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Farewell Michelle

On Sunday afternoon Michelle threw her last party. A small group of family and close friends gathered in our back yard, and over a couple of hours everyone had a chance to share with her their favorite memories and tell her how much she had touched her lives. Michelle stood and called everyone together, and thanked us for our love and support. And of course, she exhorted us to continue to do everything in our power to push forward the science of cannabis medicine!


I helped her back into the house, where, under the compassionate guidance of the hospice nurses, she took the End of Life Act medication. We then pushed her bed back out onto the deck -- because, before she was ever a cancer warrior and a medical cannabis advocate, Michelle was a lover of Nature, and she wanted to spend her last moments outside.


Everyone was gathered on the grass. Michelle called out to them, "Come closer, come closer!" That, too, is part of her legacy: always bringing people together and building community.


The EOLA medication works by first sedating the person, so they are unconscious and free from pain, and then gently stopping their heart. For some, the body and spirit struggle to hold onto life, and the process can take a long time. Not Michelle. We had each told her that we would be ok, and that she was free to go. And Michelle herself was eager to not only end her physical suffering, but to embark on yet another grand adventure!


Michelle fell asleep in just a minute or two, and over the next 5 minutes I held her hand as her pulse gradually weakened and came to a stop. Her mother and I were right there with her, as was Satie, the person who first brought Michelle and me together. And the universe was awash in love from everyone gathered together.


I am heartbroken. I know that you are heartbroken. But I am so happy that her suffering is over.


Whatever your beliefs about what comes next, know that Michelle is in your heart. And when you're not sure how to move forward, or how you can help carry on her legacy, just ask her. She will tell you, in no uncertain terms.


Fare well, Michelle. I love you, right now and forever.


Bruce

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11 Comments


glunruh
Oct 01, 2021

Dear Bruce,

I have observed and loved how Michelle and you faced and shared the most difficult of life and end of life experiences. Your love for each other became one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my lifetime. Thank you for sharing ❤️ Gary Unruh

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boyd.judy.aa
Sep 30, 2021

Dear Bruce,

I have been at a loss to find the words to express the many feeling that your heartbreaking and beautiful tribute to Michelle have filled me. I feel privaledged to have read so much detail about one of the most intimate experiences of your life. Michelle shared so much with us in her blogs, and I was always encouraged and amazed at how you both did not let her illness keep you from experiencing life at its fullest. But I know that even when a loved one has suffered greatly and we know the time has come to end the pain, when they are gone, they are gone and the loss is just as great and overwhelming. I…

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owenbailey
Sep 30, 2021

Dear, Bruce - you and Michelle are in my thoughts and heart every day. Thank you for helping to create such a beautiful experience for Michelle and for all of us to be a part of. I can only imagine your grief, but please know we love you and we are with you.

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Temmo Korisheli
Temmo Korisheli
Sep 30, 2021

Thank you, Bruce. I can't imagine how difficult writing these words must have been for you -- not to speak of the rest of it. But thank you for letting the rest of us into the mystery. My heart is with you.

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karengillow
Sep 30, 2021

Dear Bruce, such a beautifuel tribute and what a wonderful way to go, surrounded by family and friends, in nature as much as possible, and with the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones and enjoy the send off. Who knows when we will be able to travel overseas, but when we can, we'll be in touch to say "Hi" in person. Much love to you from Aus. You, and Michelle, are in my thoughts xxx

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