Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Goodbye, Mike

Yesterday I was too tired to post news of Mike's passing. It had been an emotional day and I spent a good part of it with Tina, Christian, and Mike's family. I cried a lot, and will ocntinue to. I miss my friend Mike, but I'm crying just as much for Tina and Christian and their loss. She called me about 30 minutes after he passed away and I arrived about 20 minutes later. I was honored to be included in his goodbye. I met with the president of St. Francis High School, Father Tony. He was a lovely Brazilian man who came into the priesthood later in life after losing his wife to brain cancer, too. I met the hospice care nurse and the chaplain who came with her from Kaiser. Both were wonderful people. I spent some time with Barbara, Mike's older sister. I like Barbara a lot and was grieving for her loss, too. Mike was the 4th sibling who's died in her family of 9 brothers and sisters. It's a painful and awful story about their family and in honor of those who have passed on and those who remain I will stop there.
What I found amazing is that Christian had encouraged his mom to take a shower that morning. She had been with Mike all night long talking to him and urging him to stay alive and not leave. How could Mike depart with Tina there? So, his son gave him permission to leave and he did. That is a beautiful death. Poor Tina, though, is wracked with guilt and I told her not to be. Nothing I say is going to help her much, but I tried.
Anyway, the funeral is in a few days. We were laughing about what she should put in his coffin. She's going to dress him in his trademark jeans and t-shirt and perhaps one of his favorite flannel shirts. I told her to put in a can of his favorite soda, Cherry Coke and maybe his cigarettes. I think she might actually do this! It was nice to laugh in the midst of such sorrow. That's it for now.


dietcokegrrl said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know you have been such a comfort for their family!

Theteak said...

This is very sad. I'll remember to pray for Mike's family. It sounds like you have been a good friend to them.
Our only hope is with Christ who has brought certainty by defeating death.
God bless.