Archive for June, 2012
I just wanted to remind everyone that there will be a memorial service for Tate (Greg, Uncle Greg, Uncle Ham) tomorrow at 2pm. It will be at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford CT. Parking is available in the lot across the street (corner of Charter Oak Avenue and Prospect Street). There is also street parking available. If you are coming from out of town and need help with any logistics, or if you just have questions about any part of tomorrow’s events, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Many of you have asked for details about Tate’s memorial, and we have set the time at 2pm on June 30th. It will be held at Charter Oak Cultural Center, which is just south of Downtown Hartford for those coming out of town.
Charter Oak’s Executive Director, Rabbi Donna Berman, made some thoughtful suggestions for the memorial program drawn from different traditions. We’ve planned a memorial that will honor both Tate’s life and enduing legacy. Please join us on the 30th from 2-3pm.
At the close of the memorial we would like to offer coffee and dessert. We are looking for some baking volunteers, if you are interested please email me at email@example.com.
Also, if you are coming from out of town and would like accommodations, please email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have had several generous offers to host Tate’s friends and family who are traveling for the memorial and can match you with a host.
I want to thank you all for the unbelievable outpouring of blog comments, emails, phone calls and facebook posts/messages. It has been so beautiful and heartwarming. Speaking only for myself I want to tell you that although I am not responding to them I am taking them all in. It is just too hard for me to talk or even write right now.
That being said, we have heard people’s desire to gather sooner rather than later so although we will have the memorial on June 30th (more on that in a minute) we are inviting people over to Lucy and Leon Rosenblatt’s house this Saturday. Some people call this calling hours. In Jewish tradition it would be like sitting Shiva. It will be just an informal time where any of you who want and are able, can stop by. This will be from 2pm to 6pm at 286 Steele Road in West Hartford, CT. I know this is last minute for a lot of you so please do not stress if you are unable to stop by. And if you are from outside of CT and need to make a choice about when to make the trip, the memorial is definitely the one you should choose.
The memorial service will be at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford on Saturday, June 30th. We have not set the exact time yet but it will be in the afternoon. I believe I mentioned this before but if you visiting from out of state, and we hope you do, please let us know if we can help with arrangements.
I think many of you know already that Tate passed away the night before last. It was just hours after my last post about moving him to an actual hospice facility. At about 5:30pm the nurse told us that his blood pressure had dropped and she didn’t think he would make it through the night. We gathered around his bed, as we had been doing for days, and said our goodbyes. The we (Steve, Maureen, Karen and Michael) told him we would be back after dinner. We needed Taquila. 15 minutes after we left the room, the nursed called to say that he had died. We rushed back to the hotel. Desi returned with Ashley, Jennifer and Carole. We sat with him for a while and cried.
We are planning a memorial service here in Hartford for the end of the month. We will try to nail down a date today and then we will of course post it here. Anyone and Everyone is encouraged to come. We will help people with arrangements as best we can.
I want to start off by saying that for those of you who have been trying to figure out the meaning of the title for my last post “men,” you can stop troubling yourselves. It was an accident pure and simple. I have no memory of the word that I was trying to write but I remember that I started to put a title in, realized I didn’t know what I wanted it to be, and decided I would come back to it after I finished writing the post. Then of course by the end of the post I was tired and weepy and hit ‘publish’ without going back to the title. Oops.
Now for the important stuff. Although he is still in the hospital at CTCA, Tate’s care has officially changed to hospice care. That means that the goal now is comfort. They stopped the antibiotics and removed the NG tube. Today we picked a hospice facility for him to be moved to called The Arc. It is just a few miles from O’Hare airport and it is a lovely facility.
Up until three days ago, Tate was able to talk a bit. That evening he had this beautiful hour or so where he was quite lucid, able to talk, laugh and even crack jokes a little. His room was filled with family and friends and he was holding court. At one point toward the end of that hour he said, “I have a million hands on me.”
The next day he was mostly unresponsive. He was in pain and agitated in the morning so the nurse gave him Ativan which we think knocked him out for most of the day. Then yesterday he was more alert. He couldn’t really speak but he tried to mouth some words and managed a ‘yeah’ or a ‘no’ when asked a question. And although it wasn’t a full smile anymore, he was able to half smile when things came up that made him happy.
Today he has not opened his eyes. We are told that he can hear everything so we continue to read him every email, letter, text etc. that we receive including the comments on this blog. I know he is listening and feels the overwhelming love that you are all sending him. I know that.
People have been driving and flying in to visit him and say goodbye. I know that whether to do so or not is a hard decision. I truly think it is a personal choice that everyone has to make (and most people don’t have the option at all). Whatever you choose is okay. It is okay with us and I am sure that it is okay with Tate. No one planned for this. No one thought it would end anywhere near this soon and no one thought it would end in Illinois (no offensive to Illinois or CTCA – everyone here has been amazing and we are eternally grateful.) This just wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it.
Our hearts are breaking. Our bodies are tired and hurting. But this does not compare to what Tate is going through so the best we can do is comfort him, love him, and let him know that it is okay to find peace.