On Tuesday my sister Kim collapased at Pittsburgh Airport. The cause turned out to be a massive hemorrhage in her brain stem. She never regained consciousness.
With such a diagnosis there's very little that can be done. But with her age (she would have been 41 in September) the staff performed a number of minor activities to give her every chance to recover. But nothing changed her state, no recognition but no pain or discomfort.
On Thursday, after being tested for viability of organ donation, we had her breathing tube removed and after a short while she died peacefully with my dad, stepmother, and me by her side.
Kim was going home after visiting us for a few days, timed to catch Ella's dance recital on Saturday. You can see from most of my recent photos of her plain and special love for Ella, and she got on a plane whenever possible to come see her. While this was an incredible shock, we'll always be grateful for the chance we had to spend time with her before it happened.
There will be a memorial service in the Tampa area, but I don't know yet when. It will likely happen at her workplace, which has reached out with deep compassion and offers of help. Her job put her with people all over the world, both physically (Manilla and Mexico City) and virtually, and they're all grieving.
Goodbye Kim. We'll miss you terribly.