My father, Don Bowen, passed away at age 87 on March 21st after many years of selflessly caring for my mom, Carolyn. His only desire was to be reunited with his wife, who died recently on December 19th after 65 years of marriage. She was always front and center in our family and although we all miss her greatly, Dad grieved the most. Even though he had family and friends who visited often, he just wanted to be with Mom. He was her devoted caregiver for so many years, and his purpose for living was gone. Before he died, I told him that he would die of a broken heart – but Dad often said that he had “half a heart.” I thought that was a sweet way to describe it.
We all knew his health was declining but were very surprised to learn that he had advanced cancers throughout his body, which were diagnosed only a week before his death. He simply put my mother’s needs above his own and didn’t think about his own health. His complete focus for the last five years of her life was about meeting his wife’s every need. In short, his devotion to her and caregiving were extraordinary. That was his legacy.
I will share my father’s life story with you after his funeral. In the meantime, please keep Mom and Dad and our whole family in your prayers.