TO: Family and Friends….
This is the letter I never wanted to write. Your friend, family member, and my wife of almost 48 years passed away peacefully last night, surrounded by her children, lots of flowers and Beetles music. Phyl just ran out of time. Her breathing has been getting worse for the past year and finally her lungs quit on her, even with the mask and respirator.
The past two weeks have been tough as she struggled to breathe and lost her ability to communicate. When she experienced air hunger, we gave her morphine which gave her some relief. Yesterday morning I helped her dress and took her into the dining room in her power wheelchair. She had three doses of morphine before she got comfortable, but this also made her groggy. We didn’t think she was aware of what was going on around her, but when she heard our grandchildren playing at the dining room table Phyl perked up and waived to them weakly.
We kept her comfortable all day with morphine. She seemed to perk up when her brother Howard call, but she slept most of the day. Her breathing became weaker and weaker all day and we knew she was transitioning when her oxygen level began to drop. Jake, Brian, Jeremy and his wife Sam, and I held her hands, rubbed her legs, talked to her, and cried until her breathing stopped altogether at 2:45am. It was a relief as she was suffering. She passed very peacefully.
Phyl will be cremated and we are planning a celebration of life sometime in the fall, hopefully associated with the ALS Walk-a-Thon in Look Park on Sunday, September 13. More on that later. We’ll also ask for donations in lieu of flowers etc. for the ALS Association of Massachusetts which has been very good to us. Here is the link if you would like to help;
I’ll tell you more in another letter, as I’m exhausted and can’t think.
Love to you all…..
After her passing…… a few more posts about John:
June 28, 2020 – The first two weeks
July 4, 2020 – Navigating Transitions