Watching someone struggle to hang on to live is very painful. The mere fact that everything is out of your hands is hard to accept. As a nurse I fix things. A bandaid here, a medication there, a gentle wipe of a brow for someone who is transitioning. Holding a hand and saying a prayer for the person and the family. Praying for peace and comfort because you know that the family is about to experience unexplainable grief. Asking for guidance from above to say the right things at a time when words just don’t seem to help and don’t come easily…All at once though, the message is clear. Words are not necessary.

Time stood still when our precious daughter breathed her last breath. I begged for her to open her eyes but it was not to be. She was entering the gates of Heaven and finally all of the pain that she had experienced for so long was gone. She was happy and smiling that big smile of hers; I just know she was. She was laughing because anyone who knew her knew that she loved to laugh. She was free. Free from everything that had bothered her for so long. Even with knowing all of this, time stood still. Our lives had just been changed forever and how could we go on without our daughter?

We will go on no matter how painful it may be because we experienced the love of Christ so deeply that day. Her room was full of family and friends. She was surrounded by people who loved her and loved her family. In reliving that day as I so often do, there is one constant memory. Very few if any words were spoken by our family and friends. It wasn’t necessary. Nothing could take away our pain; nothing could make it better. Our precious friends and family looked on from where they were sitting or standing and gave us space. They knew that was important and we were so grateful that they understood. Words were not necessary but we knew what was in their hearts. The expressions on their faces spoke a thousand words. After a while, our friends and family began to come to us. They hugged us, they loved us and their mere presence was certainly a God moment for us. In a time when everyone seemed to be so busy, these dear people chose to be with us. Through them it was easy to see the love of Christ. Through them the love of Christ filled the room and nothing could have been more comforting. Matthew 18:20 says that “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” We know that to be true because we experienced it first hand.

Every day is still a challenge but we carry on. Our wonderful son and his family and our precious son-in-law are our rocks. They all are grieving in their own way but they always seem to call us at a time when we really need to hear their voice. It’s not coincidence; it is a God moment. We have received many cards, letters, books, a beautiful prayer shawl, etc. from our friends. Each one is special and very meaningful. Each one is a treasure.

Never doubt the importance of “just being”. Don’t worry about trying to think of the right words to say. Just know that sometimes all one needs is a hug and an understanding heart.

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