The words permanent vegetative state have been muttered, and fallen on stubborn ears. No isn’t functioning, existing on machines pumping oxygen, fluids, and food. No is dying.
It didn’t start out so bad. No was unconscious, but we could talk about No as if still alive and well. We shared stories of nights with No at our side, audible and visible. We shared stories of afternoons with No, dinners with No, evenings at the movies, and walks along the river. We laughed until we cried, and cried until we laughed again. Oh the stories! We each had at least one.