As I sat at my computer this morning in the quiet and sipped my cup of coffee, my mind was a million miles away.  My heart has been heavy these past few days.

Over the past few years I have shared with you the journey my family has been on with my dad as he battled dementia.

Watching this once strong self-confident man change to a feeble, confused person was heart-wrenching for us.

I shared with you recently his 85th birthday just this past July. It was a huge achievement as we really didn't expect him to still be with us.

This Friday we will lay my dad to rest as we said goodbye to him a few days ago.

I find comfort in thinking that he knew his time was so near as he passed quietly with my mom and sister with him.

In times of illness and sadness many people will find comfort in their religion. But as my dad struggled to adjust and even accept what was happening to him, he found comfort and solace in a little red, white and blue pillow.

My daughter Bailey made this pillow  in school during, Family Consumer Science class. When I went to school it was called Home Economics.

The teacher told the class that they were to donate their pillows to some one who needed comfort. Generally, they get donated to cancer patients or to the nursing homes.

Bailey asked if she could keep her pillow and take it to her grandfather in Havre, as he needed some comfort during his illness.

We took the pillow to my parents' house this past Christmas and she gave it to her grandfather.

We, of course, thought he would set it to the side and it would be just another gift that one of the grandchildren gave him.

Little did we know that this small, handmade pillow would be such a huge part of the last year of his life.

My mom and sisters tell me that he carried the pillow with him everywhere and wouldn't go to sleep until it was with him.

He called it "his angel from his little girl."

As we lay him to rest, Bailey will place the comfort pillow into the casket so that he will always have his "angel, his little girl" with him.

I have learned several things this past week.

Death is not something that we should be afraid to talk about or plan for.

Members of the same family grieve in different ways.

It doesn't matter how sick someone is or how much you think you are prepared, you are not.

To all of you who have lost loved ones and are grieving, my prayers are with you.