(click on pictures to enlarge)
I am very sad to write that Loris’ journey on earth has come to an end. Three weeks ago today on February 24th, I was with him when he took his last breath. After all the suffering he had endured during the past year, he went peacefully and without pain. Towards the end, he lost his voice and the night before he died, he lost the ability to swallow which was pitiful to see in someone who so loved good food. Much as I wanted him to be here with me, it was a relief that he was spared any further decline.
He had once said that he wished he could die outdoors which in his condition and in this climate would have been a cruel end. When he died, I opened the window to let the fresh air in and to allow his spirit to leave and join the universe. Then I sat with him quietly and watched his body fade. Loris’ had beautiful hands with long shapely fingers. I used to joke with him that he should have been the piano player instead of me. One of the images that is imprinted on my mind is seeing his hands going white as the blood drained from them after he died. For me, that was the most vivid impression that he was gone. However, I am comforted knowing that there is a physical part of him that will continue. He had excellent vision, better than mine even with my glasses, and he donated his eyes to the Trillium Foundation for cornea transplant. It makes me happy that he left a gift of vision for someone and is particularly meaningful to our family as I have a sister who is blind.
For someone who was not a patient person, he bore his pain with courage and fortitude without ever once complaining about his misfortune and it seemed that the weaker he got, the more beautiful his spirit and smile became. The photo above was the last photo I took of him in Rome last year when he was just diagnosed. We knew his prognosis was bad but I didn’t think it would be less than a year. All I can say is that we should cherish the moments with our loved ones for we don’t know what life will bring to them or to each one of us.