Two weeks before my Dad died, my brother and I went to the hospice to visit him. He was feeling relatively strong that day, so we got him out of bed, dressed him, and got him into a wheelchair. After talking for awhile, Dad said, "I want to go see where I will be buried."
Now, if we were in denial, and he weren't in hospice care, this might seem rather ghoulish. However, things being what they were, this seemed like a reasonable request. My brother and I were certainly capable of getting him in and out of my car.
We wheeled Dad down to the nurses station. I informed the nurse that we were going to take Dad out for awhile. She asked, "Where will you be taking him?"
"He wants to go see where he will be buried," I replied,
This was not what the nurse expected to hear. She raised her eyebrows at me, but I just looked back, straight faced. She then looked at my brother. He was also straight faced. She then looked at my Dad. He said nothing. She turned back to me and said, "When will you be bringing him back?"
I was not taking to this inquisition very well. I replied, "We're not bringing him back. We are going to leave him there. " This was a bigger shock than our previous answer. She looked at me rather horrified, and then at my brother, then at my Dad.
That's when my Dad stared laughing. It was a good wholehearted laugh. The nurse looked at all of us, tried to keep a straight face, and then started laughing with us. Shortly, I wheeled Dad out of the hospice.
We drove the cemetery. We got Dad out and wheeled him across the hard ground. It was a hot July in the Midwest. The grass was brown. We found the grave site and paused. We let Dad take in the scenery and have his thoughts.
His grave was to be right next to his wife, our mother, who had died a few years before. We didn't say much, each wrapped in our own thoughts. When Dad began to look tired, I said, "Well, I think we should go now."
"Oh," said Dad, "I thought you were going to leave me here." We had another good laugh. All in all, a pleasant afternoon.