The night that he reposed… I was with him. It was my watch. We had to try to keep him as comfortable as we could… by wetting his lips with a q-tip and such. At about 3 am or so he was having difficulty breathing. I called Dn. Mark to help. After he calmed again Dn. Mark said, “he is asleep now… usually he will sleep for a few hours… you can either sleep on the couch or go home (next door) we will call you when he wakes.”
Dn. Mark went upstairs to bed. I sat for awhile in the room with Fr. L. in the dark. I didn’t want to leave. His breathing suddenly changed… he was no longer struggling as before… it was very calm… so noticeable that I almost wrote it down in the nurses diary that we kept. I decided to leave and rest. On the way home I remember telling God that I could not endure this any more that I didn’t think I could watch him struggle any longer. Sever hours later… Dianne came to wake me to tell me that Fr. L. had died.
Dianne and I both were concerned that no one was with him that night. He was alone the 2 hours that had transpired since I had left. During the whole preceding week when he needed us he would make some noise (as he was unable to talk) and would be looking at the door for us to come in. Dianne said that when she found him that morning he was not looking for us at the door… he was looking at the icon of the Mother of God that Robyn had placed in his room next to his bed. I believe that the Theotokos was there to take him!!!!
[Side note: When the crew was digging his grave there were 3 eagles that circled over head that day for several hours!!!]
Even though he couldn’t speak the last week or even move… when we came to sing to him or to sit he would produce a tear that would roll down his cheek… he was radiant.
He tried and tried to make us understand that he wanted something… it took awhile to get it. Finally Dianne handed him his paramount and his prayer rope. He held these two things until he died… for almost a whole week.