The day I said good bye I told him "I love you" but he couldn't say it back anymore. His eyes squeezed a little more tightly closed. And I wondered if he was trying to say I love you too. Then, I knew, his eyes would not be opening again to look back at me. I held his hand and knew he wouldn't be squeezing it back three times - which meant "I love you."
I'm not sure if my dad is still with me now. I want to believe he is. If I were comforting a friend I would tell them that undoubtedly their loved one will be with them always. I will be looking for signs, waiting for a dream or some message from him - that he is OK now.
A pair of coyotes lives in the wetlands behind my parent's home. We watched them come and go out the bedroom window while we held vigil by my dad's side. We speculated the coyotes might have been there to help usher him to the next world. I am sure my dad appreciated their presence. He was a lover of all creatures. I am sure he would have taken an interest in the photos I took of them. He was always proud of my every endeavor and creation.
I love you dad. I'm holding you in my heart forever.