My father died today at approximately six o' clock in the evening at Virginia Hospital Center of complications from several catastrophic strokes. He had developed locked-in syndrome and was fully paralysed from the eyes down—he lost even the ability to swallow. He was 64 years old.
I watched it happen and was the only person to see him die. I told the other people who were in the room what was happening once I suspected he had stopped breathing; they called in a nurse who confirmed that he had no heartbeat by checking his pulse, first by hand and then with a machine. His color partially drained very quickly, giving him the appearance of having a sallow, yellow complexion.
I urged everyone to complete various tasks. My uncle Gig was the second-to-last person to leave my father's hospital room after he died. I was the last. I am unlikely to ever lay eyes on his physical form again.
I'm worried I rushed my mom and sister out too fast. I shall tell them tonight—soon (they're getting food right now)—that they can still see him tomorrow, either in the morgue or at the funeral home.
I hope I have been doing the right things.