Dear Friends & Family,
It is with heavy hearts that we write to let you know that our husband and father Phil Grigsby is gravely ill with ALS.
Early this year, Phil suffered a rapid and unexpected weakening of his limbs. He was only able to walk with the assistance of a walker. Diagnostic tests ruled out a slew of possible conditions, leaving only one remaining possibility: ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. (ALS is only diagnosed through process of elimination.) This news was devastating. Since then, there has been a steady churn of new living arrangements as Phil’s condition has worsened. Perhaps the most devastating for Jan was the decision to move Phil downstairs to the living room to sleep in a hospital bed. Whatever the pragmatic benefits, it was a severe shock after 52 years. And this is to say nothing of the sense of a profound injustice done to a man who has given so much to so many over the years.
Phil’s condition is deteriorating quite rapidly. ALS is notoriously unpredictable, so we do not have a good sense of how much longer he has. Nurses are in the home for the mornings and evenings. We have started hospice care as well.
As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “and in the end, it’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.” Phil is truly the authentic embodiment of this powerful outlook and attitude. Being in service to others and constantly touching the lives of so many truly in need has been the cornerstone of his work and his commitment to this world. We want to make sure he knows that he's deeply loved and appreciated and that he’s not alone during these final stages.
He would love to hear from you. Unfortunately, he cannot speak now, so the phone calls that were such a part of his life don’t work. We are setting up a CaringBridge site where you can send messages and volunteer help to us, or arrange to have a short visit to the house. Here’s the link: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/phillipgrigsby
We promise to post updates. He is eager as ever to to hear from those who love and care for him and we all truly appreciate your love and friendship.
Jan, Christopher and Matt Grigsby