Archive for the ‘hospice’ Category

Chronicle of a Death Told in Facebook Postings

8 March 2010

This essay aired 12 March 2010 on NPR affiliate WVPE-FM as a contribution to Michiana Chronicles — a nice wedding anniversary present for Scott.  

Elizabeth Van Jacob and Scott learned that, like creatures from a horror movie, Scott’s tumors have again repaired themselves and grown significantly. Scott will no longer receive treatment for his condition. We are meeting with hospice later this week.  September 23

Elizabeth Van Jacob is taking a leave of absence from work effective immediately to live la dolce vita with her dolce amore.  September 24

Elizabeth Van Jacob just shared the very last cherry tomato of the season with Scott in the garden that was ours and ours alone.  September 26

Elizabeth Van Jacob is so very pleased that as Scott comes out from under the fog of the chemotherapy drugs, his inner light is shining through brighter than ever.  September 27

Elizabeth Van Jacob was amazed at how cheerful and matter-of-fact the hospice nurse was about driving from Elkhart to South Bend after midnight.  October 1

Elizabeth Van Jacob observes that while Scott’s body declines rapidly, the light within burns determinedly.  October 6

Elizabeth Van Jacob is glad this chilly morning to finally fulfill this inexplicable urge she has had the last couple of days to cover Scott with a cozy blanket.  October 7

Elizabeth Van Jacob sadly watched her husband say goodbye to his dear friend.  October 7

Elizabeth Van Jacob‘s Scott is fading fast. We are all snuggling together on the sleeper sofa in the living room, reminiscing, singing Christmas carols, expressing our love. No phone calls, please. Scott cannot hold the phone or focus his attention for conversation.  October 8

Elizabeth Van Jacob just kissed Scott goodnight.  October 8

Elizabeth Van Jacob notes that in the 8,000+ days she has known Scott, yesterday was the first that he did not have a bite to eat. After a restless night, he is finally sleeping. Unfortunately, every time he starts to fall asleep, he thinks he has to say his final goodbye to us. Scott really enjoyed hearing all the messages and emails everyone sent yesterday. Thanks for being with us through these final days and hours.  October 9

Elizabeth Van Jacob is glad that Scott said goodbye to family and friends and had a delightful spurt of energy and lucidness while hanging out with his girls last night. The Scott we were with yesterday is no longer here today since he is barely conscious. It is difficult for me to fathom that I will never really speak with him again. I am overcome by a profoundly sad and lonely feeling.  October 9

Elizabeth Van Jacob and Neil Young are singing Harvest Moon to Scott via youtube. Neil is a great back-up singer.  October 9

Elizabeth Van Jacob reports that yesterday a Becky daisy blossomed in her garden; they usually finish blossoming in mid August. When Scott was wooing me, he brought me a big bouquet of Becky daisies.  I still see him dressed in a white t-shirt, his long blonde hair illuminated by the late afternoon sun glowing behind him as he held them out to me. Scott died at 4:41 this morning.  October 10

Elizabeth Van Jacob requests that friends attending tomorrow’s memorial approach her children with upbeat voices and give them quick hugs. They crave normality at this very difficult time.  October 14

Elizabeth Van Jacob is grateful to everyone who also played the youtube video of Neil Young last Friday night and sang Harvest Moon to Scott from Vermont to Indiana to Oregon to Thailand, across town, across the continent, across the ocean, and half way across the globe. Thank you for helping usher Scott so tenderly out of this world. If ever there was a prayer that was one.  October 16