My baptism day

I don’t know if I’ll hit the publish button.

I’m collecting thoughts after the most memorable Father’s Day of my life.

My dad is dying.

At one point today, my mother, sisters, and I crowded around my father’s bed in the assisted living facility. We professed our profound love for the man and each got “this close” to his face (so he could hear us) and said, “It’s ok, Dad. You can go whenever you are ready.”

We told Dad, “We know you stuck around this long (he’s 88) because of Mom. Yes, she is scared, but we are all here for her and she is going to be fine.”

Mom had the courage to say the same. “I’m going to miss you, you’ve been my husband for 60 years, but I’ll be all right. I don’t want you to suffer any more.”

Dad, with Grandma, 1960s

He kissed us, said he was ok, that he loved us, that he knew we loved him. A priest visited and he received the Anointing of the Sick (as he has a half-dozen times before).

We’ve been saying goodbye to Dad for years.

Two years ago, I got a recording of Dad giving my young children “life-long” advice. Last year, after recovering from a THREE HOUR-LONG heart attack he said, “I’m still here?!”

Now that he’s on constant pain medication and he eats almost nothing, surely this is “his time” … defined as days or weeks from now.

We’re ready when God is.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us such a good one. And for the gift of unity, love, and closure.

:: Joe Hage is CEO of medical device marketing consultancy Medical Marcom ::

See also The Last Day with My Father
See also Eulogizing My Father


  1. Elisa

    That was beautiful. My prayers are with you.

  2. Joe Hage

    xo, Elisa, thank you.

    I hope to see you in Bay Ridge when the time comes.

  3. Oh, Joe.

    What can I say? My dad died in March of this year at age 88. I can so relate to what you are saying here.

    I learned in that last week to just let go. Encourage him, through his pain, to talk about the good times. His childhood, digging clams, running along the beach. He got the most happy look on his face when he was telling those stories.

    And, yes, you have been saying good-bye to him for many years, in many ways. But that final moment? It’s still tough.

    God bless you and your family and may you look back, when the pain and grief have subsided, and treasure all those memories. Thinking about you, my friend.

  4. Julie

    Joe, this is very touching. Such great words for a man you obviously love so much.

  5. Ed

    We are with your family in spirit — a gallant fight by a great crusader. He will join great company soon. God speed!

  6. Joe Hage

    Thank you all … to those who commented and those yet to comment.

    I found writing cathartic and I’m glad I shared it. Thank you for the loving comments. I appreciate the support, especially now.

  7. Shyam

    Hi Joe,

    Our blessings and prayers with you and your family…

    Jai Gurudev

  8. Albert Andrade

    Your family are truly wonderful people, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. Ellen

    The saying goes “they who sing well pray twice.” Well, the entire SJ Gospel Choir was praying twice (three, four) times for your whole family yesterday on Father’s Day.

    Thanks for sharing your witness.

  10. when my father was dying and in a hospital, He had dementia and was not sure who I was,
    the day before he went to heaven, he looked at me and told me he loved me, and was ready to be with God, because he knew he did all he could for me to take care of my family….

    Your Dad is with mine looking down at us, smiling.

  11. Raymond, thank you for sharing that special story with me.

  12. Joey,
    Thanks for the beautiful words. It has to be gratifying, to your Dad and Mom, that they have such a wonderful son who is able to express his feelings in such a poetic way. All we can do, when death nears, is to let ones soul be at peace, and to rest in that peace. I will remember your Dad in our prayers, at daily Mass. I have been praying for a dear friend, who has been dying from cancer for quite a while, and she keeps bouncing back. It’s God’s way of saying that she is needed here for some other purpose. Praise God, he may be telling your Dad that there is still work for him to do in this life. We just pray that God’s will be done, and we need to rejoice in that. Please keep in touch. Love you! Clemmie

  13. Your father is blessed to have such a strong, supportive family. He knows you’ll be there for each other when he’s not, and that is the greatest peace you can give him.

  14. Katrina

    Thank you for sharing your loving story.
    Thinking of you, Beth and the boys and sending lots of love your way.
    A million hugs, Katrina

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