December 25, 2008
Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning - 12:43
Alex Noone (left), William A. Wright (center) & Brendan J. Noone (right) in Drexel Hill, PA, January 2007.
My Uncle Bill passed away tonight. Right around the time that he would have been participating in the Christmas Eve Service (8:00 PM), he gave up his fight and he began a journey down a new road; the road which none of us truly know what is on the other side. He left us in peace, with family & friends by his side.
I spent the past Sunday and Tuesday with my Uncle. The difference between the two days was extremely dramatic. On Sunday, he was vibrant, alert, witty and honest. He told me he was ready for what was next. He said he was ready for the unknown, and that he was ready to embrace it. I personally had the type of conversations I needed to have with my Uncle. I felt that I heard what I needed to, to let him go.
By the time I reached my Uncle on Tuesday, he was already unconscious and at the end. Each breath he took was deliberate. He looked like he aged 20 years between the 2 days that I saw him last. For the 6 hours I was with him, the only movement he made was for his breath. I left last night knowing that I said goodbye to my dear friend Bill; probably the toughest goodbye I have ever had to say.
On the ride home I thought of one of my favorite books that I read this past year, Cormac McCarty's "The Road". I thought of one of the last couple of paragraphs which brought me to tears on the day I finished the book. When I read this specific paragraph I immediately thought of my Uncle Bill and the end of his journey:
The woman when she saw him put her arms around him
and held him. Oh, she said, I am so glad to see you. She
would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk
to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he
did talk to him and he didnt forget. The woman said that
was all right. She said that the breath of God was his
breath yet though it pass from man to man through all
I believe that Bill is currently being helped at the end of his of his journey, just like 'The Boy' was being helped by strangers at the end of "The Road". All of the people that he touched in his life, through his vocation, are returning the kindness he displayed and they are helping him right now. We, the ones still present that he so immensely impacted, have to make sure that we pass his breath, stories and memories, from man to man, through all of time, keeping his goodness and his humanity, alive.
Goodbye my friend.