"My father endured cancer for several years and his health declined rapidly over a short period of time. He went from walking, talking and making jokes to being unresponsive at times and in hospice.
One Sunday morning, I spoke with him via video as he laid in bed. I promised to call him later and had all intentions to follow through on that promise. However after driving several hours home and preparing for the week ahead, I was exhausted and struggling to stay awake. I decided instead of video chatting with him again that I would just send a text. After sending the text, I fell asleep almost immediately.
My brother’s phone call woke me up out of my slumber about 1:00am the following morning. He was trying to tell me that our father had passed away, but I was in a daze from sleeping. I could hear the words he was speaking, but they did not make much sense to me. I did not know our father would succumb to cancer that night.
I thought he had at least a few more weeks or even days to live. As my mind raced, I heard my brother yelling my name and asking if I was listening him. I finally got the strength to say “I hear you, I am just in shock right now.” After hanging up the phone, I sat in bed for what seemed like an eternity.
My mind was stuck on the fact that I never spoke to my dad before he died. I sent a text, but what good is a text to someone who cannot read. My text had emojis, but they are emotionless if the recipient is not conscious. People always say the hearing is the last thing to go when someone is dying. I kept thinking that I should have video chat him so he could hear my voice. I should have, could have, but did not do it.
If I had known that March 18th was going to be his last day on earth, I would not have fallen asleep despite being exhausted from traveling. I would have done everything I could to stay awake and spend the last moments talking with him. While I slept, my father was drawing his last breath. While I slept, death became his reality.
I am no longer rattled with guilt for missing out on speaking to my dad for the last time. Instead, my father’s passing has had me reflecting on the implications of falling asleep physically and spiritually. Are you asleep?"
I Thessalonians 5:6-8 says “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
- Contributed by BB