Roger Nichols, my dearly-loved husband, died 22 days, 13 hours, 1 minute and 3 seconds ago.
Besides the horror of watching his last breath, I remember needing to know the exact time. Roger would care greatly about that. He always had to know the exact time according to GMT, the best time our civilization can concoct. Time was very important to him. He needed to know the exact second our daughters were born; the exact time-code on any song he touched. He even built/designed the Digital Atomics Rubidium Clock.
And, he owned one of the first digital watches, the first digital calculator, the first digital recorder…the first digital anything. He called his company Digital Atomics–a nod to his love of all things digital and his nuclear engineering background. He wanted to name our first daughter Smpte, but I insisted we choose his second choice, a more feminine sounding name, Cimcie.
So, when he took his last breath, I tried to look at the clock in-between the blinding tears and thought I saw 3:23 AM. But the nurse put 3:25 AM on the report and that’s what stuck. Obviously, she didn’t know how fastidious Roger was about this.
With all my overwhelming problems and flattening grief, some might think focusing on the exact time of Roger’s death is a bit silly, but Roger would like for me to correct the mistake.
Another mistake is to think he “passed away.” How insulting to such a larger-than-life guy to insinuate he did anything in a “passing” way. He courageously fought cancer and lost, but only his body died. Nothing about him has passed away.