The doctor left the house around 2 pm on Sunday, March 29th. The kids were all around and immediate family had come over as well. It is surreal to me now as I reflect back on what happened. The doctor left and I chatted with the kids about how things were rapidly declining. The lymph nodes in my husband’s neck had swollen tremendously and likely were the culprit for the rapid decline. We had been instructed by the doctor to use the pain pump as often as every 15 minutes if Kevin appeared to be in discomfort. We also had the mouth care products which we liberally applied to the inside of his mouth and his lips.
There was no noticeable change in his breathing, it remained as laboured as ever, and his physical presence didn’t change dramatically. Whatever was happening was occurring inside, almost like he didn’t want to cause us any distress. There was no rattle in his chest and his agitation was significantly diminished – I suspect his system was gently slowing down.
All day, off and on, someone had been holding his hand or stroking his arm and telling him how loved he was. Around 6:30 that night I knelt by the side of the bed and held his hand, my daughter Kelly knelt on the other side and did the same. I said to him “it’s okay Kevin, your girls are here.” At that exact moment his sister walked through the door saying “Hello everybody, I just finished dinner and thought I’d stop by.” My two sons were at home, one in the room, one outside watching the darn hawk that had been flying over the house all afternoon. It was then that Kevin took two deep breaths, almost sighs, and literally left us. It was a graceful departure, one of peace – the thing he believed in most. It was his gift to us as a family, a quick release designed to minimize our agony of watching him die. Cancer may have taken him, but in the end he went on his terms.
Kevin, Kev, Kevi, Big Daddy, Pappy, Dad, Pops, Uncle Kevin, Granddad, Batch, Batchelor – you will be missed so very much and by so many – there was no one quite like you. I love you honey.