Hal is gone. Just “for now” I hope. But he is gone, at the very least “for now”. I feel his absence acutely. All day. Much of the night. Little things, big things.
I stopped posting on this blog over a year ago. Caring for Hal as he continued to decline was all-encompassing, and reporting on his ongoing losses was tough, although the manner that Hal dealt with each subsequent loss was truly inspirational.
Hal did not want to leave this world. He intended to stay here, despite his ALS, despite his body paralysis, despite his relying on life support and round the clock care. Unless (Note – not “until” but “unless”) he risked becoming totally “locked in” (see “total locked in syndrome” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locked-in_syndrome )
Hal started to notice he was losing control of his eye movements almost a year ago. Using his eyes to maneuver his computer became more and more difficult. He had to give up coding (he was working on some bitcoin related open source improvements).Then he had to give up posting or emailing. Then using the internet at all. Then reading ebooks. Then using his speech program. Then watching television. Finally he was only able to communicate by raising or lowering his eyes. Around June 2014 he started to lose even that small amount of eye control. It became almost impossible for him to communicate anything other than issues of extreme physical discomfort and urgency. Then, and only then, is when Hal decided it was time to to go to “plan B” – cryonic preservation.
I continue to derive inspiration from Hal. I take comfort in the possibility that he will come back to this world some day in the future. I hope to be there with him.