Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Unplugging

We unplug things all the time; toasters, coffee makers, and, in my house, the Queen of All Electronic Devices, the hairdryer. We think nothing of it.

This afternoon, shortly after 3:00, my family and I will make the decision to unplug my father from a machine that currently helps him breathe. My father suffered a massive heart attack Saturday morning. Since then he has been kept alive on a ventilator. He was without oxygen for several minutes before the squad arrived, and neurological tests show no brain activity. There is a shell of a body there, but the person he was is gone, and there is no hope of getting him back.

And so we will unplug him about 3:00. He will die within a few minutes. I've thought about it, prayed about it, and believe that this is the humane thing to do. But cognitive knowledge and emotional knowledge are sometimes two different things, and so I would ask for your prayers for me and my family.

As it happens, it's my birthday. This will not be one of the happier ones. Please pray for God's mercy on my father, and on us all.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Andy. I am so sorry. We are praying for you and your family. Please let me know if we can do anything for you and your family. Sara Gallaugher

Matt said...

q and i will pray for you. i know that if i were in your dad's place, i would love the person who took such a hard decision for me to pass away. i cant possibly offer anything more than i am sorry and hope that this memory will not be the one which dominates your thought of your father. all the best to you, kate and the girls as you survive and move forward with memories.

matt

mg said...

I'm sorry Andy. That definitely sucks, especially on your birthday. We'll be praying for you and your family.

maureen said...

andy... i'm very sorry about this news. this road is similar to our family's road w/ my dad. i wouldn't wish it on anyone. my thoughts and prayers are with you.

love,
maureen

St. Izzy said...

Pacem et requiem vobis omnibus donet Dominus Deus.


Grieve well.

Julana said...

I'm sorry, Andy. God be with you.

Fred said...

Peace be with you and your family, Andy.

just.scott76 said...

andy, i could try and say something intelligent here but I would most likely fail. so i'll just say your in my heart. may the peace that passes understanding be upon you.

jer said...

I just prayed for peace for you and your family.

BenMc said...

What a hard thing to do. You have my prayers too.

John McCollum said...

God have mercy.

Jessie said...

I am praying.

gb said...

Andy, my heart breaks for you and your family. I am praying for y'all... that God will give you the unique grace and comfort-during-sadness only He can create inside you.

Gary

Karen said...

andy,
i sent you an email earlier today before i read this... i'm not sure if it was the right address so i'm commenting here just in case. man what a hard day for you, i'm so sorry. please know i'm praying for you and kate, for your entire family. please let me know if i can do anything for you guys.

love,
karen

keith said...

Praying for you.

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Andy:
It's now a bit after three and I've been praying the rosary for you and for the repose of your father's soul.
May God's peace be with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

just letting you know I am praying for you and your family across the Atlantic

Guy said...

I'm very sorry. My sincere condolences.

hallga77 said...

Andy,

Prayers. You've got them

Tim

Gar said...

Know that you and your family will be in my prayers for the next several days. I can't even imagine having to make that decision. May mercy flood over you my friend...

CarolN said...

Words fail me. I'm praying for you, and I hope that future birthdays will be brighter. It really sucks.

Hayseed said...

"Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell."

- Emily Dickinson


Peace to you, brother.

Hayseed

Michael N. said...

What a hard decision... Mary and I are praying for all of your family.

jackscrow said...

So sorry, Andy.

Praying for you and your family.