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I’ve spent time in the Emergency Room twice this month and witnessed my share of human pain and misery, but nothing could prepare me for the anguish I’ve suffered recently.

Tragedy struck at the most unexpected and inconvenient time, as these things so often do. I had left the room for only a minute and returned to find my loved one unresponsive. Just a glance told me emergency services were required, and I dialed immediately. It must have been a busy night because it seemed like a lifetime before help arrived. At first the specialists’ authoritative voices were reassuring, but their patter soon faded to a buzz amid the unbearable worry. Finally, wires were connected—how could there be so many of them?—and then the waiting began.

As with any loss of this magnitude, my thoughts bounced from emotion to emotion. I remembered the long life we’d shared—all the memories, fun times, and work completed together. But there were self-recriminations too. Why had I pushed so many buttons? Couldn’t I see that the load was too heavy?

The minutes turned to hours and the hours turned to days as each remedy failed. The idea surfaced of a replacement. But it was too early to think that way—much too early.

The tears flowed freely, but I had to accept that age had taken its toll. At last after several days of darkness, the ultimate decision had to be made. With a saddened heart I pulled the plug.

Rest in Peace, Inspiron 1545, 2009 – 2016 .