Updated: Dec 29, 2022
I realized something as Eric and I were going through this cancer journey. When Eric was diagnosed, he was stage 4, but late stage 4. His pancreatic cancer had already spread to his liver, lymph nodes, spleen and lungs. After 5 rounds of treatment, which consisted of 2 types of chemotherapy, we decided to stop. The chemo wasn't helping him at all. It was making him sicker. As his cancer progresses I wanted to let him know that he doesn't have to hold on for me or the family, especially if he is:
And in most cases ready to move on and be with the Lord
I've recognized, as my husband's illness had progressed, that he could have been holding on to this life to not disappoint me or the family. I had to have a heart to heart to say it's ok. That I'll be ok and the family will be ok. One thing I didn't want is to see him in pain and suffering just to hold on for us. That is not mercy or grace, that is cruel in my opinion. The conversation was, I might add, loving, intense, honest, painful...and much more. I love my husband so much that I did not want him in pain. I feel guilty for flying him to Amsterdam during his late stage 4 treatment. I made some plans for us. But even if man makes his plans, God orders his steps. This disease snuck up on us like a thief, a really sneaky mischievous, thief. We thought, ok, the toe surgery, hip and knee replacements are done. Now we can do all of the things we wanted. But then we heard the tires screech and we had to stop and do a reroute. Even with all that and the disease progression, I wanted to let him know that it's ok.
My husband is determined to fight for as long as he can. But I wanted him to know, that it's fine if he wants to move one. I will be very devastated, and I will be saddened, as will the family That said, I know he will be in peace and promoting jazz events in heaven, now that made me smile. There's some awesome talent up there. We had continued to move one, celebrated each day and doing all we could for him, no more chemo. He's wasn't quite ready though, which I'm so very happy about. I'm not ready either, but will I ever be ready. Eric is a Scorpio, a fighter. More importantly he's a God fearing man that knows God can heal him and that he can do all things through Christ that strengthens him.
He says that God is not through with him yet, now that's encouraging to hear. And I do believe he wants to see his sisters here in Amsterdam as well. Again, if he wants to wait, it should be only for him not for us. At the end he held on as long as he could. He held on enough to ensure his sisters were here. When I left to pick them up from Schipol airport, I told him they are here and I'm going to get them. The night before he kept asking, "Are they on the right plane?" Do they have the right seats?" I said yes they are on the right plane and do have the the right seats. They will be here soon.
Unfortunately his sisters didn't get a chance to see him before he transitioned. He transitioned while I was picking them up from the airport. But he knew they were here and that they will need to be here for me as I for them. I actually think that's why he transitioned before we returned. He was always thinking of family. Always wanting to get together, always wanting to the best for everyone and pushing us hard to be our best selves. He was working on his best self as well and he was tough. He had high expectations.
Eric passed away on September 5th, 2021, 11:45 AM CEST, 5:45 AM EST. I was told it was peaceful. I'm sure it was since he knew his sisters were here. He's at peace now and no longer in pain. He hated the pain, but hated being drugged even more. Now, he's hanging with some friends who have gone before him and preparing for our travels together. We will see the world as we planned; Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, France again, Morocco, Turkey, Brussels, Austria, across America and South America. I will leave his mark on this world, through jazz, travel, food, wine, house music, love, love, love and more love.
I will miss him terribly. I will always love him.