Thought: It's Thanksgiving week in the U.S. and a time to reflect and embody gratitude.…
Death is a crazy thing. It can be terrifying to think about. When I was a kid I recall thinking about dying and thinking about the rest of eternity and just being gone forever. I remember feeling scared and then I would just tune it out. I didn’t think about it often but when I did, man it would scare the heck out of me.
Thankfully, and by the grace of God, I committed my life as a Christ follower in 2015 and actually read the Bible for the first time cover to cover. Since then, I’ve been in a bunch of study groups, even have led some and it’s an almost daily habit for me to start my day in the word of God. Definitely not perfect with it but compared to where I was before 2015 there’s no comparison.
Through this process I have learned a lot and I no longer fear death.
I’m about to go into University Hospital in Parma, Oh (outside Cleveland). I’m visiting my mom. I left her last night around 9:30pm and headed off to my hotel.
My mom is dying. She’s on death’s doorstep. Cancer has gotten her. Lymphoma. It’s been a couple years but has progressed significantly in recent months.
It’s been a rollercoaster few days since she was admitted to the hospital. We met with hospice a few days ago then got word from the oncologist the next day that it could be treatable. She’s in bad shape but we had a glimmer of hope. She even was able to talk a bit more after hearing that news.
I made the two-hour drive back up from Columbus after my mom’s boyfriend called me. He was choked up. I’ve never heard him cry and it was beautiful to hear. It always is when someone cries, isn’t it? Real feelings. No bullshit.
They were supposed to take her in for a biopsy to see if we could treat her. While we knew it was likely to still bring back a tough result, she never made it to the biopsy room. She was too unstable. Her heart rate shot up. Not good.
Yesterday, they said the only way she could make it there today would be to reduce the pain meds. I’ve never seen my mom in so much pain. I sat there and held her hand and just prayed over her. The nurse needed permission from the doctor to give her meds and it was late. 45 minutes seemed like 45 years. She winced and grimaced. She moved to her side to try to find some semblance of comfort. It wasn’t there. No complaining or loud groaning as I definitely would be doing (guys are wimps compared to girls ; )
Finally, the nurse came in and gave her some meds. Within minutes she was more comfortable. We were able to get her some new blankets and adjust her pillow behind her neck and her feet.
So, no biopsy. The cancer continues to spread. Today, we will make the decision to put her in hospice care. It’s time. She’s been a fighter her whole life and it’s time to stop the fight.
I have a new perspective on death. I saw my dad die three years ago. Saw him take his last breath. Prayed over him and felt a peace that, as the Bible says, surpasses all understanding.
I’m not saying this isn’t hard. Death sucks. But it’s also beautiful if you believe that there’s an eternal life in Heaven.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26
I believe those words. There’s power in those words.
So, I will pick up my bootstraps and go in there shortly. I will pray over my mom. I know where she is going next. I rest in that. There’s peace in that.
Please say a prayer for her to have peace over the coming days as she goes to this eternal home. And, if you’re struggling with losing someone or fears of death, I pray a blessing over you. Death isn’t easy but I pray a perspective of grace and peace over you.