Saturday, October 17, 2009

Angels learning Gaelic now - Michael passed yesterday

"The angels are all speaking Gaelic tonight."

The photo was taken by Lucy in September, during her last visit. Michael slept much of the time then.

Sad news: Michael passed away yesterday at 11 am.
He was much the same at the last - both Marian and Andrew spent time with him Thursday, just holding his hand and talking to him. Angela Hospice did a great job making him as comfortable as possible.

And, true to Michael, he managed to slip away just as Andrew was pulling into the parking lot yesterday. He always hated long good-byes.
The family will have some kind of a memorial service in the coming month, at Christ Church Cranbrook.

As friend WAPjohn wrote, "As I sat in his room last Tuesday, it struck me that with his beard and its spot of grey...Michael never looked more Irish...I was in the company of an elfin prince."

Thank you to everyone who cared, called and visited, shared, donated to hospice care, loved and supported Michael through his life and last days. We will post information about the memorial service.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

september note

When Andrew visited his brother today, Michael was awake. The room was darkened. Michael was pushing food around. He doesn't have much appetite and has not been successful keeping food down; this has been going on for about a week.

He did enjoy listening to a family story.

Michael is stoic and always tells the nurses only one thing "I'm fine." That's his way....
Michael is surrounded by caring people in a peaceful, soothing environment. He knows that he has many friends. All of you and all the rest, who've shown that he is important to them. Thank you and please keep Michael in your thoughts.

- from a note from Marian

Monday, September 7, 2009

a new place for Michael - Angela Hospice

Today, Michael moved to a smaller hospice in Michigan, highly recommended by the Gratch family and friends in the area. The name is Angela Hospice Home Care, and the website is

Michael's new address is:
Angela Hospice Home Care
14100 Newburgh Road
Livonia, Michigan 48154-5010
TEL: 734.464.7810 | Toll Free: 866.464.7810
Fax: 734.464.6930

It will be much easier to reach Michael by phone, as he has a direct line. Please email Lucy if you'd like to have it - am not sure if he wants it posted on the blog....

It promises to be a more peaceful environment, and lots of supportive people. Shaunna was visiting this weekend and able to help. Andrew and Marian had put Michael's name on the hospice waiting list at the recommendation of his doctors, and so with assistance from family and friends, Michael is resting in his new bed. Cards and letters are welcome; you may phone the hospice for visiting hours.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

michael's room decorating - update from marian

Michael's room decorating - for more color and a view - WAP John put up the green rocky coast picture directly over Michael's head on the ceiling; now McM can go to sleep dreaming of Ireland...
He also hung the special quilt Michael's friends and fans from NaGaeil and IAHC created for him - due to wall space issues only half can be visible at any one time, so Andy and I will rotate regularly. We have also found Michael's iPod, which he had requested. So his environment is steadily becoming more comfortable for him. Andy visited today, and Michael's mood is good and he reports he is feeling "OK, considering."

Thank you for your donations, which make the hospice care possible and comfortable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

dark and mystical clouds over green hills: a fresh visual for M

WAP John visited McM yesterday and found some hi-res images to decorate the space - here's a JPG of mystical clouds that he chose

Sunday, August 23, 2009

visiting hours for Michael

Marian & Andrew visited Michael yesterday - as did high school friend WAP John - and pass along the news that he would like to have short visits with friends. Visiting hours are 8am-9pm, at the
West Bloomfield Care Center,
6445 West Maple
West Bloomfield, MI 78322

Michael enjoys going to the sitting room or would like walks around the campus using the wheelchair.