At noon today, Mike escaped into another realm, like the white dog in Marshall Soules’ collage, like the way he disappeared in Bill Gaston’s dream.
Alison and I had been with him throughout the week, and he was visited by some much loved family members and friends. He signalled with raised eyebrows or frowns that he understood the conversations we were having as we “talked amongst ourselves.” There were many other dear friends and family members who were not able to see him during these short two weeks, including his much admired older brother who arrived at the hospital just after Mike had died.
He was very well cared for in Nanaimo Hospital’s Palliative Care unit. I stayed overnight in Mike’s room last night and was with him during the night when he was wakeful. This morning he was awake a lot and, when it was time, he was really ready to go and he just took off. Alison and I were with him, each holding a hand, on either side of the bed, with Victor lying quietly at his feet. We were very proud of his brave endurance of pain and his determined departure.
He had a good life and, we think, no regrets. He’d never been in hospital until all this began last fall. As John Tucker said when he first heard Mike was ill, "Some people feel too strong to be thus afflicted. Mike is one of them." His life was too short, but we’re glad that his suffering was brief.
There was no one like him, and he will be with us forever.
Thank you all for your love and support. We read your messages to him every day and feel sure that they gave him comfort, as they did us.