Monday, June 7, 2010


When I walked into Chris' hospital room with the children Sunday morning, I saw Chris was resting peacefully. He still had the oxygen mask on and was still talking and moving some in his sleep from time to time.

We tried to wake him and tell him the kids were there. He woke slightly and acknowledged the children. Chris' oldest brother had flown in overnight so he was sitting there with the other brother that had kept a vigilant watch night and day since he had arrived a week earlier.

Our good friends came up. The plan was for them to take the kids home with them. Another childhood friend of Chris' showed up with his wife as well.

Chris' sleep grew deeper as the day went on. There began to be less and less talking and moving in his sleep. The afternoon was enjoyable. We visited with all who were there. I rubbed Chris' feet and cut his toe nails (oh come on... this can not surprise you. I WAS a little crazy before I was even a widow).

As the afternoon pressed on, our friends needed to leave. We got the kids ready to go, then tried to wake Chris and tell him to say goodbye to the kids. Chris awoke - wide awake for the first time all day. He started talking and said he wanted to say something so to listen because he could only say it once (he still had the oxygen mask on - it was difficult to understand him as he was still struggling for air). He said he was grateful for this opportunity to speak to the children, then called them each by name and expressed his love for them. He told them to be happy and to do what's good so that we can be together in heaven. He ended, as he would a prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

My friends walked out with the kids. I walked into the hall with them and struggled to compose myself. That was the most difficult time of my life. To watch my husband say good bye to his children. I broke down in the hall for a minute, then went back in his room.

When I walked back in Chris was having a seizure. The nurses gave him some medicine and he calmed and went back to sleep. He didn't wake up again after that. Chris' mom and step-father arrived about a half hour later. His other sister got a flight and flew in around 7:30pm.

Once she arrived, we had a family prayer. It was 8:00pm

I asked everyone to leave for a bit so I could have a moment with Chris. I felt at total peace. I was so happy that he was done suffering. The nurse, Debbie, came and sat and talked with me for a little bit. I asked her how this would work.... would he just stop breathing? She explained that his breathing would slow. There would be long pauses between his breaths - then it would stop.

Everyone came back in and I sat there counting. Sometimes he would go 30 seconds without taking a breath.

I felt peace. I was just waiting. 3 of Chris' 5 siblings were there. I decided to go home.

I walked in my home at 10:15pm. My friend was there, she had come over and put the kids to bed. The phone rang within two minutes of me getting home. Chris had died shortly after 10:00. His siblings said his last breath was a long exhale - and they knew that was it. They sat there a few minutes with him before calling the nurses in.

It was January 16th.

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