Robb’s Life Chapter 42 — Managing Pain and Making Funeral Plans

Robb Funeral Plans 3-28-96-3Twenty years ago this week, Robb was running out of time, in terrible pain, and wanting to tie up a few loose ends while he was able to do so. Father Donald Levitt, who was at St. Mary’s in East Moline at the time, came to Robb’s house to plan the funeral service.

Robb was now in a hospital bed that replaced his couch in the living room.

At this same time, his pain grew intense, so the nurse showed how to use the system that delivered morphine, which boosted his spirits dramatically.

My favorite part of this episode has always been when Robb smiled at the camera and said, “Morphine is my friend.” It was great to see him smile after being in terrible pain.

Robb had not eaten anything in a week. Morphine was managing the pain. He was settling in for the end.

All this time, since April 1995, I had helped Robb keep a secret. It is a request he made as we began shooting this series. There are a couple of visual hints in this story if you are paying attention. In a couple of days, I will reveal the part of Robb’s Life that we kept from the public.

You can help support Robb’s legacy and help homeless HIV and AIDS clients in the Quad Cities by donating to the DeLaCerda House. Just go to their website at and click on the “Donate” button at the top of the page.

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