I had a missed call and voice mail from my dad on Tuesday March 3rd. He called around 1 am and I was already asleep. I got up for work at 6:30 am. I turned over in bed and checked my phone to see that he had called. I was half asleep when I started listening to the voice mail. "Mardi. You need to call me back. Michael has had an accident. He is in the hospital and not doing good. Call me back as soon as you get this." After hearing that I was instantly awake. I called my dad right back in a panic. He answered right away and explained to me that Michael had been at work the night before and had a bad seizure. Michael has ALWAYS had seizures, it became a thing that we were all used to because his epilepsy almost ran his life. It was always sad to hear about a seizure, but we knew that it was just a part of his life, it couldn't be stopped. My dad said that he had a seizure at work and that a coworker found him lying on the ground. His heart and breathing stopped for 20 minutes. The paramedics got him breathing again but he was not awake. They rushed him to the hospital that night. He was put right into ICU. His breathing wasn't right, his heartbeat wasn't right. His brain activity wasn't right. He was hooked up to so many machines. After this all happened I think we all tried to see that he would live and be just fine. We thought that he may just need some hospital time but our sassy Michael would wake up and continue to take on the world as he usually did. We were in denial. I couldn't stop crying or even screaming. I am down here in Utah while all of this is happening in Oregon. I needed to be there. Grandma and I raced to Oregon after hearing that he really wouldn't make it. We left Wednesday night. We got up there around midnight. It was almost good to be there for just a second because I got to see my mom and dad and all my siblings with their cute kids. The hugs from off the plane were amazing. I had definitely missed them all. But the happiness just lasted a split second. From the airport we went right to the hospital. We walked up to ICU. I had my beautiful sister Annie holding my hand and my dad holding on to my shoulders when we turned the corner and I could see Michael laying in the bed. At that moment, I cried so hard that I almost fell down. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I just cried and almost screamed. I slowly walked closer to his bed while shaking and crying the whole time. It didn't look like my sassy brother laying there. It looked like his body covered up with a million wires and tubes. Nothing about him looked the same. It took me a few minutes to actually get right to his bedside. Michael's eyes were closed. No smile on his face. No sassy words coming out of his mouth. There were so many sounds going on in the room. He was hooked up to a machine that made him breathe. But that was the only thing moving. My parents and siblings were all crying too. Dad told me to go up close and talk to him. He said that his amazing and kind nurse said that even when people are in a coma, you can go talk to them and they can truly hear you. Even if that wasn't true, it's what I did. I walked right up to him. I grabbed his hand. He was still warm but his body felt tense. I grabbed his hand while leaning down to his ear. Tears streaming down my face I said "Michael. I love you. I love you so much. You can let go. It's okay. All of your siblings are here. Let go. Michael I love you. I'm so so sorry." The guilt of denying all of his calls the day before the accident made me feel worthless. Michael loved to call and FaceTime and Snapchat constantly. He was queen of it. He was always fun to talk to. But sometimes when I was way too busy, I couldn't talk. I had to ignore his call. He called my cell phone a few times but I never answered. He called the home phone and I told grandma to tell him that I was busy and couldn't talk. I just felt that way because I knew he would FaceTime me the next day and we would text and Snapchat too. I didn't know that this would have been the last time that I actually had talked to him. I ignored him. I felt so heartbroken. I hurt so much. Standing next to his bed and saying my goodbye's that way made my heart feel 100% broken. Holding his hand and whispering my goodbye that way was beyond hard to even explain. I just wanted to hold his hand and tell him that I loved him all day. I laid my head on his chest and cried. His chest was going up and down to breathe but it was just a machine making him breathe. It wasn't him. I have no idea how long we were all in there crying and whispering our goodbye's. The nurse came in to check all of the tubes and check his vitals. She was such a kind person. She made the room feel a bit happier by telling Michael everything she was about to do to him. She said that she was giving him more medication. It was beyond kind of her. She made it feel like he wasn't gone yet. We all sat in the room for a while. Michael just laid there in bed. He didn't move. At 3 am we were all exhausted. My siblings and I decided to head back to dad's house and go to sleep. Mom and dad stayed with Michael. We left them at the hospital. We said we would be back in the morning and be there all day with him. We instantly fell asleep for what felt like 1 second. My sister Annie came and rushed in the door at 7:50 am. She told us that dad had called and said that we all need to rush down to the hospital. We all hurried and got on some shoes and were out the door in 30 seconds. We rushed to the hospital. The whole time my heart was racing a million miles an hour. We got to the hospital and rushed up to the ICU. We all got into the room. Dad said that they had maxed out on all medications they could give him. They said that he had blood clots in his arms and that all of his numbers were going down. The nurse came in and she was teary. She said that they couldn't do anymore and that she had tried her best. All of my siblings were there. We were all crying so loud and so much. 2 doctors came in. We all agreed to take him off his machines and let him go. The doctors and nurses turned off all machines. While this was happening, it just so happened that a lady was playing the harp in his room. She went from room to room at the hospital to play and sing for people. She just so happened to be in the room when this was happening. She was playing and singing "Here Comes The Sun" She was singing it so beautifully. It was the perfect music for the moment. The machines turned off. The tubes were taken out. Everything was turned off at 8:36 am. We were all gathered around his bed. I was holding his hand. We could see the numbers falling down so fast. We could see his breathing stop. This whole time we are all crying the hardest. I have NEVER cried that hard. We couldn't realize that this was all happening. The doctors stood there and announced his time of death was 8:38 am and that he was officially gone. We all stood there bawling our eyes out. Dad sat down and cried. Annie held on to his leg. I was holding his hand. Seth was standing there with his beautiful wife Jessie. Colton had to leave the room. Amanda was standing by Annie. Mom was holding his other hand while grandma was standing there by her and crying. None of us spoke. We all just cried. Michael just laid there. The doctors had a beautiful blanket for him that he was wearing when he passed. He had that on but he was just laying there. No motions. No breathing. No Michael smile and laugh. I almost thought it was a huge joke and that Michael was playing dead just to scare me. But that wasn't real. The doctors let him stay in bed while we all took our time to accept the truth of what had just happened. We had to then face the reality of what to do with his body. We all knew that Michael should be cremated. We knew it would be what he wanted because he had joked about it before. So we had to face that reality. We had to take care of all of his things. We were at the hospital forever. Michael was taken away for a while and later on that day we all got to say out last and final goodbye to his body. It was way hard. They put him into a body bag and covered him with a white sheet. We could just see his head. He was put into a small viewing room for each one of us to say goodbye. We all took a turn. It was so hard. I laid my head on his chest and cried. At this point he was so cold and yellow. He didn't look anything like my amazingly sassy & gay brother. We each said our goodbyes. At this point, my eyes are swollen and I feel exhausted. It had been such a long and emotional day. It was the most painful and hardest thing to experience. After we all said our final goodbye we all had to face the reality of planning a celebration of his life. He had so many friends who loved him. We wanted them to come as we celebrated the kind of person that he was. It wasn't going to be a typical funeral. He was being cremated so we had no person to look at in a coffin. So we just decided to have a party to celebrate his life. He was known as Uncle Rainbow or Homo Thug Misses. He loved everything about the rainbow. Not only for gay pride, but he loved all of the beautiful colors. So we decided to make this a party. We got so many balloons and pictures and tons of food. We tried to make this happier because the sadness was overwhelming. 2 days after he left this life, we had this party. So many people came. So many tears were shed. But we all took the time to talk about all the amazing stories that we had about him. It was a good but hard night. Right at sunset we all went outside with all the balloons. We all wrote something personal to him. We all stood there as my dad told us to say "Hello Uncle Rainbow" as we let the balloons go. We were all silent and crying as we watched them float away into the sky. We knew Michael would love it. I could almost hear his sassy laugh. I was missing him so much it felt like my heart had shattered. It was so hard. That was the end of our party for him. Now we had to deal with all of his things. The next day we went to his apartment and went through his stuff. He was seriously the skinniest little guy ever. We all took a few of his tiny shirts. I took a blanket of his that he loved and his Hello Kitty wallet. It was hard to be in his room with his things and not have him there. It's so hard to explain. While I was up in Oregon we decided to go out to Seaside because we had gone there so many times before. We ate at Mo's and played on the beach and listened to Madonna because he absolutely loved her. We took the time to celebrate him. While the beach is fun and amazing to be at, it's hard when Michael wasn't there to dance with us. We all missed him.
I was up in Oregon for about 10 days. While it was awesome to see my family and friends, it was hard. It was so hard to say goodbye and to realize that he was gone. But I loved being with my siblings, parents and nieces and nephews.
Every single day is a painful struggle. It hurts. About 2 weeks ago I received some of his ashes. My cute niece had painted the jar it is in. When I opened it, I couldn't stop screaming and crying. I was shaking and trying so hard not to pass out. I couldn't face the fact that part of my brother was in this jar. I laid in bed crying and holding him in my arms. I sleep with the jar by my bed every single night. While it may sound weird, it's not. It's having a piece of him with me.
Michael will always be my sassy brother. He will always have a huge spot in my heart. I have texts and voice mails and pictures from him that I look at daily. I don't want to ever forget who he is and the kind of person that we was. The sense of humor that he had. The fact that he loved rainbows, stars and Marlyn Monroe. I was close with Michael. He did live in Oregon at the time but we had grown up together. He lived down here. We talked almost daily. We would send funny things to each other. We were just like best friends. Partners in crime. Brother and sister (even though he loved being called a sister. So sister and sister) He is a person that I could never ever forget. I miss him more than words can say. It's almost been 3 months since he's been gone. I just wish that he was back. I wish I could hug him and play the piano with him while he drew pictures of me sitting with his pegasus stuffed animal. I miss him uncontrollably. It's not something that I can just get over. It never will be. I will ALWAYS miss him. It's a daily heartbreak for me but at least I am trying to be okay. I love you Michael. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I will never stop loving and missing you. You are my amazingly sassy and kind brother.
Michael Dylan Thomas