Holding Vigil

May 24, 2012 at 12:26 am (Death and Dying, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

The entry before this one, “A Desperate Prayer”, is about my friend Jon. He is currently in the ICU at UMass.’

He was found on Monday afternoon unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to a local hospital, who quickly acertained that he needed more care than they could provide, and he was then transferred to UMass. The people he was living with found his mother, since ICU is blood-family-only, and got her to Massachusetts. Luckily, Jon was staying with a clergy person, and this clergy person has been able to go and pray over Jon. Also, Jon’s mother has been very open with the clergy person, and has been keeping us in the loop.

I don’t want to go into a lot of details here, but I will say that the cause seems to be a drug overdose/interaction.  (Edited to add: This has been brought into question, and I will admit my information is third hand at best.) It is unclear if this was purposeful or accidental. He is young (27), but his health was compromised. He contracted an infection in the hospital, so on top of the coma he’s been running a fever.

Jon is a Hel’s son; relating to Deity as an offspring is something we have in common. We frequently talked about being “children in a spouse world”, since most of our friends are Godspouses or Godslaves. He is heavily modified; including a cutting on the small of his back that I augmented and helped ash. He underwent an annual hook suspension for Hel; I kept promising that one of these years I would facilitate it.

He spoke with a child-like lisp and generally carries himself with a lilt. He would playfully hit on me, but only when I was packing. I let him touch it once. He is adorably affectionate with those he loves, and rarely turns down attention. He is, in turns, deeply attentive and serious about his spirituality, and scarily unconcerned about the future. He is functionally allergic to planning ahead.

Jon has a beautiful tattoo to Mani on the back of his skull. He has a romantic relationship with Mani, and it is definitely mutual. When he speaks about Mani, his whole face lights up.

It is pretty certain that Jon will never wake up. If, by some miracle, he does, he will be severely disabled for life. Every day that passes, lowers his chances of survival. Tomorrow is either day four or six; we’re not sure how long he was unconscious before he was found.

I am keeping my schedule generally flexible so I can go to Massachusetts when it is time. I have asked to be a part of any rituals that are held in his honor or on his behalf. I admit, I’m not feeling optimistic at all. In an odd way, I feel like letting him go peacefully and quietly is the right choice, but it’s not my choice to make. All I can do is wait for the phone call. I have a candle flickering in the background; I prayed hard over it and asked Hel to use its light to guide him in the right direction, wherever that may lead.

Please pray for Jon, and for Jon’s mother. I can’t imagine what it must be like to know that your child’s life is functionally over, and all that’s left is to turn off a machine. I don’t blame her for taking her time, for looking for hope, for taking everything as a positive omen. But on the other hand, my  heart tells me he wants to go. If you are friends with Jon, and this is the first you are hearing about this, please comment and I will send you full details via email.



  1. Susan said,

    I don’t know Jon, but I do know you: my prayers are with his family, but my thoughts are with you.

  2. JJ said,

    The first word that comes to mind when I think of Jon is “cutiepie.” Such a sweet boy!!! I enjoyed many conversations with him via chat but sadly we never did get together again like we planned. I wish him only the best and when I am on the land where we met this coming July I will stand in the spot where I first laid eyes on him and send him warn loving hugs wherever he may be.

  3. Moira said,

    I’m so sorry about this Del. Jon sounds like a person I would have liked to have met. I’ll keep him, you, his mom and all that care about him in my prayers.

  4. EVCelt said,

    He’s been in my prayers since your earlier post, and I will add his mother. You are always in my prayers.

  5. Stephanie said,

    I wish him the best [only he knows what’s best for him], as well as all who hold him dear.

  6. Bill Trzpit said,

    I met Jon in August, and chatted with him on the phone until we finally met in person in September. We only had that month together cause when October rolled around we both decided we were just at two different places. It was difficult, because we both had kind of developed, if not feelings for each other, then at the very least a sincere enjoyment of each others company. I liked hearing about his spirituality, and I think he liked my stability I had in my life (I’m guessing)
    Alas he was gone, not to be heard from again until one day in March. He told me how proud he was to be clean, and how excited he was to be going to the farm. I could hear in his voice any time he talked about that place how special it was to him.
    I’ll miss his lisp, his gentle voice, and they he affectionately started his conversations to me with “hey fucker” or “what’s up yo?” — then a giggle.

    I feel lucky that Tuesday night, he came to me in a dream and we were able to say goodbye, at least as best you can in a dream. I know it could have been because I have been thinking about him non-stop since I heard this terrible news, but I like to think he WAS reaching out to me.. and in his own way saying “goodbye yo” —

    We shared a lot with each other in that short time….
    That’s how I’ll remember Jon.
    You were special yo…

    • dying for a diagnosis said,


      I’m pretty sure we don’t know each other. Thank you very much for sharing your Jon story with me. I can hear him say, “Hey fucker” in my head clearly. 🙂

      I hope you’re able to make it to Massachusetts when it is time. I’m actually looking forward to meeting other people whose lives have been touched by Jon.

      Thanks again,

  7. Kenaz Filan said,

    May you find the peace that has eluded you through all your years enfleshed, Jon.

  8. Lori Berritta said,

    I am shocked to hear this news. The only way I found out was bc I got a god awful phone call from a friend of jons telling me what little details she knew. If you have any other news for me I would love to hear from you through fb or email. Lorbo0618@gmail.com Thank you.

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