Reading a text saying that your parent is going on hospice is jarring. Realizing that you only have five days left with him is overwhelming, maddening, horrific and also a wonderful gift. You see, many people don't know when the end is coming. They don't get to plan a goodbye or create a thought out dialogue for their last conversations. Five Days With Dad brings readers on Patrick McShane's journey of life and loss as he comes to grips with saying goodbye to his father.
The story is not built on gloom. It is a celebration. It is drinking in all those conversations that were cherished over years. It's hearing that special voice say things one more time.
There are no rules to end-of-life. This isn't like a car race where you know you are driving a distance and taking a left, life is more like a rodeo. You never know when the horse is going to buck or stop or run, so you just hang on as long as you can and try to come out of it remaining all intact.
Reading Five Days With Dad is like sitting in an easy chair and pulling a warm blanket over you on a chilly night. It comforts in a time of anxiety and brings home the message that there are no right or wrong feelings when going through major changes in life. It's okay to laugh. It's okay to be frustrated. It's okay to just be around.