“And a sword will pierce your own soul too” – Luke 2:35
I know it has been a while since I’ve written, but I’ve been in Mississippi the last ten days with my mom. She had been fighting emphysema for years and on Feb. 1, she lost the battle. She died peacefully with me in the room with her, and I’m grateful for the time I could spend with her at the end of her life.
I have to admit, though, that more than once during the week I stood by her side, praying that God would take her quickly and ease the pain of trying to breathe with only 18% of her lungs left. One of the worst possible experiences in life is to watch a loved one slowly die for lack of oxygen. Gasping for air is not a pretty sight, but that was what I had to watch. I prayed and pleaded with God that He would ease her pain and discomfort and take her home quickly. My love and compassion for my mom wanted a comfortable, easy passing, and I don’t regret those prayers. Still, while I stood by her bed and held her hand while she struggled to inhale, it occurred to me that however bad I had it, Mary, the mother of Jesus, had it worse.
I had the opportunity to ask the doctors to ease my mom’s pain with drugs, but Mary had to watch Jesus gasp for air by standing up on the nails in His feet. I knew the drugs would slowly put my mom into a comfortable state, while Mary knew that her Son would only gain comfort by breathing His last breath. I knew my mom’s parents didn’t bring her into this world intending for her to die a painful death, but Mary had an understanding that her Son came to do just that – die a bloody death so His life could be a ransom for many. I was alone with my mom when she passed away, but a mother and a Father watched as the agony of a Son comforted the agony of all mankind.
About the time I was feeling sorry for myself and my mom in a hospital room in rural Mississippi, God was comforting me by letting me know He was aware that death hurts. A friend of mine said to me, “Of all the bad things in creation, death is the worse.” That’s true. But I also serve a risen Savior, and I look forward to seeing my mom and dad again in that place where death has lost its sting.
I disagree… Death is merely an end of operation to the mechanical shell we call a body… I have seen this with my own eyes… People can will themselves to live or die.
The worse invention ever created is pain. Its a great warning device, but in the end, what was meant to help us just hurts us. Its makes most people afraid of death. I choose to believe that I will not die when I die. As I hope you do as well.
My respects to you for having to watch her passing. Suffocation is never pretty to watch, but it could have been something far worse. At least at near death, the brain is disoriented from lack of oxygen and can not register pain any more.
She is free, and one day we will be as well.
Jim, Sorry for your loss. Thanks for be vulnerable so those of out here can learn/grow from your experiences.
I agree that death is the end of the body, not the spirit. But the grieving over the loss of her physical presence remains. There is a palpable absence in my life that will only be filled when I see my parents once again.
My grandma too lost her battle on February 1st, and now she has rejoined my grandfather who we lost only seven months before. I was away at college during her illness, but I watched my grandpa’s rapid and painful decline. Thank you for this post, it helps to bring loss into perspective.
Beauty for ashes.
Jim Our body is where we live while we are present on earth. I remember that from my nanny’s funeral many years ago. It still did not comfort me in losing her. It didn’t fill the place she had filled so vibrantly in my life. Grief does ease with time but it stings in every part of your body when we lose someone.
You are still in our prayers.
thanks for posting the sacrificial picture of our Saviour’s parents as they watched HIm give all for us.