For several years I thought I could just go on with my life and act as if my experiences of sitting with those that I cared for make the transition from their life here on earth to letting go of it and taking that final cleansing breath and then sitting with them as their skin grew clammy and cold and then turned blue did not affect me to the very deepest core of who I am. So many people have said to me over the years since my husband passed on, Why can’t you just go on? Why does it still effect you? Doesn’t there come a time where you don’t feel that deep pain anymore?
In a span of four years I have sat at the bedside and looked into the eyes of death with five people, and one of them was my husband of 15 years. That death was by far the most painful of them all and is still a wound in my heart that isn’t completely healed, but as the years pass on the depth of that pain has lessened and I am quite sure that when the right man comes along and asks me to be his wife and I have a family again, the loss of that missing person in my life won’t be so evident and the joy of having found someone to spend the rest of my life with will fill in the places in my heart that his death left.
Yes, it is odd but true. I am sitting at my computer blogging about death. It is Passover. I find the topic of death rather relevant today. As I sit here, think about and write about death I am reminded of the most difficult transition from life to death that I witnessed, my Uncle’s death. My Uncle had something in his life that had not been resolved, he wasn’t ready to let go yet. I went to visit him to say goodbye and then wound up sitting with him for almost 24 hours as he wrestled and fought and let go and grabbed hold and yelled out and tortured himself and his daughter and me with his struggle and pain. God was faithful….God knew what He needed in order for him to have the peace to let go. I had led him through the prayer of salvation and I felt he had made that decision but that was not what was keeping him here. I will never forget that night….It was more painful than I could ever explain.
I watched a man wrestle and struggle and fight with that which we all will one day face, and I said to myself, I do not want to die like that. Like I said…God is faithful. It was an exhausting night, I think I laid down for about an hour. The next day a woman showed up with a picture that he needed to see and some calming words about the picture and the shared memories from the day the picture was taken. I was in awe as I watched this woman sent by God of that I was quite sure do God’s work for Him. She had no idea what had transpired all night long. She just showed up at the house that morning with this picture in her hand. People told her she could not go in to see my Uncle but she was on a mission as if she knew exactly what needed to be done and she just walked right past everyone and went to him. Just before this woman arrived at the front door, the new hospice nurse that relieved the night-shift person had asked me if there wasn’t someone else that needed to be there. The picture did the work it was intended to. It was Truly Amazing! It was like a drug that came over him, everything about his countenance changed. It was just a few hours later that he passed away in peace.
What is my point? you may be thinking to yourself. My point is that we will all one day make the transition from life here on earth, it is inevitable. The question is, will we do the sometimes difficult task of mending broken relationships and making peace with those that have hurt us or wounded us or fallen short of our expectations or needs or disappointed us one too many times? Will we be the initiator and make a point of apologizing to those that we have hurt or disappointed or let down or taken advantage of or not been there for when we perhaps could or should have or deceived or cheated or been jealous of? Will we humble ourselves and pray and ask God to guide and direct us in where we might need to mend relationships? Will we live our lives looking forward to what we can only imagine and acting as if this could be our last day here on earth or will we continue to pretend as tho there will be a someday when we will have time to take care of broken relationships and unforgiveness in our hearts and minds and souls?
This is the weekend of the celebration, for us that are Christians, of the persecution, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this would be a good weekend to be forthright and frank with ourselves about the reality of our own demise and begin the process of reconciliation and forgiveness for those broken or hurting relationships with those that we love and once loved that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ might be evident in our lives….I have found that to humbly apologize for my part of a disagreement or misunderstanding or broken friendship or relationship has not always but most times become the open gate for restored relationship and through my doing what I know I need to, I have peace with myself and peace with God and there is certainly nothing better than that. I Can Only Imagine is and has been my favorite song since Steve passed away and truly I can only imagine what it will be like to worship God with all of those I love in Heaven one day…it will be AWESOME!!!
IN LOVING MEMORY OF THOSE WHOM I HAVE SAT WITH AND CRIED WITH AND PRAYED WITH OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS AS THEY HAVE FACED THE END OF THEIR LIVES HERE ON EARTH AND PREPARED FOR WHAT……
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE …..
My Husband Steve Romines, My Father Lee Heckathorn, My Uncle Mark Heckathorn,
My Aunt Christiane Heckathorn, and My Best Friends Mom Maureen McFee
What an honor to have the privilege of sharing those special moments which have changed Who I Am, How I Think and How I Live…