Rest in peace, my love

held0808-098.jpgFriends,

My dear wife of nearly seven years, Dionne Nicole Held, passed away this afternoon at 3:45pm due to a very aggressive secondary cancer of the liver that was diagnosed about a month ago.

The past few weeks her health declined rapidly. Last Wednesday, she was admitted to the hospital because of reduced circulation to her fingers and toes. An abdominal CT was taken and compared to the one that was taken about a month ago, before she received her first round of chemotherapy. The treatment had little to no effect and, what made matters worse, her liver was unable to metabolize the drug, which caused more damage to her normal tissues than to the cancer itself. Because of this, her doctor informed us that she had about a week to live and that our focus should be on making her as comfortable as possible. She returned home last Friday and spent the last 8 days under hospice care.

Her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, her in-laws, her three best friends, and our close neighborhood friends were all on hand at one time or another. I can’t thank them enough for being there for her, Nathan, and me. I love them all dearly. I know she did too.

Yesterday (Thursday), after several days of pain management and decreasing quality of life, Dionne, perhaps sensing that the end was near, requested a walk outside. I, along with her mother and best friend, Anna, took her for a stroll around the neighborhood in her wheelchair, her last taste of the sweet rays of the sun and fresh air. I like to think that it was her way of showing us that she was still in control. If she wanted to go outside for a walk, then dammit she was going to go outside for a walk!

Today, the hospice nurse and doctor did an assessment of her condition. For all intents and purposes, she was in a coma-like state. She did not respond to stimulus, painful or otherwise. In that condition, I was told, she would pass in a matter of days or as much as a few weeks. I knew that the last thing she wanted was to go slowly over a period of several days or weeks, so I let her know that we all loved her, that we would all take care of each other, that our son Nathan would grow up to be an extraordinary man, that she should not worry, and that she could let go and find her peace. Less than 10 minutes later, she did.

Just over 9 years ago, I made a new friend online. A month later, we met in person, still as friends. A month after that, she asked me to go out for what I thought was a friendly night of drinks, but she had other intentions, which were obviously welcomed by me. A year and a half later, we were married. We bought a house together, traveled, started our family, and all the rest. She gave me the best 9 years of my life; a good deal of which is chronicled on this website. For that I’m eternally grateful. Knowing what I know now, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. She was one of a kind. I love her. I will miss her dearly.

IMG_1641.JPGIn a very private ceremony upon Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach sometime soon, a small group of family will lay her ashes to rest upon the shore where she can bask in the warm glow of the sunset every evening. It was her wish. It is my bidding.

Thank you to everyone who visited, sent cards, sent flowers, sent care packages, brought food, brought love, prayed, kept her in their thoughts.

Sincerely,
Lance

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2 Responses to Rest in peace, my love

  1. Jason Osborne says:

    Lance:

    As anyone that knows you would attest, you are one of the nicest, most humorous, and all around wonderful persons we could ever meet. Your family is a wonderful thing that many of us can only do our best to try and emulate. I have on many occasions marvelled at what you have together, and all that you have worked hard for.

    I hope that in this moment of extreme sadness, and in the days ahead, you will remember that all of those around you that care so much for you are always here for you, and only hope that we can continue to share in your life as you continue forward honoring the memory of Dionne, and as you continue to raise Nathan as you have done so far, that is to say with such loving care and devotion.

    I am personally torn between wishing to give you space and wanting to be there for you when you might need it most. I do not wish to crowd you when you may need time to reflect and grieve, but I would always like to be here for you when you might need some reassurance and compassion from a friend. Luckily I know that you have some of the best family and friends and the best son a person could ever want, and I am sure they all know you much better than I do, and are much closer to you than I am, so I am content to give you some time and space for your family and your life, but I hope that as time passes we will reconnect.

    My best wishes and prayers,

    – Jason

  2. Jean Massicotte Sulier says:

    Dear Lance and Nathan,

    It seems like just yesterday, though it has been over 11 years, I had the honor of meeting Dionne. She was this adorable fresh faced young girl, right out of OT school. Anxious to move to San Diego and begin the next phase of her life. I had the privelage of being her boss for many years and watch her grow and mature as an individual and a therapist. We kept in touch over the years as she moved on with her career. I will never forget the phone call about this new guy she had met on-line, oh was she head over heels! What joy to share in that day almost 7 years ago, when Dionne Lauritzen became Held and again entered into a new phase of life. She was so very happy and in love with you! I did not think she could be any happier, until Nathan. Having family does complete us in so many ways. Her love of both of you was all encompassing. My thoughts, remembrances and prayers are with your both. Jean

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