Many of you have followed our story and its constant ups and downs, particularly since Ramón’s chemo/radiation/transplant complication-induced cardiac arrest on April 19, 2020. Though it felt like we’d finally settled into an “up” after a tumultuous three months, Ramón died yesterday at 10:52 a.m. Things were going well [enough] until suddenly they weren’t. A respiratory event yesterday morning led to yet another cardiac episode and, though we hoped to sustain Ramón’s life long enough for his family to get to town, it didn’t unfold that way.
So, lying in an ICU bed with Ramón, I held onto him as tight as possible until they said I had to go. Every muscle in my body aches today, but that’s the price I paid to send him off in the midst of a massive hug. Ramón’s family in Michigan joined us via video as we reminded him just how much we loved him. As we finished saying our goodbyes, he was clinging to life with the help of very advanced life support. When we told the medical team it was time to let him go, a stethoscope determined he was already gone. In true Ramón fashion, he didn’t allow us the pain of knowing we made the decision; instead, he made it for us. Such a control freak.
There’s no doubt that the world was better off because of him, and his positive impact will live on in perpetuity. We all know his kindness and compassion were immeasurable. Ramón was so generous, in fact, that he almost got his ass kicked on the streets of New York City for tossing money into the cup of a guy just trying to enjoy his morning coffee.
I will post more soon, but thank you all for your support and kind words. And, though I’m too exhausted to brush my teeth, much less be angry, keep in mind that social media – and mass communication in general – complicates the grieving process in unique ways. In these times of rapid information, proper etiquette is to avoid any mass communication until the family has done so. Though, in some ways, I’m grateful the world found out without me having to say the painful words, it can also disrupt the family’s notification hierarchy. Food for thought.
And, speaking of food, there is no memorial service in the works. Ramón’s desire was to have a party where “everyone leaves talking about how amazing the food was.” So, when the time is right to make that happen, we’ll all get together and eat Ramón-style – which means you’ll go home miserable, but far from sad.