Monday, June 23, 2008

Michael Ross, 1970-2008

posted by John Blanco @ 6:52 AM

 

Michele's brother, Michael, died early this morning of brain cancer. He was just 38 years old. Nothing I can say compares to what Michele wrote in the wee hours this morning, so I'm replicating it here:

Michael with my brothers Andy and Kevin and my dad at my wedding.



This picture is from a week ago, Father's Day. My brother had been progressively getting worse over the last couple of weeks. He was still coherent and talking at this point but on Friday, June 20th Michael was put on 72 hour watch. He was in a lot of pain when my mom and I showed up to see Michael Friday morning. His head was really bothering him, and he was all sweaty and clammy because of it. Cedric and I stayed for awhile, but it's hard when you have an active toddler.

John, Cedric, and I came back the next day, Saturday, to visit. My parents were there. They nurses at the Hospice had given Michael a diuretic to help with the swelling on his brain and all the fluid retention he was having. It made him very uncomfortable, and he wouldn't eat. He eventually went to sleep...although he was still restless.

Sunday...John, Cedric, and I arrived around 1:30pm. We couldn't go in, because they were working on him. John and I wandered about the halls, and we saw my parents. They had just come back from eating lunch. They filled us in on Michael's condition. He was having trouble going to the bathroom, and he was in a lot of pain. We waited to see him...Andy showed up about an hour later. We watched the Rockies/Mets game in the lobby while we waited. We finally got to see Michael around 4:00pm. He had really taken a turn for the worse. They had him laying on his matress on the floor of his room. He was suffering and very incoherent. They had a cathater in him, and he kept wanting to take it out. They kept giving him pain medication and medication to help relax him. It would always work for a little while then he would get agitated again. So they would give him more....this process went on for hours. He was suffering and he kept having sleep apnea...I just want the pain to stop for him.

John, Cedric, and I stayed for as long as we could...we eventually left around 8:30pm. I kissed my brother goodbye and told him I loved him. Cedric waved goodbye to his Uncle Michael...it was so cute and sad at the same time. All my brothers were there....we had some trouble getting a hold of Chris, but he eventually was contacted and he came. (I have to mention when we were all in the room surrounding Michael there was an energy that is just indescribable...I guess you can say it was an outpouring of love.)

As we were leaving, my brothers were outside. They each took turns holding Cedric. When Kevin had a hold of Cedric, Cedric kept pointing up and saying up as he did it. Cedric knew...it's amazing how baby just know. We didn't want to leave, but Cedric needed to sleep and he wouldn't fall asleep where we were at...too much was going on.

Monday morning, June 23, 2008 at 12:45am, Michael stopped suffering and he is now at peace. Andy called me around 12:50am to tell me that Michael had passed. I feel bad that I wasn't there...John and I both wanted to be. We just didn't want him to suffer anymore. My parents, Andy, and Kevin were there so at least he wasn't alone. Andy went outside and told me how when people die you see an animal, and he saw a skunk. I find very comforting, because that was John and I's connection at the beginning of our relationship. He use to tease me that he could see skunks through his back window at the Windsor...I was jealous cause I wanted to see cute, wild animals, too. Our first bike trip downtown, we found a stuffed animal skunk at the Tattered Cover and John bought him for me. We named him Manhattan. John also has a necklace I bought him with a skunk on it. I also found out from the nurses that Michael would talked to them at night at the nurses station. He talked a lot about me and how much he liked me. It makes me feel good that he could still remember us even at the end.

It hurts so much to see someone you love leave this world at such a young age. He was only 38, and I can't believe he's gone. I feel like a part of me has died along with him. I'm glad I got to spend a lot of time with him over the last year...I only wish I had more time. Despite our differences over the years, he was one of my brothers I felt closer to...we shared a common bond of attending the same junior high and high school, but we were also only 2 and a half years apart. Right now the pain is too real to feel anything but numbness. I have to help bury my brother this week...I don't know how you get past this moment. I guess time will eventually heal. Goodbye Michael...Please know that I have always loved you and my heart is breaking because you are no longer in this world. I will forever miss you...I wish Cedric could had the time to get to know you, but your memory will have to live on in videos and pictures. Godspeed....sweet dreams. :(

Goodbye...

2 Comments:

Blogger JH said...

Wanted to send our condolences, losing a loved one to cancer just sucks.

-James and Marcy

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Michele -

So very sorry to hear about Michael. I love you guys and wish I could be there for you.

Pammy

6:49 AM  

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