I have talked about my uncle Marc here before. I have shared his Roast beef recipe and his struggles with diabetes.

He was a man of extremes and suffered from depression and didn’t lead a happy life. He would rather be alone then with people, but with those he loved, he opened up to. When we moved back to Montreal when I was a young girl, we lived in the apartment below my grandmothers. He lived upstairs with her along with my other uncle and I spent hours and hours talking with him and learning from him. He loved classic movies and history. He loved genealogy and for years I knew I could alway find him at the library, he spent hours and days looking through books and microfiche, spanning hundreds of years retracing our roots, not only our family’s history but everything he could get his hands on. He was a treasure-trove of history.

The last few years were hard on him. He battled with his depression and could not keep his diabetes under control. He was in and out of the hospital and near death on more than one occasion.

At 3am thursday morning my grandmother called an ambulance after finding my uncle in pain, confused and hyperglycaemic and hypothermic. He was unresponsive by the time the ambulance arrived and had went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. He went into shock, was placed on a ventilator, his heart rate was high, his heart blood pressure was dangerously low so he had machines and medications to control his blood pressure, and he was in a coma. On Thursday evening he developed a fever of 40.6 (105.8) and stopped moving, even in a coma he was always agitated, so it was very different that he was not moving at all. We saw that he was stable so there was no reason to stay so my mom and I headed home at 3am…

He remained stable on Friday and my mom headed to the hospital to be with him in the evening. I decided to wait for a call and head there in the morning. My grandmother showed up at the hospital at midnight, it was the first time she came to see him, she never wanted to see him like that, but something made her go. Just before leaving she told her friend that she felt that he was not coming home this time.

He was still stable when my mom left the hospital to go get some rest, but was called just minutes from her front door. Even the machines could not keep his blood pressure up… there was no oxygen getting to his brain. It was the end. She called me just as I was going to bed at 2am. She was an hour away from the hospital and was scared she would not make it in time. I called my other uncle and told him and his girlfriend to head to the hospital, I got dressed and drove parallel to my mom with St-Lawrence river between us.

We arrived within minutes of each other and had about half an hour with him until the resident-on-call came to see us. We had to make the decision to prolong his life with no hope of recovering or let him go in peace. He was not there anymore, there was no hope. We gave the permission to stop the medications and take the ventilator out. He never took a breath. He died at exactly 4am Saturday morning.

We said our goodbyes and then headed to my grandmother’s to give her the news. She knew the second she saw us in the hall. We took turns holding her and comforting her. I saw my grandmother as a fellow mother. A mom that has just lost her child. Something that no mother should ever have to go through. He had never really left home so she had him close for 52 years and she was realizing that he will never walk through the door again.

There are only a few times in the last few years that we saw him really and truly happy and taking care of himself… One of those times was when he spent the summer with my mom at the cabin…

Doing work at the cabin

Marc and the boys Summer 09Marc (summer 09)Marc and the boys Summer 2009

I will miss you Marc…

Marc (summer 09)