I remember a lot of visitors the day before as family members came to say their good-byes, but by Sunday I can only recall my immediate family, Michael's mom, and his aunt being at the house with us. There was a hospice nurse, as well.
Michael had been in a coma since Saturday morning. I honestly do not remember his last words to me, but they were probably I love you.
Around dinnertime, my family went home, and my mother-in-law and her sister left to attend mass at a local church. No one intended to return that evening unless I called for them to do so. Therefore, I was facing the night alone with just the nurse here.
For some reason, Michael's mom and his aunt decided to come back after their mass was over. I'm so glad they did. I was just weary and overwhelmed, and I remember breaking down at one point. Michael's Aunt Sally, herself widowed at a fairly young age, was incredibly comforting. She made me get into bed and she held me. I would have liked to stay there and sleep, but I could sense that it wouldn't be long before Michael left and I wanted to be with him. Hospice had prepared us for what we should expect, and we could all tell that it would be soon. So I got up and went into the back bedroom where he was.
It was the first time that I had ever been with someone while they passed from this life to the next. It was very sacred. I held his hand and watched him closely. I wasn't afraid for him. I knew he would be okay.
At 7:35 that evening, Michael took his last breath and the nurse confirmed that his heart had stopped beating. I felt somewhat relieved for him because his suffering was over, but I knew that my life would have a huge hole in it and that I would miss him with every breath from then on.