**After posting my blog yesterday my mom reminded me that she too had a written account of the loss of my dad. So here by permission I have posted her remembrance of my dad’s final moments. Thank you for allowing me to share mom!
“One Cold Kiss”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”
I Timothy 4:7
In my heart I sense the time is drawing close. Steve will not live much longer. Two days ago another patient who received a transplant died. At that moment I sensed God prompt me to pray that He would make it clear that if Steve were to go off life support I would have no doubt as to why, and when I would direct the doctor to do this.
I lean over and kiss his cheek. It feels cold. My mind trails back to Alaska when he would come in from his fieldwork. I would kiss him on his cold cheek. His moustache was usually full of ice. How fitting the last kiss is cold.
It is time. Leitha, his doctor approaches me in tears. She tells me a massive intra-cranial bleed signifies the end. Now I need to make the most dreaded calls of my life. Before I give the okay to disconnect life support I want to prepare our children. First I talk with Cid. He weeps over the phone. Later Niki cries too. With those two phone calls go any illusions I may have had that I can protect my children from pain.
I am thankful for Ellen, Mike, Dave and Sharon who surround us. We are all tired and hurting. The respirator is unplugged. We settle in the room to wait on God’s timing. And it did take time…11 hours. At one point I say to Steve, “You are doing it again. The doctor said you would die and here you are hours later, still breathing”. We all speak to him, believing he can hear. Our words reflect his personality and fighting spirit.
Tiredness seems to envelope me. I fear I will fall asleep. I pray, “God please let him take two quick breaths and die”. I don’t want him to suffer or struggle. I look up to check the monitor. His heartbeat over the last several hours has been gradually slowing. As I lay my head down Mike calls my name and points. The monitor shows a flat line. Steve takes two quick breaths. I catch my breath with awe. Dave pats Steve’s arm and says, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
God how marvelous that in a twinkling of an eye we can be absent from our bodies and present with You. Thank You that death is not the end, but the beginning of life with You. Help those of us left behind to patiently wait our turn.