passed away this morning at, technically around 7:30, but really he was gone more around 4 am we think.
My mother called me Wednesday and I flew home overnight. I got to at least have a “conversation” with him - due to breathing tube & feeding tube he couldn’t speak, but I told him, “I love you,” and he raised his eyebrows and did a half-smile, and I said, “I bet you’re saying ‘I love you too,’” and he did again the eyebrows and smile.
I also got to read him a story that I knew from years ago I would want to read him on his deathbed. “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin,” by Rudyard Kipling - one he read me as a child (from Just So Stories).
I have slept around, perhaps, 8 hours total since Wednesday and am feeling all kinds of things, up, down, all over.
We thought we’d have him for a few more years (he has been sick for about 6.5 years), and even as of yesterday we were very sure we’d have him for another day - they were going to remove his breathing tube so he could say words to us, but then at around 3 the nurse had us (my uncle and me) call my mother and brother who were at home to sleep.
We were all in the room as he left - in his last moment of partially open eyes, his last moment we think of having his mind present, my brother and I sang “When You Walk Through a Storm” from Carousel and “I’ll Fly Away,” the hymn, to him as my mother stroked his forehead and we all touched his hand or stomach or head.
Today we’ve been sitting shiva, I guess - we’re not Jewish but all our close friends are so that is what happened. Looking at photos, listening to his favorite tunes (Miles Davis) and eating lots of food.