. I feel as though a part of my heart is being ripped out of my chest. Experiences of times spent together float constantly across my mind giving comfort while also adding pain.

When Dad is gone, I will feel a little lost. The world already suddenly feels bigger and not as kind a place to live.

Even my mother, as close as I am to her, can not provide me with comfort.

My eyes are burning as I try desperately to read the words I’ve written and my fingers shake with the dreaded inevitability of more sadness when he leaves this frail existence. Dad will find a place far better than this world, but I have to remain on this planet with a huge hole in my heart.

A hole that can’t be filled by anyone else.

An ache that has no end.

Missing him.

Remembering him.

So often a desperate feeling will well up inside of me and I will want to beg them to help him…rehydrate his collapsing veins…give him chemotherapy and radiation “just in case” they are wrong…and the thoughts continue, but then I come back to the unselfish daughter. Dad doesn’t want those things. All of those procedures would only prolong his agony, not provide him with a quality filled life. He knows that he did not stand even a shred of beating these cancers. If at any point he thought that he could win, he would have been transformed into Rambo, The Terminator and Rocky all wrapped up into one. But that isn’t the lot he was given. He made the choices and I don’t have the right to take away his freedom to make those choices.

Dad wants to die at home if at all possible. So that is where he lies under the sheets in a big hospital bed which has been placed in the middle of his living room while he continues to slip in and out of reality.

He has been strong and brave through this hell he has suffered. I can only hope that I will emulate this strength when it is my turn to step out of my body.

For now, all I do is think about how lonely I will feel when I can’t call or visit Dad. How will I ever be able to drive home each day from work without hearing his voice on the other end of the phone? When I hear a joke, I won’t be able to run to the phone and share it with him just so that I can hear him laugh. He won’t be there to tell me the same story every couple of months. Dad will not be here on this earth and available to talk to me.

This experience is formidable.

Life is difficult.

The pain I feel at this impending loss is excruciating.

Death feels so final.

This experience gives me a renewed perspective that the things people fight about are often just stupid. “We” meaning spouses, siblings, children, and friends don’t have that much time together to share life, so why do we waste it with meaningless arguing and unhappy relationships?

We need to recommit and focus on those things now that are important, not the frivolous items that will eventually turn to dust. No one can take anything with them when they die, but those things we have stored in our minds and hearts can remain forever.

The love we have for each other will prevail.

I love you Dad.

I have always loved you and ached to be with you more.

You are going to be desperately missed, but I won’t make you stay.

I know it is your time to go even though I want to desperately hang on your pants leg and beg you not to leave.

I will let you go with all the dignity I can muster.

You can close your eyes…

(L to R) my sister, Dad, me)


With a heavy heart,

The Redhead Riter



This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie October 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm

It's always too soon.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

~ Chef Herman


2 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 6, 2010 at 1:12 am

my heart is breaking for you! I will continue to pray for your family


3 Vicki October 6, 2010 at 1:30 am

People say that knowing it's coming makes it easier to bear. They are wrong. Nothing could make it easier to bear other than the fact that they are no longer suffering.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


4 Kristi October 6, 2010 at 2:06 am

Praying for you. {{{hugs}}}


5 The Zany Housewife October 6, 2010 at 2:09 am

Praying for you Red. I wish there was a way to pass you a hug online…you are in my thoughts.


6 By Word of Mouth October 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

I believe this is an Indian Blessing, and I wanted to share it with you …
Should your blanket be torn,
May your breezes blow warm,
May your pleasure be what you find.
May the burdens you bear
Like your bounty-be shared
May you leave something good behind

May the sky and the land
Rise to your command
May your senses come like the night.
Live in peace with the Earth
As in death-As in birth
May you prosper, and have a good life.

Thinking of you xxx


7 MaryB October 6, 2010 at 4:43 am

Oh, I am so sorry. I had always hoped to recapture a childhood with my dad that I never got. I hoped that he could be a grandfather to my daughter. He was in a car accident 3 weeks after she was born and never spoke or walked again. He died 10 months later. My daughter did get to meet him. He lit up when I put her into his arms. And he cried.


8 Paula & Skip October 6, 2010 at 8:42 am

Thinking of you. I feel your strength and love in your words, in letting him go. I love that you called and just shared a joke with him, to hear him laugh. Makes me feel he doesnt want you to suffer, he doesnt want you to be miserable. Hugs across the pond.


9 PJ October 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Hey REd! What a beautiful tribute. Y'all are constantly in my prayers and will remain so. Losing someone is NEVER easy, even if you aren't close to them, but when you have a relationship which is bonded in so much love it seems impossible to let them go. I know. Keep your thoughts and your mind's eye on your dad's goal and the "prize" which he will be obtaining. I know it is customary to say "stay strong", but I don't believe that. With an invetible (spelling) loss like this is going to be, I say pour your heart out to God. Cry, scream, He will listen. He will comfort. I know, I'm preaching to the choir. You have been through so much already you know all of this. Just remember y'all are in my prayers and they are continual.

Lots of Love and Prayers,


10 The MO Farmers Daughter October 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Thinking of you today,you have become a friend,and i feel your hurt.hugs,carol


11 Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan October 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Thinking of you, my hand in yours. Hugs, Katherine


12 Corine October 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

What a tear jerker!! I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't know if it would help, but I wrote a blog about my dealings with loss of loved ones on my blog. Here is the address; I hope it helps.

God bless…


13 The Redhead Riter October 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thank you all for your caring comments and especially for your prayers.


14 Kim Bauer October 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I want to say something that will make you feel better, but don't know what to say.

I am including your father, and your family in my prayers with hopes that you will find some joy with him, even at the end.

Kim Bauer


15 Journaling Woman October 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I am praying for comfort for you. You are right that you will never be the same because of your pending loss. But it's more of a tribute to your dad and his impact on your life that you will miss him and there will be a void no one can fill. That's a legacy.



16 kelly October 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I am sorry that you are going through this. You sure have had a tuff year. HUGS from texas.


17 JANE E KIRN October 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

It is hard to let go of someone your love, especially a dad that your care about so much. I think hooking elderly people with cancer to radiation, and chemo does not serve them well. Unless it is for comfort care.
I have worked with dying people for many years. Each case is different. I feel your pain, it is never easy even when you have advanced notice. I just lost a girlfriend to cancer 2 weeks ago, and I was with her bedside. But she was ready, she lost the fight. I have a post on my blog about her. It is harder for loved ones to accept death than they person dying. Their body tells them it is time. Personally I feel the best thing you can do for your dad, is to tell him you are ok with letting him go. But also share with him that you will miss him. Do life review and share all the memorable times with him. Even if they are sad, funny or indifferent. Dying people sometimes have a hard time letting themselfs go, when loved ones cannot let them go. I mean this in a loving suport way to you. It is extremly hard and you will learn this could be another great smooth, peaceful time with your dad. He will remember you for it. I think you should keep posting how you feel around this topic. I can bet there will be many posts of others going thru the same situation. I am thinking of you…


18 Tina October 6, 2010 at 11:45 pm

If, at all possible, I hope you can be there when your father passes on to the other side. It might give you peace. I was there in the room when my sister left this earth. It is a spiritual experience Rita. You definitely feel loved ones on the other side.

I am so sorry for your pain. It is hard to describe. You are stronger than you think. I promise you. Take things one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute, one second…whatever it takes.

My thoughts, prayers and hugs are with you.


Little Tots Big Ideas


19 Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 12:49 am

What a beautiful post. Thinking of you and your family. Thank you for sharing from the heart,


20 Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 12:56 am

You are a rare child, and I wish I could spare you from this and more



21 Holly October 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

*sniff* sniff* You made me cry!! My heart is aching for you! You, HIM, and all your family are definitely in my prayers!! I'm so sorry that you all have to deal with this treacherous BEAST that is cancer. *sniff* (((HUGS)))


22 Aunt Tracy October 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I can completely understand your pain. My dad died last February, and not a day goes by without my feeling pain for the huge absence in my life. I'm praying for you and your family.


23 GB Girl October 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


24 Tyla October 10, 2010 at 3:56 am

Thinking of you and your family tonight. God bless you all.


25 Smart Moms Saving Money October 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Sounds like you had a wonderful family and a great dad. I am very sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
God Bless!
AKA SmartMomsSave


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: