karlht: (Default)
[personal profile] karlht
An excerpt from a note I sent to my mother's family on May 28:

Most of you have met my father Bill at some point --- he and Janet divorced in 1979, and his interactions with the family thereafter were quite limited, but he did come to Lisa's and my wedding in 2000, and most of you saw him and his wife Kathy there.

Bill is about to be sent home from Oak Ridge Hospital with a hospice team -- he had an infection outside his lung that they were able to successfully remove, but the lack of oxygen to his brain, coupled with the liver damage that 50+ years of alcoholism had done to his liver, has meant that he has not regained consciousness since the surgery on May 8th. We had some hope that in the week following the surgery, he might come back to us -- he was breathing on his own, reacting to some stimuli, and seemed to be making slow and steady progress. But it is now pretty clear that recovery of consciousness is unlikely, and that he is in that unenviable twilight state between life and death. The end may come in days, weeks, months -- we don't know. There is no brain bleed and no gross trauma that any scans can see, but his brain seems to have reached its limit in terms of re-establishing connection with his body.

When the time comes, I will let all of you know, and those of us who knew him can gather (with Dan Decious and anyone else I can think of on this coast who loved my parents) and tell stories and toast his memory. If you have suggestions for who should be invited, please feel free to send them in a reply. In the meantime, I ask for all of your good thoughts for Kathy -- their 30th wedding anniversary was April 6, and what this is doing to her is just heartbreaking.

Bill left us about 6am Eastern time this morning. RIP William Ernest Thiessen, born September 17, 1934, in Kansas City, Missouri, died at home in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 4, 2015. He taught me how to draw a crystal structure, how to musically blend in an ensemble, how to drive (and parallel park!) a stick shift, and how to make popcorn on the stove. My current profession as a software engineer also owes much to his development of programs in FORTRAN to analyze scattering patterns from neutron diffraction when I was at an impressionable age.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 05:11 am (UTC)
minim_calibre: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minim_calibre
I am sorry, my dear.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 10:39 am (UTC)
calligrafiti: (frost blossom)
From: [personal profile] calligrafiti
I'm sorry. Much peace to you and your family.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 11:22 am (UTC)
sail_aweigh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sail_aweigh
All my sympathy to you and your family, Karl.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 01:30 pm (UTC)
zmayhem: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zmayhem
I'm so very sorry. Much love to you and to all who loved him, and peace be upon his spirit.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 05:12 pm (UTC)
arliss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arliss
Oh Karl, I'm so sorry. All peace and comfort to those who loved him.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-06 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sowilo
Oh, honey, I am so sorry. Although I'm sure it was painful, your words here are lovely.