These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the waiting game

after calling linda last night, the news is worse. but did i expect it would be better? i guess not. when i spoke to her earlier in the day, she and arnold were at the hospital (she had an ob/gyn app.). she told me sandy and aunt patsy came out after seeing uncle gocha and sanday was really crying. she didn't know why then. i called again last night and she said it was because my uncle was no longer responsive, as he had been before. now, he was unable to move his right arm or leg or even smile with his right side. apparenty his body was no longer moving and he had gne unconscious. i guess even though the situation may seem hopeless, if he's still moving and responding, he shows signs of life and doing things we all do. but reality sinks in once he stops doing that.

my aunt finaly broke down yesterday and cried. but linda said she's still telling othes to be careful and take care. sandy is a mess and michael doesn't want his dad to die.

and, in the meantime, all they can do is wait until his brain shuts down, which would then shut down others organs in his body until his heart goes. and all my family can do is watch as he dies.

several perspectives on this. dawn said that when her dad died, or before he died, he slipped into unsonsciousness. his body took two to three days to shut down but his brain was already gone. she said that after he went unsonscious, her dad, the man she knew, was already gone in her mind and all that was left was the body waiting to catch up to the brain.

krista told me that the added days gave the family time to say goodbye when her grandmother died some months ago. the days helped the family cope with the inevitability of death and provide them with the opportunity to say what they have to say to her. i guess that is the one plus of not dying in one "fell swoop" (as a colleague 0f mine recently wrote in an article). and when the time finally comes, you would have said everything you need to and the heart is clean.

as for my uncle, we'll see how it goes the next few days.


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