Peacefully, in his sleep

“He’s gone, Steph.” Lee’s voice was thick just before 7 am this morning. “A nurse came in at 4:30 and told me.” Lee had dozed off in the hospital bed next to Sam, who hadn’t really been “with it” since her arrival yesterday. He had been responsive when the Eden staff made the decision to send him to BMH but Lee’s not sure he was aware of her presence – at least, he was no longer able to give any signs. His decline began during the night shift Thursday night/Friday morning. Lee told me last night about the excellent care Sam was getting from the staff at Brattleboro Memorial; she was glad he was there being ministered to so attentively.
An email from Pat late last night said Lee “is his angel for now til he gets to the real ones…”
It will take a while for scheduling any kind of event. Sam had some specifications about what he did/didn’t want…have to work those out.
Lee was imagining Sam in his VW, driving around Vermont, wearing jeans, and getting out to walk around with his hands in his pockets.
I remember our last few conversations, in which he expressed gratitude for our friendship, and told me to “get on with your life.” Of course, that is what he will want us all to do. Lee summed it up: “A lot of people loved him. He will be missed.”

9 thoughts on “Peacefully, in his sleep”

  1. Steph WE ARE VERY SORRY TO READ ABOUT SAM WE KNOW HE WAS A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE. BUT HE IS HAVING A GREAT TIME NOW, I DO BELIEVE IN THE AFTER LIFE, WHERE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT.

  2. yeah, Sam was a huge and important part of my life. I learned so much about how to be a good person from him. His spirit will live on in me in as many ways as I can manage. Thanks for writing.

  3. I was one of Sam’s LNA’s at Eden Park before I left in June. I will always cherish the relationship that Sam and I had. I will always remember having lunch with him while watching Judging Amy…and reading all the funny mail that he got from his family and friends. Sam always loved when I would bring my son Carter in to visit him. I know Carter will be sad to not see him anymore. Sam was also the very first person I told when I became pregnant with my second son Brandon. He was excited to hear about my pregnancy everytime I came in. I was always amazed at how many people’s lives he touched and all of the friends and family that loved him so much. Sam was a one of a kind person and I am so pleased that I got a chance to meet him. I am going to miss him so much and I hope he knows how much I loved him.

  4. *hugs* I know this must be hard for you hon. Call or email or IM if you need. I love you and I’m genuinely sorry to see him go.

  5. Lee, Pat . . .
    Please know that I am thinking of you both with appreciation tonight as I remember Sam. I hope that he and my father have found eachother on the other side and that they are happy. The last time I saw Sam was at Harvest Festival this fall. I remember how committed you were, Lee, to bringing people to his side as he sat smiling in the car. Whenever I was singing at the nursing home, I made sure to check in with Sam and give him a good dose of rocking Gospel! Indeed, you were his angels here on this earth . . . and those ‘real’ angels are in for a treat out there!
    Keep me posted on any celebration, I will be happy to gather a few of my fellow singers to bring the joy of song.
    xo,
    amy

  6. Lee, Steph, Pat . . .
    It is with deepest appreciation of your friendship with Sam that I write this. For as long as I can remember . . . he loved and cherished you. I will never forget you, Lee, at Harvest Festival this fall . . . ushering people to Sam’s side . . . we waited in line to hold his hand and see his bright smile once again. I know that he is happy and free from the chains that held his body . . . and I love the image of him driving around Vermont in his VW! I hope that he has found my father on the other side and that their reunion is sweet.
    I sang at the Eden Park many times over the last couple of years with a Hospice singing group called Hallowel. Every time I was there, I would check in with Sam and treat him to a rockin’ Gospel tune or two. I would be more than happy to gather our group together for a celebration of Sam’s life.
    Much love to you Lee for your angelic love during Sam’s last hours.
    xo,
    Amy Young Harlow

  7. so sorry, Steph.
    Dad shared w/Rich some of your conversation today. I wasn’t expecting this and from our phone convo yeaterday, I don’t think you were either. I wish you peace and eventual comfort with his passing. I know you’ll take care of his particular arrangements and feel good about that. Nice pictures by the way, good ol’ 1970’s! love to you!

  8. Dear Sam…..loved and enjoyed by all. Gave so many laughs and good memories. He was with us when Clarence (his brother) passed away…this was also early on a Sunday morning.
    Yes, I can see the two of them…in their jeans, hands in pockets, attempting to “top” each other’s story! My family and I are greatly saddened by this loss, yet feel he has gone to a better place to look down on us with that grin of his. Love you Sam! Non

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