Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm back....

As I have journeyed through this valley with my mom it has become abundantly clear to me that God never intended for us to die. That was a consequence of disobeying Him. Rather, He created us to live. And to live abundantly forever.

Now, even though my mom's physical body/shell has died, she has not. She is continuing to live the life God originally planned for her to live, only now she is in heaven where life is as it was originally intended. One day life will be as it should be for me, too.

As I watched my mom over the last days of her earthly life, I observed how much she fought to live. She did not go easy! :) Nor should she. Life is a gift from God and she fought to maintain it to the very end. For my mom it took a month, well, actually less than a month. The first significant change came January 3, then the next change came on the 10th, followed by another significant change on the 17th. We made a follow-up appointment with her doctor on the 31st of January which she did not make.

My sister and her husband did arrive in time, and Mom did recognize her, even though she never spoke to her. By then Mom was conserving all her energy for only necessary conversation. That was Saturday the 27th. Sunday she was pretty much in a partial coma, very unresponsive except in times of pain, when she would let us know. But Monday...Monday she was totally unresponsive to us. There was no acknowledgement of us just her agonal breathing which she labored through. The hospice nurse arrived a little before 3:00 p.m., shortly after the harpist had left. He stayed until about 3:20 and then left. At 3:45 we called him back, she was with her Lord.

I had been sitting on her bed with her, just like I had done in the care center. I kept touching her, stroking her hands, etc and talking with her. I noticed a change and told my sister, then another change in her breathing, then her color changed and then she exhaled the last time. She was whole.

Oh! What a void she has left for me here at home. My sister and husband will leave this weekend and I freely admit I am dreading it. So much to do, so much to go through. How comforting it is to me to know that He is and will continue to sustain me, to carry me through this time of grief. I know the sun will shine again one day.

After my brother was killed, it took me a long time to grieve. I think because of the horrific circumstances on such a sweet, loving young man. Then, when my dad died, it was such a sudden shock that left me reeling. God was gracious to me in both circumstances. Death seems so final. Doesn't it? Even as a Christian, knowing that death isn't the end, often our hearts lag behind.

Thank goodness, the loss of someone so dear never has to mean the end of abundant, effective, and joyful living for a Christian. Joy and effectiveness may seem to pause for awhile as grief takes its course, but those of us who allow our broken hearts to be bound by Christ will experience them again. My Savior, and your Savior, I pray, is the God of resurrection life, no matter what kind of death has occurred in the life of any believer!

I cannot tell you how many times I sat there beside my mom and wished it was me. Knowing that I would be going through this devastating loss again is shattering but through this time He has given me His power to my life. His power defies all odds. God Himself is the only explanation for my emotional survival and revival. Really, I believe the most profound miracle of all is living through something I thought would literally kill me. Not just living through it, but living through it abundantly and effectively.

No, I will not be the same but for me, as a Christian, my life is never about sameness. It's always about change. That's why it is important to not only survive but to also thrive when change involves heartbreaking loss. I am being conformed to the image of Christ. It is Christ alone who binds and compresses my hurt with His nail-scarred hand. And through this time, He offers me a new life...a far more compassionate life, a wiser life, and I think a more productive one, because of all I have been through on this journey with Him.


jettybetty said...

You said all that so well...
I am still praying for you and your family.

Saija said...

i'm glad you are able to share your feelings/thoughts on your blog ...


His Singer said...

Claire, you know you've been in our thoughts and prayers and will remain there as you find a new "normal" for your life.

You've been a great testimony to the love of God through all of this. You've shown all of us there is no fear where there is God. Thank you!

G~ said...

::I believe the most profound miracle of all is living through something I thought would literally kill me. Not just living through it, but living through it abundantly and effectively.::

is that not a wonderful truth??

i can't imagine how it will be for you adjusting to your home now. that is something i have not gone through, dear claire. but i 'know' you well enough to know you'll look to God the whole way and of course, He will be there to lift you and comfort you.

::I observed how much she fought to live. She did not go easy! :) Nor should she.::

i never thought about fighting to live, as a Christian. [of course, life is a gift of God, i agree!] i always think, and have known of, folks just exhaling peacefully. even though my g'pa had just had a 2nd major heart attack, his last breath was easy and he smiled.

mamaw was ready (saved) as well and perhaps knowing that she just wasn't a happy person (long story i may blog later) seems to make her passing easier to bear.

i know God created us for life and not death. i guess i just see this "life", or what we call life down here, as not really life at all, but a slow death leading to the eternal life where we will spend our "choice". God meant for us to live with Him in heaven, but a lot of things happened b/c 'we' (read Genesis :) were too curious/greedy/easily duped... and now we have to live here and make a choice to live for God and when we do, then just wait, wait, wait, loooong til we can live with Him as He meant for us to.


sorry. another long comment.

you know me, claire. i can't just type a word or two. *blush*

i love you bunches and hope that you are feeling only peace when you think of nana and you can picture her all smiles and happy and totally pain-free. cuz that's what she is! praise God!!

take care, dear friend!

Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly. You expressed them very eloquently, Claire.

There will definitely be an adjustment period. I don't really know how long that is, as I'm still in it myself. When our moms are such a huge part of our lives, the hole left is very deep.

As we can both attest to, God's grace is sufficient and sustaining. That is a great truth that we live out each day.

God bless, my friend~

Ducharmenator said...

Thank you for sharing so brilliantly such an intimate time for you and your family. What joy to know that your mother is now whole and without pain AND with the Jesus we all long to be with. Praise the Lord that He held you so close, and continues to do so. Blessings and love - LJ

Amy said...

I am sorry for your loss. I pray that God will give you grace for each moment. When my mother passed away, God showed me what a comforter he could be. God bless you.

HeyJules said...


Melissa said...

She is whole...I read that line and trembled! Claire you wrote every human beings heartbeat in this post. That is all I can say and my prayers I lifted to heaven for you!

Terry said...

I really don't know how you are doing it, Claire
Although my mom is fairly well she has been starting to fail a little and the other night she told me how she was getting ready by putting the names on certain of her belongings for her children. I don't really like to hear her talking like this.
It really bothers me.
Every Wednesday after prayer meeetng I take her to Wendy's so she can have a baked potatoe which she loves.
Just the last few weeks I have to help her on with her coat and walk beside her and help her into the car.

I really can feel for you Claire about what a void that little mother of yours has made.
I guess she really IS in sonlight now right up in heaven where there is no darkness,no crying and no more pain.
Oh for that day when there will be no more good byes either!! OH for that day!!...Love Terry

jel said...

thank you for posting this !


Joe said...

Having recently lost my mother, I can relate to your loss. Ialso rejoice in the knowledge that Mom is in a perfect body, praising Him unceasingly.

God bless you as you make this difficult adjustment.

Mountain Mama said...

Thanks for a beautiful post. You are already using what you have learned from this experience, by sharing with others.
God bless you and yours

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