Her last day with us came on a Monday. Friends and loved ones came through the house in waves to say goodbye. They stood around her bed, circling us with their hearts and hands, praying, singing, flowing with tears. The depth of my agony had been mercifully replaced with a kind of numbness which enabled me to think. My wife and our children were going to be deprived of each other and I wanted to create some kind of memorial for the void. So I gathered heavy paper and tempera paint, collected the children and brought them to her bedside for the last time. I made a print of Glenda’s hand for each of the children, and then dipped her finger in the paint to write, Remember Wes, Mom loves you. Remember Colby, Mom loves you, Remember Kayla, Mom loves you.
By evening, everyone had left except Glenda’s Mom and sister, who prepared dinner for the kids. I sat with Glenda til after midnight, knowing each shallow breath was numbered. Earlier, Jeri told me that sometimes even the comatose need permission from their loved ones to go – permission to quit fighting and rest. So I spoke to my wife for the last time.