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June 06, 2006

Let the Way be Open

greg, how do i put into words what i witnessed? we walked in and saw you so small, so deflated of life, so hooked up to technology. it was clear that the doctors and nurses had tried every damn thing they could. some machines were whirling, some were beeping, others bleated out numbers and blips and lines. bucky's certain if they'd had you on systems running on mac osx, you would have been better off.

a visual shock... those four giant hoses running blood from your leg to your neck... but your mom gave me a quick lesson in ECMO technology. she's become an expert... i was impressed. your breathing was odd, there were tubes and needles on every visible part of your body, and clearly beneath the johnnies too. it took me a little while to understand how everything was connected, working, happening.

your parents were so strong, greg. we stood with you and exchanged stories and moments and loving words of your life, your passion for music, anime and computers, your sense of humor and your penchant for the understatement. Eine stayed with you the whole time, and i thought that would suit you just fine... since Batz Maru was no where to be found. iTunes kept belting out your favorite tunes.

ironically, you were the largest, oldest patient at Children's Hospital, yet their attendance to you was as loving and caring as it would be for a small, scared child. when it was time, the nurses sweetly, gently explained as they removed tape and tubes and machines from your body. 'it's alright.' 'you're ok.' 'everyone is here for you, greg.'

and we were. we were there so intensely for you, that the rest of the room fell away. we stood, your mom, dad, bucky and i with our hands on you, saying prayers with the hospital minister, who was cheeky and helpful. a favorite chant of mine bubbled out... these moments are bittersweet and soft and beautiful. we waited, holding space for you while you took your last labored breaths.

bucky felt your energetic body cease transmitting. i poured as much loving energy into you as i could to help your passage be smooth. we all had eachother's backs. i felt your appreciation and i was honored to be there for you and your family.

we toasted your name with spicy scallop roll and sake at that place we always went in harvard square. before that meal, i had never been to that restaurant with anyone except you. you were an amazing, special friend and i am humbled by the strength you had in life.

Posted by emily at June 6, 2006 11:01 PM

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i'm glad Eleanor gave me a head's up you'd be posting this.

so strong, Em. all of you. after what happened with my nephew, i can *say* that i wish i'd been there, but i don't know if i would have been able to bear it.

sending yet more love and see you soon,


Posted by: sirhc_warrior [LiveJournal user info] at June 6, 2006 11:49 PM

Emily! That was so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! I can't even begin to imagine.

Posted by: lukwam [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 11:50 PM

What a beautiful description of such a difficult time. How fortunate gregory was to have such wondurful family and friends there for him, and how fortunate we who could not be there are to have you share this with us.

I have seen death up close too many times, and the one I do not regret, the one that brings more peace than sadness when I recall it, is being one of those holding hands and praying at a dear friend's bedside when he passed. I hope that, in time, as the sadness mellows, this experience brings you that strength and serenity as well.

Posted by: cubes [LiveJournal user info] at June 7, 2006 12:16 AM

Emily, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us... what a precious time with such a precious person.

Posted by: Becky Spainhower [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 09:54 AM

Thank you, emily, for everything. For keeping us up to date, for being there for Greg and his family...
This reminded me of when it was time for my stepmom to move on to her next lifetime, she passed some 8 years ago from ALS. At the end of her life, she was a grand spirit trapped in a body that didn't work anymore. When her soul took leave the hospice nurse declared her a "free and independent soul" (she passed on July 4th).

I have this image of Greg in a grand afterlife, with raves on a beach, with incredible music playing, and glorious sunrises, and cute Japanese girls with anime colored hair, and love and joy all around him.

He was such an incredible person - on the outside he was so funny, so dry, and wickedly smart. On the inside he had this deeper, sensitive side that could be greatly wounded - but also SO bloody strong and stubborn. I remember thinking it odd, sad, weird that someone with this much PASSION for so many things, was single, and at one point I had developed this strong crush on him for all the mysteries of his persona that were waiting to be explored.

We fell out of touch when he moved back home, but I will always remember fondly those little "boo!" AIM message that would pop up on my computer, and we would chat about this and that.

Even though I know Lain wasn't his favorite anime, but I can't help but think his spirit will live on with us online in some way. He's left so many footprints here - in his blog, in the muds he played, in his WoW characters, that he'll always be with us with that smile and laugh (with that ever present cough) - even though he's not in THIS dimension anymore.

Please convey my sympathies to his family, and to you. Is there a charity that is devoted to organ transplant that we can donate money to in Greg's memory?

peace be with you, Emily.

- Amy

Posted by: plaidsheep [LiveJournal user info] at June 7, 2006 11:00 AM

Snooze...man I wish I hadn't lost track of you. Looks at all your friends and family I know we would have continued our friendship like I had never been lost. I will miss you my friend...I will miss you. Peace be with you in your next journey in life.

Posted by: norrin667 [LiveJournal user info] at June 7, 2006 09:51 PM

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