I was hoping to make this post bright and cheerful, since we’re launching the updated version of our COT COVER website, but, rather than putting lots of effort behind tweaking every corner of our beautiful new layout, I’ve been making phone calls and arrangements to help my family during a difficult time.

Seems my dad’s stepbrother, Kenny, was discovered unconscious yesterday by his wife.  She works an overnight detail for Darden restaurants, handing translation for their properties around the world and is needed at very early and late hours.

When she returned home to wake up her family and get her daughter ready for school, she found her husband unresponsive.

Rushed to the hospital by ambulance, he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and hooked up to life support systems.  He remained in a coma while his wife, my step-aunt-in-law (?) talked with doctors and assessed how his living will would affect treatment.

After discussing his prognosis – grim, at best – the decision was made to honor his living will and remove life support.  The tubes and machines were removed at 8:00 pm last night.

He stopped breathing at 9:00 am this morning.

The funeral services will mirror those we held for his father, Ronald Skipper, last year, who I described in the post, A Death in the Family: Part 1.

My uncle, Kenneth Skipper, served in the United States Air Force (just like his dad), married a woman from Spain and had a beautiful daughter, Sarah.  After he left the military, he made commercials for a local TV station.

A funny, dashing guy, Kenny was sidelined in recent years by a terrible back injury.  Complications forced him to stop working because of the long-term disability.

Lately, I’d only seen Kenny at family events – Christmas, family birthday gatherings – so my interactions were minimal.  But I know he was kind because I saw how gingerly and reverently he treated his daughter.  He was quick with a smile and a hug. 

I talk a lot, here, about the logistics of death – how we help families, how we reach families – but the philosophy of death isn’t something I think about too often. 

I’ve chronicled the death of at least three of the WWII-generation members of my family.  The grandparents are dying and my younger brain says “hey, they’re supposed to die.  That’s the way it works.”

But now it’s the generation just ahead of me.

I think when I see my dad this week, I’ll hug him just a little longer.

By the way, don’t forget to check out our redesigned site, www.cotcovers.com.  It’s not done yet, but I’m proud of what we’ve got so far.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be adding video tutorials and the ability to order online.