Two years ago he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Everyone--the family, the doctors--chose to hope that he could be made well enough to live a good and fruitful life. Mike himself never let go of the hope that some miracle could happen that would correct his worsening condition.
He went into the hospital in early 2007. At that point, everything that could be thought of to do for him was tried, and failed. Mike gradually lost consciousness. The fateful day came when the medical team decided there was simply nothing more that could be done, and that Mike had a maximum of two unresponsive months left. In June, his parents decided to discharge him from the hospital so that he might die peacefully at home.
I guess I'm like everyone else in that I couldn't let go of hope. Just yesterday another cousin and I were talking about how something could always happen to change Mike's condition. Not this time.
Of course we're all glad that he really never suffered (or as far as we can know). But to think that Mike will never get the chance to discover his own potential aches in mind, body, and spirit.
If you could, please spare a prayer for Mike. He was a great kid and only just getting the hang of who he was and where he wanted to go.