David William Bennett
March 5, 1947-June 8th 2021
Now awaiting resurrection on the last day when the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, when the dead in Christ will rise first.
On our way to visit my dad today my mom and I got a call that his breathing had become rapid and shallow, that they had to put him on a ventilator. When we got there we saw that his blood pressure was very low and that the breathing treatments they had given him were having no effect. The attending doctor recommended getting him to the hospital. We prayed with him. His brother spoke to him on the phone. Uncle Stephen was going into his own heart procedure and wanted to give my dad a message: Please come back. By the time the paramedics got to my dad to get him into critical care he had already passed. As I write, Stephen is still asleep and recovering. He won't find out until probably tomorrow that his call to his brother today was his last.
When the paramedics pronounced him dead, my mom cried while I held her. I was more stunned than anything. We had to wait while the staff at the sub-acute facility prepared him to be viewed. We had just been in there but procedure is procedure. They cut his bushy brows, made sure his face was closely shaved, and closed his eyes. We walked in and, at a loss, I began to sing over him.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him all creatures here below!
Praise him above ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!"
My mom joined in and the tears came in a rush. Tears too are a blessing from God, cathartic, cleansing, a howl of the heart, all in one. Like the Trinity, maybe. Identifiably three and yet wholly united.
Erin came, driven by her friend and co-worker and mentor Stacy. She held my hand. So I held his arm and told him that I loved him. That he was the best father a kid could ever hope to have. That I wanted ten more years. That I'll tell all his best stories to the kids so even if Soren David Bennett has no memory of his pappy, he'll still know his namesake.
I told him that when we rise together, answering the last call of God, I'll tell him about all the cool things his grandkids did, catch him up on everything. That we're going to be okay, that I can let him go. Because we said everything that needed to be said long before he fell. Because he stuck by me when I wandered and he got me through. Because I knew he was proud of me.
But oh God, my God, whom I shall ever praise, the truth is that this hurts like hell.
Thank you, everyone. Thank you for joining in our grief, our prayers. Thank you for letting us know how loved we are and how much my dad meant to you. If we don't respond when you reach out, it's not because we don't love and appreciate you, it's because sometimes we'll need to just sit quietly and hurt. You have all done more than you can ever know. For now, we toast the memory of the air force captain, history teacher, church elder, son, brother, husband, father, and pappy who changed the life of everyone blessed to know him. Rest in peace, Dad, I love you.