Beautiful, Alanna. I too have been losing my father in increments, and I've said goodbye (in my heart and mind) more than once over the past decade of his illness, when I've left him to return to my home, far away from where he lives. It's painful and sad, but not what I would call tragic. He will be 85 next month and has lived a full life of adventure and intellectual pursuit. I know what you mean about a person getting stripped down to an emotional core. My father's persona is perhaps less filled with peace and love than yours, but he is much less complicated than when he was young and vital. He has become sweet in a way that wasn't always a given. I, too, have learned a lot from the process of letting go of my dad, and I hope I'm setting an example of acceptance for the cycle of life for my young adult children. Still, I do feel profoundly affected by the demise of a vibrant man, but know that we all come to that place in one way or another in our own time. Peace to you and your family.
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