Last Monday would have been my nephew Jeremiah’s 37th birthday. But he’s no longer with us. I vividly recall when my sister-in-law phoned my husband James on his cell phone. We were driving in the car and I could only hear one side of the conversation. When the call ended James told me Jeremiah had been in an accident while on his motorcycle. He was wearing a helmet but I’m not sure it was snapped underneath his chin. Eyewitnesses said he’d accelerated from the stop light and was going over the speed limit. When the car that hit him pulled out from a side street the driver probably didn’t gauge how fast Jeremiah was going, and she broadsided him.
When we got to the hospital, the movies I’d watched of victims in the Intensive Care Unit really did do the experience justice. It’s eerily quiet and the atmosphere is respectful of what is (or actually, what is NOT) going on in each of the rooms. Jeremiah looked peaceful, like he was asleep and would wake up at any moment.
However that was not ever going to happen. We came to visit each day though there was nothing to do but stand next to his bed and look at his face. We’d often talk to him, hoping he could still hear us. As the days passed, we heard talk of organ donation then we all went into a meeting with those who deal with that side of death.
I’ll never forget the day my brother-in-law Bob literally wailed that he was going to lose his son. Bob ultimately had to make the decision when the life support systems would be shut off.
I would never, ever want to be in his shoes.
Rest in peace, Jeremiah. We still love you and always will. Your zest for life lives on in those individuals who received your life-saving organs that you gave them while you were still physically here.
I love you, bro.