I'm finally back in China after being in the States for about 2 weeks for my father's funeral. It was a nice funeral, and it was nice to see so many family members. I feel really happy about the relatively painless way my father died, and the circumstances surrounding it. There were so many things that happened that just seemed to make his death feel well timed. I know that might sound insensitive, but really I just feel it was his time, and all of the little things surrounding his death pointed to that fact.
First of all, my parents were already in the car when he had his first chest pain. My mother immediately reacted and started heading for the hospital which is about 15 miles from their house. If she would have stopped to call an ambulance, it would have taken them just as long just to get to him as it did for her to drive there.
Secondly, even though my mother was driving 90 miles an hour, with one hand nudging him to stay conscious, no other cars were on the road. She had an open road through which to speed to the hospital.
Next, if she had stopped to do CPR, she would have had to have pulled him from the car. Suppose she got his heart started again. How would she have gotten him back in the car? Heading straight for the hospital was the best option.
Some other "blessings" associated with his passing: He was able to live at home up until the time of his death. He didn't have any serious knowable health problems that affected his quality of life. He wasn't in pain, and didn't have any other suffering.
So overall, I feel like his death was a really good one. He had two pains and he was gone. He was able to maintain his independence fairly well up until his death. He didn't have to suffer a horrible death. I hope that my future holds just as peaceful of death.
While I'm on the subject, I want to wax religious for a moment and share some other thoughts I had on the subject. I was sitting in church one day when the following scripture was read, "O death, where is thye sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:55) As the class was discussing this scripture, I read the next verse which had particular meaning for me. "The sting of death is sin..." It really hit home to me that because of my religious beliefs, death does not have a sting. I believe that our spirit continues on after our body is dead. I also believe in the resurrection of the dead. But in my father's case, I also know that he was a good man. If he weren't, then death would have a sting for me. But I know that he lived a good life, and I know that God will bless him for it.