Wednesday, December 11, 2002

at 6:40 pm central time, henry strongin goldberg died. i removed his breathing tube and his heart stopped beating while laurie held him in her arms on a rocking chair in his room.
henry remains a warrior to the end. we are less than an hour away (central time). it is all pretty surreal right now and i know the reality is going to hit very hard in 45 minutes. my sister and her family aren't here yet. these are a few photos we just took. i have a sense that the posts will trickle off soon.

we are listening to smashmouth and doing arts and crafts. here is henry's hand print. more to follow.
i just took a nap on henry's bed. i was laying on the end with my arms wrapped around his leg. so nice and perfect. no-one else is around.

i have an idea. if anyone out there has any good henry stories or anecdotes, please email them to me and i'll read them aloud at 6 pm. thanks! that way everyone can share in this moment.

we love you all
dr. wagner was just in and we all sat around reminiscing about henry. the one thing that struck me is that henry always said, "let's just get it over with," or let's do this already," when he was going to have a procedure, or had to get blood drawn or had to go to clinic. he was impatient for the not-so-fun stuff to be over so he could get back to the good things in life. i know that henry is glad that we are following his instructions and "just getting this over with."

they have him on pentobarbital which keeps him very relaxed and in a dreamlike state. we'll remove a lot of the tubes and the ventilator at 6 pm. we will get everything out of his mouth so we can kiss him. hopefully we'll be able to cradle him in our arms. we'll play his favorite songs (my brother-in-law brought some of henry's mixed cd's from home) and probably tell some good henry stories. a rabbi will be with us and we'll say the vidui prayer and the shema. I think I'll go swipe the menorah from the lobby of the hospital and we can break the rules and light the candles. Henry's last words to Laurie were, "Mom, this is a terrible last day of Hannukah." maybe we can make it better.

henry will come home tomorrow morning on a flight separate from us. he'll then be at Danzansky Goldberg funeral home and if anyone wants to sit with his body you can contact Danzansky Goldberg at (301) 340-1400, 1170 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.
the funeral is tentatively scheduled for 1 pm on friday at adas israel synagogue in washington, dc. there are directions on the synagogue's website

I am very scared that we only have a few hours left with Henry. laurie and i both had the same thought. what do we do tonight after he dies. it's not like you're gonna head to the movies or out to dinner. and we aren't home. maybe we'll drive around the lakes and as laurie suggested eat some of henry's favorite foods, skittles, garlic bread, chips, chocolate croissants and other nutritionally deficient items.

i went with my dad and jack to get jack some big boy clothes for the funeral. i also bought henry the biggest swiss army knife they make. he always wanted one but laurie knew he was still too young. he doesn't have much of a palm but i put his fingers around it and he is holding it now. also, it is pretty ironic that we took jack to get something to wear when he couldn't care less. henry was the real clotheshorse in the family. he had style.

the clerk at the store asked if we were out having a shopping day. i wish i had the wherewithal to say, "no, we're removing life support from my son today."

we're working on funeral and burial arrangements now. i ran into the manager of the ronald mcdonald house earlier i found that i had to actually say, "my son is going to die today and we are going to be out of here by tomorrow morning.
everyone else just walked in. this is too hard.
laurie and i just spoke with the doctor who first helped henry on the PICU. we told him that we want to shoot for 6 pm this evening. the funeral will most likely be on friday at adas israel in washington dc.

my dad just came in. he lost his mother, wife and now his grandson all this year. gotta go cry now.
we chose what day and time henry was born and now we'll do the same with his death. everyone is in. my friend, david abramson, cannot be back from israel in time to officiate at the funeral. the path is clear.

laurie and i have been able to grab a few minutes together here and there and we've had great conversations about henry. thank god for laurie's amazing memory. she is helping me because i am still a blank. she reminded me how when henry learned her cell phone number he became a big abuser. he'd call it every chance he got and left messages like, "hi mom, it's henry. i am just calling you to tell you how happy i am, how much i love you and how beautiful you are. see ya." he'd do this over and over.

i'm glad my mom isn't alive for this. but i am sad that my dad is physically alone. we are here for him as are my sister and his friends, but how hard must it be not to have someone to lay next to in bed and talk about how much you loved your grandson and hear that everything will be alright. henry loves all of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles and friends so much.
henry's school in washington is cancelled today because of ice. i'd like to think that they decided to close for a day to honor henry. strangley it is a lot warmer, nicer here in minneapolis. i just looked out over the mississippi and there is a thick fog. henry would have said, "it's smokey out today."

jack wants to blow off school and his field trip. that's probably a good idea. i think i'll take him to go buy a jacket and tie today.
henry and i are sitting listening to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the early morning quiet. actor was another profession i could have seen for henry. he was the artistic one while jack is the science guy. or baseball player. henry could hit the ball a mile.

it is very nice. i cannot stop crying. i bet it is going to be like this for a long time. you'd think they'd have softer kleenex. this is what henry had to use for so long. that's no fair. i should have brought in some softer stuff from the outside. how can the nurses sit there and watch this. i talked to one of the doctors last night to make sure they don't stop caring for henry at the same level as before we decided we weren't going to go the distance. he really is so beautiful.