On January 5, 1993 my husband to be ‘T’ slipped into a coma and high fever on the way to a doctor's appt. We spent the following 8 months with him coming out and going back into comas due to a brain tumor between the right and left brain lobes, going about 1 inch deep from the top down. Although the tumor was considered large, by the doctors, we had NO knowledge of its existence until 01/05/93. My husband was a professional boxer. He worked out every single day, ran twice a day, and worked a daily job. The only noticeable physical change he exhibited at home, which prompted the doctor's visit in January, was his sleeping a little deeper than usual. We had attributed some stress to the fact that we had a new baby after 10 years together, family issues, his considering retirement and his intention to go back to school in 1993 and my being an injured passenger in two separate auto accidents in 1992. The doctor's could not confirm if the tumor was due to boxing or a terminal infection which they later diagnosed.
On September 5, 1993 ‘T’ was in the hospital awaiting release back home with full 24 hour nurse and home attendant care. His multiple medication had been changed again because of the toxic effects he was experiencing. On the Friday before his death in this life, the doctors suggested ‘T’ stay in the hospital until Tuesday, Sept. 6th just in case ‘T’ had a bad reaction to the change of medication again. By staying the doctors could respond immediately instead of re-admitting him and delaying emergency care, during a holiday weekend.
The night before, T asked me (for the first and only time during his illness) to stay with him in his hospital room to keep him company. When he was cognizant he would consistently asks me to go home or to my parents home nearby before it became late. We would then keep in contact by telephone through the night. That Saturday, I stayed, with hospital permission, and we talked throughout the night. We reminisced about all the things we did together up to this point in our lives and in the morning we watched a televised minister we had developed a habit of watching. Both the conversations and television habit were a regular part of our relationship. I attended church physically, T had only started attending churches during the previous 2 years.
On Sunday morning between 8 and 9 am, the doctors and nurses began to come into his hospital room with increasing frequency, to monitor the machines he was hooked up to. Around 10 am the doctors (2)came into the room and with calm directness informed ‘T’ and I that the machines showed a pattern of deterioration which would lead to coma and in their opinion probable death within 24 hours. I was flabbergasted that the doctors could diagnose, predict and tell us of his absolute death sentence. They matter-of-factly talked to us about his / our decision about DNR (Do not resuscitate, or offer medical assistance). I was a life-long believer in Do Everything Under the Sun to keep life going. T did not believe in extreme measures or DNR. He made the decision years prior due to his profession and past family experience. he never wanted to risk being a living ‘vegetable’. In fact because of a very abusive childhood, he truly believed he would not live past his 30th birthday. He was told this by his family his entire life. He accepted it as literal truth. he was stunned on his 30th birthday when he didn't die. On Sunday, Sept. 5, 1993 T was 32 years old. Although the doctors asked T what his choice would be concerning DNR, I was told I could override his decision because of his medical condition and a medical proxy he had kept for years naming me as medical decision maker. T rationally chose NO DNR or extreme measures. I honored his decision, and then excused myself for a few minutes to have a emotional breakdown further down the hall. Finally a nurse who had worked with us every day for approx. 6 months, helped me pull it together by asking me if I wanted to spend his last day with him or crying about it in the hall. I pulled myself together as much as I could, called family asking them to come straight to the hospital after church at 1pm (but not about the death sentence, except to his oldest child's mother, so that she could decide how and what was the best way to prepare her child and family). I then went back into the hospital room with the idea that he had until 5 pm that day. No one told me that he would die at precisely 5pm. I was reacting emotionally to the situation at that point.
When I entered the room, T was beginning to have labored breathing. With the beginning of rattled breathing, T was concerned about how I was. He asked how I was feeling? He wanted to know if I would be okay? He even offered to change the medical DNR and risk being a vegetable if I wanted him to. I am to this day deeply moved that with his inevitable diagnosis he could be so focused and concerned with my emotional and physical welfare. I promised him that I would be fine. I would be alive later. I told him that I would honor his wishes. He said he wished to keep his choice, visibly accepting everything that was happening. I was sitting on the side of his leg on the bed, holding his hand as his breathing was rapidly getting worse, more rattled and strained. His eyes were calm. The medical staff was coming back and forth into the room, checking the machines. I thought to myself, if this were my last minutes, hours alive. I was holding T's right hand, and I reached for the Bible by his bed stand. I chose to let it fall open to wherever it opened to and I would just keeping reading God's Word. What could be better to hear. we had already shared everything the night before.
The bible opened to Matthew 28:1, about Mary and Mary Magdalene going to Jesus tomb. I could read and see T's face as his breathing now peacefully rattled. He consciously watched me until 4 breaths before his last exhale. By that breath I was TOTALLY aware of how perfectly calm everything was. As I sat there holding his hand I witnessed a unexpected sight. I SAW not with my natural sight, however I SAW what looked like a whitish, wispy, cloudy human form lift out of a lying down, to sitting, to lifting form leave his body. It went upward and diagonally across the ceiling corner. I even said aloud ‘This is wild’. And I KNEW he was no longer inside the shell of the human body. No question about it. I even felt like I was a part of it. Everything seen and unseen was connected in perfection, and a joyous peace. I am also positive that T and another presence were in the room, located in the corner of the ceiling behind my left shoulder. I felt like I could join them. I was connected I sensed knew that T needed to be sure that I was okay with his leaving before he could/would leave to go on. I needed to reassure him. I was amazingly okay with it all. It was more than okay, so I turned my body to the ceiling corner and said aloud, It’s okay. I'm fine. The baby and I will be fine. It's okay if you go. I promise you it is fine. Still with the atmosphere of wonderful peace they were gone.
A nurse and doctor walked in, turned off the machine, called the time of death and quietly left the room. I was calmly aware of it all and amazed at the feeling of perfection in everything, as well as the removal of fear and loss I had dreaded.
A few minutes later (It felt like less than 2 minutes) His oldest daughter's mother walked into the room and my immediate response was, Oh, you just missed him. We spent at least 30 minutes at his bedside sharing jokes about who he was. It wasn't until we left the building about 1 hour later that we realized she had never stopped at the visitors' or nurses desk to ask for his floor or room number. she had simply rushed out to come to the hospital (she knew I was alone that morning). In her haste it never occurred to her that she hadn't asked for information.I have never wanted or wished that he come back or question his leaving since. I have shared this experience as best I can with friends and family over the years. I am compelled to write about it tonight. I don't know why