Kevin Thomas Kyle, devoted and gentle father, and long-awaited love of my life, passed peacefully at 2:35 am, today Saturday June 28th. Everyone in the family helped and took turns doing the midnight watch for meds – this time it was Brad’s turn, as I slept next to Kevin in our bed in the dining room. Brad went into the kitchen to retrieve the 2nd med, I awoke, and suddenly Kevin stopped breathing. I made the sign of the cross on his forehead and said the Our Father. When Brad came back into the dining room, I got up and said, “Quickly, come say a prayer with me.” I made the sign of the cross on Kevin and again on his forehead, and we said the “Our Father” once again. The very moment we said “Amen” Kevin took three more breaths, and was gone.
We woke the children – all of whom were sleeping but Christopher. He had a headset on in the living room and was playing a game in Kevin’s easy chair. This was the sad part – having to tell children they’ve lost a man who has been both mom and dad to them. The crying was horrific, and I had finally met my exhaustion, and could say nothing but sat on the stairs in the living room, stunned. I called my sister and mom to come help with the kids, then broke the news to Kevin’s sisters by phone.
Jordan, Kara’s soon-to-be husband, had the presence of mind to call hospice and the chaplain. When the nurse arrived, I had to turn the light on in the dining room so she could locate the tubing for the meds, and as I did that, one of the lightbulbs blew. We looked at each other and I said, “Ha – check that out!” and we both smiled. Hospice workers see stuff like this all of the time. These merciful angels who help people in their last days experience grief and meeting people, knowing them quickly and well, then mourning also – again and again. Yet, they also get this very great gift of persistently seeing the veil lifted momentarily. While death and separation are horrid, the miracles which remind us life goes on, are things they see every day.
Although I’m a Catholic, I must have been Jewish in a prior life. I instinctively felt the need to cover all of the mirrors (Kevin would be laughing at this). The windows are open, the mirrors are covered.I called one of my great friends here who is Jewish, to finish this for me. And I told everyone we will immediately go to Perkins for breakfast, so the kids didn’t see the funeral home remove Kevin from our home.
This isn’t the end of the story. Our journey begins, but now with a new chapter – one where we learn more about spirituality and how it deeply affects us. One where we watch for miracles and synchronicities. One where we put new lessons into practice to help others in situations we didn’t know existed.
So, my love, who was still fluent in German these many years later, Ruhe in Frieden meine Liebe – or, Rest in Peace My Love. I will still speak to you every day.