Richard stopped treatment almost three weeks ago. Weekly trips to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore had become so exhausting that they cost him more health and energy than they provided. With no other treatment possibilities left, he and Joan contacted Hospice of the Chesapeake, a local provider, to say he was ready for full hospice care, which they could deliver at home, avoiding any travel. (He was already seeing them for palliative care.) Richard also called the social worker at Collington Life Care Community where he lived and asked to transition him to the community’s health center. Within days he moved into the skilled nursing unit and Hospice reduced his medications to only palliative ones, put him on morphine, and got his pain and nausea under control. Each day he became slowly less alert, and a week later largely stopped eating and drinking, something the body does when it is ready to go. Richard was clear right up until his final hours when he could no longer speak that it was time for him to die, he was not in pain, and he was at peace with dying. Family assured him that painful though it would be to lose him, they supported him in his decision to let go.
On Saturday, April 13 Richard quietly stopped breathing.
Richard wanted you to know that he was profoundly thankful to this group for the care and support it showed to him and has shown on behalf of the many individuals who lack access to justice in a number of ways.
No immediate funeral is scheduled. (Richard donated his body to Johns Hopkins for research.) We will be sure to let you know several weeks from now when a memorial service has been scheduled.
– Joan Zorza (his wife) & Arloc Sherman (his stepson)
P.S. No flowers (Joan’s asthma) but notes may be sent to Joan Zorza, 10450 Lottsford Road #5014, Bowie, MD 20721 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Joan may not be able respond quickly.
Richard’s blogs will remain online throughout 2019.