While Lisa and I were driving to San Francisco to get our flight to Ireland, we stopped and talked with Kelli for a few minutes. She seemed in as good a condition as she's been in the past few years. I tell her that it would be difficult for me to rush back home during our trip unless my physical presence was going to be the difference between life and death, and she told me then that she understood that. I'd taken her out to lunch the previous weekend for her 51st birthday. She told me to save up all of the postcards I typically get her on my travels and to bring them back to her all at once. (Because of this, while I have postcards I got for her along the way, I never mailed them.)
While I was in Ireland, I got calls from her close friend, and from the nursing home, and eventually from Mercy San Juan hospital, advising me that Kelli had gotten much worse and was in intensive care (again). The doctors worked on her as they have done before, but eventually they got to the point where they told me that they did not think there was anything else they could do. As the holder of Kelli's medical power of attorney, they asked me for the hard decision that I figured I would eventually have to make. Fortunately, Kelli and I, while we were drawing up these forms and having the notary in to witness her signature, had a serious heart-to-heart discussion over this, so I think I did what she wanted me to do. As long as there was a reasonable hope of recovery, keep trying. But when the experts ran out of treatments and she showed no sign of ever improving or of waking up again, don't let her suffer. I told the doctors to begin "comfort care." Kelli's friend Roxanne was there and later told me that she was with Kelli when she passed, after never regaining conciseness again.
Now as it happens, nobody actually called me to tell me that Kelli had died while I was in Europe. I did not actually learn her exact date of death until later. Her friend dealt with getting the papers to have Kelli's remains cremated, and collected her personal effects from the nursing home, and informed Medicare/Medi-Cal that she had died. We had no plans for a funeral.
This photo was taken at my mother's remembrance event in Brownsville CA earlier this year. Kelli was able to come and visit with her good friends from the area. I'm glad they were able to get together for what turned out to be the last time.
We planed no funeral; however, there probably will be a event like the one held for my mother, and possibly in the same place, once the parties involved can coordinate everything necessary. I will announce when that happens. It is my hope that we will eventually have my sister's remains interned at Sutter Cemetery, near where our grandparents are buried.
Regrettably, Kelli's never got to see her grandson, as Keith Leon Standlee, child of Shane Standlee and Amber Hughes, was born on September 19th. (I also realize now that I did not write about that here in my journal, only reposting the news in a Facebook post passed on from baby Keith's mother.
I'm pretty sure I did all that I could for my sister. It's now my job as executor (not that she actually had much, and no real property) to do my part of cleaning up what estate she does have. I've ordered a copy of the death certificate from the Sacramento County Clerk. As I've also never closed out my late mother's bank account either, I have a feeling I'm going to need to schedule a day in Yuba City/Marysville to do talk to banks and credit unions.