Thursday, February 16, 2012

Peter Ediger, 1926 – 2012

Peter J. Ediger, poet, prophet and peacemaker, died in Las Vegas February 16 after a brief illness. Ediger resided in Las Vegas, where he co-founded Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in 1989 with the Franciscan Friars of California.

The lifelong activist and advocate for nonviolence, social justice and Christian pacifism had recently directed his prophetic words to local churches, challenging them to obey Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.” In addition to regular work with Pace e Bene, he worked part time for Family Promise, served as a member of the Las Vegas Catholic Worker community and contributed to the work of Nevada Desert Experience until near his death.

Born to Jacob H. Ediger and Margaretha (Wiens) in central Kansas in 1926, Ediger was ordained by the General Conference Mennonite Church (now Mennonite Church USA) in 1954 and pastored several Mennonite congregations until 1986.

He was preceded in death by ex-wife Marjorie Reimer Ediger and brothers Abraham and Menno, and survived by sisters Katherina Epp, Marie Regehr, Anne Martin, and Elma Kauffman; children Irene, Joe, Janice and Duane; and grandchildren Jack, Greta and Sallie.

The memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4601 W. Lake Meade Blvd, Las Vegas.

For more information, contact Duane Ediger, 312-523-9955.

Peter has died

Peter Ediger died this afternoon.

His friend LR arrived from the east coast late last night. She, a few local friends and I were able to share Peter’s last lucid hour before a long night. The highlight was LR’s reading of a poem of hers.

Louie and I spent Peter’s last night with him. His groaning and arm movements reminded me of Jacob’s struggle with the angel. His breathing became irregular.

By morning his breathing was still labored, but more regular. It was apparent that he could hear but was not able to answer questions.

About eight friends and family gathered ‘round his bed late in the morning and held a mass led by brother Louie.

He was resting comfortably a few hours later with LR at his side when he took his last breaths.

A memorial service, possibly as soon as this weekend, will be announced shortly.

-Duane Ediger

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Peter is now receiving inpatient hospice care.

He perked up quite a bit yesterday evening once it was clear he was leaving the hospital for what has turned out to be a quieter, more homey hospice environment.

This morning the doctor, together with six other members of on-site staff reviewed his situation with those of us present. Based on what is known, the doctor thinks that it is possible that damage to Peter’s health could be reversible in time if Peter were to be able to eat and drink well again. I am pleased with their disposition to give care consistent with a recovery trajectory within the parameters of hospice care.

However, he has had very little appetite today. Peter communicates mostly in brief phrases. He is resting most of the time. He feels significant pain and is receiving medication for it.

Updates are likely to be further between as there is no Wi-Fi at this hospice care center.

-Duane Ediger

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

to hospice

Peter has been more frequently awake today. But he wants to be out of the hospital. He does not want to eat, though he has been drinking water quite well today.

After conversations between, among and with Peter, the attending physician, the gastroenterologist, family and local support community, the attending physician signed papers for Peter to go into hospice care. The hospice rep Irene and I spoke with a week ago or so is here right now.

Peter's blood pressure, which has been stable until the last hour or so, is fluctuating. He is calm now and usually sleeping. My understanding is that Peter will be turned over from the hospital's care to hospice soon. He will be taken to their inpatient facility. Louie and I will go to be with him there.

For this next chapter, I will be joined by my partner Carol, who will arrive here late tonight.

-Duane Ediger

Monday, February 13, 2012

liar out of me

Five minutes after the last post, Peter is speaking a little more clearly and eating some bites of his fruit plate lunch. Make a liar out of me anytime!



Peter was moved from the Intensive Care Unit early this morning. He has been sleeping nearly all the time. Yesterday he was able to sing a song in German with his sister Katherina. Today his ability to communicate verbally when awake is very limited. This continues to be true after pain medication dosage has been lowered. He has not eaten today and is taking very little to drink.

Some of the lethargy may be due to the medications not getting out of his system as fast as they would if his liver were working at full capacity. Maybe, maybe not. Results from the biopsy are not yet in.

At nearly all times when permissible by hospital staff, someone has been at Peter's side.

Janice is now at the airport waiting for her flight back to Denver.

Thanks for your care, concern and continued prayers.

-Duane Ediger and Louie Vitale

Saturday, February 11, 2012

post-procedure report

Peter came out of a simple diagnostic procedure about an hour ago. The scope that the doctors sent down to look at his stomach found an area of severe inflammation, and samples were taken (biopsy). We'll get those results in a few days. Meanwhile, Peter can eat soft foods and drink water again (thank goodness! his requests for drinks today were hard to deny).

He seems in good spirits now, continuing to receive sensitive care in the ICU at Valley Hospital, we expect for a few more days, depending on these test results. Janice and Duane are especially grateful to Father Louie Vitale for his night vigils which allow us to sleep and be more alert in the day time.