Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Week Sixteen - Two Funerals and a Death

   On Thursday, April 11th, only an hour or so apart, our family had funerals for two mothers-in-law.  One in England passing away after battling cancer and the other going suddenly from a heart attack here in the USA.  Two women, dearly loved by their families and sorely missed, finished their course.  All of the flowers, cards, and tokens of sympathy, though greatly appreciated, cannot take the place of these two women who were the glue to their families.
   Death is a solemn reminder of our finiteness, our temporary time on earth, and of the appointment, we must all answer.  The Lord is the only one who knows when that appointment will be and what manner it will take.   It is certain we are not in control.  His timing is perfect and His plan purposeful.  Our times are in His hands.
   We can either fear this truth as we walk around looking for the Grim Reaper, which isn’t a healthy way to live.  Or, allow it to motivate us to spend our sojourn in wisdom while there is time. 
   Another death took place in our family as well.  This time, the victim survived, but the person is gone.
It was the third Sunday in February before Tom and I got to Missouri.  That Sunday afternoon we drove out to the farm to visit with my dad.  We had a nice visit and I was so glad to finally get there to see him.  Then, about eight days later, he had some sort of unexplained event that pushed his mild dementia over into the total loss of concentration.  He still knows who we are and can answer basic questions, but he is gone.  No longer will he tell us stories or laugh and tell jokes.  No longer will he be free to take a drive or go out to eat.  His life now finds him living in a strange place where he looks for someone who will take him home. He wanders about looking for his pickup and trying to figure out what is happening around him.
    I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to have one more good visit with him.  I am thankful I can still go and give him a hug and hear him say, “I love you.”    Still, I’m finding this almost as hard as the two funerals.  At least they had completion and closure.  With Dad, we just don’t know how long this new chapter in his life will run.
    As I pray and meditate on these two funerals and the death of my Dad’s personality, I must deal with it by faith.  God knows our end.  His way will be perfect.  I am not in control of these situations and not wise enough to make the choices myself.  I must look to Him, the author and finisher of my faith, making sure I am ready to meet Him, no matter what path our reunion takes.
   I know this is an odd devotion, but I believe these are God-given opportunities causing us to consider our humanity and humble ourselves under the hand of God. 
   I covet your prayers for the losses in my family and for my Dad as we take this journey together.


  1. Gail,
    I just prayed for you and your family. I understand the struggle you are having. My dad had "rapidly advancing dementia." He went from a little confusion to not knowing who I was in a fairly short time. I was so difficult to watch the changes in him, and to know that I couldn't "fix" it. For months he had no idea who I was. Then, just days before he died, he seemed totally different (even if just for a few brief moments) as he not only recognized me, but talked and made sense! The next day, he stopped talking at all. It is heart-breaking, but I have to work to remind myself that God let him know me, for just a short time, before he died. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

  2. Thank you Sonja....thank you for sharing too!

  3. Thank you Gail for writing this. I'm someone who lives in fear of dying. You made me see death from a different perspective. I will be praying for you and your family.