Life and Death

My uncle has spent much of the last few years battling with various ailments, but the bottom line is his lungs just don’t work anymore. He’s spent the last week in the hospital on a respirator, and the doctors have said there’s nothing they can do anymore. He’s still alert and can communicate, and after consulting with his immediate family, decided he’d had a good life, and it was time to move on. This afternoon, they removed him from the respirator. The doctors say that without it, he has between 1 and 3 days to live. I travelled to visit him this afternoon. He was sleeping when I got there, but he did wake up after a while, and I got to talk to him for a bit. His throat was too sore from being hooked up to the respirator to talk more than a mumble, but his eyes were alert, and he could nod and shake his head.

This is one of those situations that just makes you think. He’s been on life-support, but he’s still conscious. Here he is completely alert and knowing he’s going to die in the next couple days. I just can’t imagine having to deal with that. In a way, I suppose it’s good, because he gets to say goodbye to everyone. All 5 of his grandchildren made it today to visit (even the ones that flew in from Colorado). It was quite touching.

I pray that he has a comfortable passing.

UPDATE: He did pass on at 9:20am on Sunday. His wife, children, and his brothers were at his side. I’m told that the family had decided to recite the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday morning, and as they said “Amen” he took his last breath.

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