A sad update today. In Nora’s words,
It wasn’t a war or a fight. Those things have rules. This was more like Aaron getting in the ring with the Mohammed Ali of cancers, and smiling for round after round after he got his teeth knocked out and his face rearranged.
It ended today at 2:43pm, in the middle of a run-on sentence, my head on his heart and my arms around him in a hospital bed built for one, but perfect for the two of us."
So it’s over. And yet, it has just begun.
Yahoo! Health published a story about Nora & Aaron today, which I guess makes them Official Property of the Internet and subject to all kinds of interesting comments from strangers (and by “interesting” I mean “deeply unkind and often slightly strange”). Which, I know, is what the Internet is now. So, we’ll snuggle up and protect our hearts from the trolls, and carry on with our grief and figuring out this new life.
I mentioned in the last update that Nora was able to hire overnight help for Aaron. The caregivers for the first two nights didn’t work out so well (in fact one of them didn’t show up at all), but on the third night Helena came. She is a beautiful soul who stayed by Aaron’s side at night so Nora could get some much-needed rest, who wrapped my sister in her arms and brought love and peace and comfort to all of us. Who showed up on her day off to check in on Aaron and offer him a bath. She was a gift, and your donations brought her to us.
One of the commenters I mentioned above made a crack about how much Nora was probably enjoying a fat life insurance check. So now is probably a good time to mention that, like many young, single men in their early 30s (of which Aaron was one when he had his first seizure), Aaron didn’t have life insurance. That’s another reason why these donations are so important.
The donations so far have been used for:
- Helena (worth every penny, in fact worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS)
- Aaron’s cremation
- putting together the best funeral ever, for the best guy we’ve ever known
We’re not yet sure what we’ll need the money for in the future, but it will likely include medical and hospice bills, and living expenses (without life insurance, there is nothing to replace Aaron’s income now that he’s gone).
There’s lots of ugliness on the Internet. Computer screens encourage a cowardly sort of cruelty that becomes easier to inflict when you don’t have to see the impact of your words on the human being that’s reading — and feeling — them. It can disconnect us from the fact that, on the other side of every news story is a real person.
But there’s also great beauty in technology that enables us to connect with each other across great distances. It connects us to those we love, and allows us to love those we have never actually met. That love is real; it doesn’t require physical presence to be felt. It brings us together and allows us to feel another person’s story so deeply that we are moved to act, to help.
Thank you for being the beautiful, kind, and generous side of the Internet. The side of the Internet that restores my faith in humanity.
Hearts shooting out of my eyeballs,