Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Temporary Goodbye

Beloved
Nov 22 1950 - Nov 25 2020

 This is, of course, the post I hoped and prayed would not be typed any time soon. But God in His mercies has brought me to this time when I turn a page into a new chapter of my life.

Beloved was in the hospital for 3 weeks to the day with the very fast-developing COVID virus that became a type of pneumonia the doctors are still trying to understand. From the start his oxygen requirement was at 100 percent and they couldn't get it lower, no matter how hard they tried. We thought we saw progress at times but that proved to be very temporary.

Last week the doctors suggested we move him to a specialized hospital in a neighboring town for the kind of respiratory treatments he needed. The problem, however, was his continued need for very high flow oxygen and how this relates to a 30-minute ambulance ride. 

After several days of hope for that prospect, it was determined his case was terminal. We were given two options: intubation (life support in an unconscious state) or hospice. We discussed this with each other and decided to go with hospice so we could enjoy each other's company just that much longer.

While that was a hard thing to swallow, and we both cried about it together (through a window in ICU), I began to realize to a greater depth what we were talking about when the doctors presented me with a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) document to sign, just for the ambulance ride over to hospice.

I thank the Lord for opening my eyes to what that meant. Surfer Girl (our daughter) and I stood outside the hospital, looking for Beloved to be rolled out to the waiting ambulance. It was an incredibly brief encounter, with us some 12 feet away waving, cheering, and throwing kisses at him.

He was quite pale and didn't notice us at first, so the attendant tapped him to look our way. He smiled, waved, and gave us a thumbs up. Then the doors were closed and the ambulance rolled away from us.

Hospice had called a while earlier to ask me to bring one of his prescription medications, so instead of following the ambulance, we hurried home, grabbed the bottle and then went to hospice.

The attendant met us at the door with the news Beloved had passed away only two minutes after arriving at their facility.

Shock hit like a truck and we collapsed into each other's arms in loud wailing tears. Only minutes before he had waved to us and now this.

Before even entering the building, we were given that yellow plastic protective plastic to wear, dressing ourselves out on the front porch, hands shaking in disbelief and grief.

They ushered us into the room where he lay looking somewhat peaceful in sleep. His skin was a pale yellow and already the precious body I have loved and kissed for over 50 years was growing cool to the touch. He clearly was not in there. As one of our pastor friends called it years ago, his "earth suit" was empty. The real person had left and gone to a far better place.

So it was as the doctors had warned, the inability to give him the full oxygen flow he needed in the ambulance was what took his life. We were told he did not suffer. He simply fell asleep (or passed out) in the ambulance and then died very shortly after his arrival to hospice.

Half of our children are here with me now, and the other 3 will get here today, on Thanksgiving. Those coming today have had to travel a great distance to get here, so we will have the funeral for Beloved in the next few days, while we are already together. Our family is larger than some funeral homes will allow due to COVID restrictions, so no other friends are invited. But the outpouring of messages to us via social media has been huge all through this and we will be content with that. 

The Gospel message of eternal life through accepting Jesus' payment of our sins on the cross is what sustains us in this dark time. All is not lost. Incredible joy awaits us with some tough "assignments," as I am calling them, between here and there. The Lord my God has allowed this hard thing to come to me but at the same time He is giving me help and comfort in all the right ways at all the right times.

So this is how the story with Beloved turned out. I know many of you are wiping away the tears, as I am. Tears are good. Let them flow to release the bad things inside and to make room for better times. 

If Jesus is your Savior, you have nothing to fear. If He is not, you need to call upon Him, asking Him to forgive your sins and to believe His sacrifice has saved you. Good works will not save you. Only trusting in what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross will wash away your sins and make you righteous in God's eyes.

Beloved made that decision during his college years, very shortly before we married. I know He is with Jesus now and that is the balm that soothes my pain.

Until next time, grace and peace.


Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,

call ye upon him while he is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, 

and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

and let him return unto the Lord, 

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God, 

for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55:6-7 KJV


37 comments:

  1. You have been on my mind and in my prayers constantly...this was to be the outcome as you probably knew...and dreaded...close to his 70th and your 50th...there are absolutely no words to express...except...prayers and sympathy...your story will touch so many lives...

    ReplyDelete
  2. OH Barbara, I am sitting here early this morning praying for your family...I am sitting in "my room with a view"...with your little tea towel hanging nearby to remind me of you and Tom, your beloved. My tears are flowing. I am so in shock, as I know you are as well. So glad your daughter was with you. So glad you had that last moment and his sweet wave farewell, until you meet again on heaven's shores. I am so very very sorry. May God wrap you in His loving arms and carry you through this very sad time. So thankful we had the opportunity to meet your Beloved and John and I both appreciated him so very much. We are very sorry to not be able to further that friendship here on earth, but we know that heaven is for eternity! What joys we will all have there one day. Until then, may the Lord comfort and keep you and give you strength and peace for each new day. Love, Pam and John

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for letting us know. Prayers for the healing for all

    ReplyDelete
  4. Barbara I’m truly sorry for your loss and the pain you feel now. I so appreciate of your faithful testimony to a loving God and the hope of heaven in the midst of your grief. May that great love sustain you now and in the days to come.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ((tears)) Our deepest condolences...shocked and disbelief. I wish I was there to hug and comfort you. Tom always had a kind word and a wave...reading Pamela's comment puts everything into perspective and what kind words she wrote...words that echo mine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Barbara....I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. My heart breaks for you as you grieve the love of your life. I am thankful that he was able to see you and your daughter and give you a last goodbye. You will be in my prayers as you have been for the last three weeks. Much Love, Arlene

    ReplyDelete
  7. My heart is breaking for you and yours, Barbara. May the love of Jesus sustain you as you grieve the loss of your Beloved. Yes, one day, you will be reunited with him in heaven. Keeping you all in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. God bless you in this time, so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. OMGOSH! I have been absent for blogland for quite a while and just now catching up. My heart aches for your loss and the tears are rolling down onto my keyboard as I type this. God bless you. My belief is that you will be reunited on a different plane. I don't know what people without faith do when tragedy strikes.
    Praying for you and your family~. xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am crying with you this morning. I'm so glad your sweet family will all be together to comfort each other. You are all in my prayers. Sending you my sweet hugs Barbara and all my love, Diane

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sweet Barbara. You and Beloved both have inspired me more times than I can count. I count it pure joy that I found your blog when you moved to Jacksonville. I know I was supposed to find it and follow you. I am so sorry and I wish I could come and hug you. I have never been able to understand the hard in life...I honestly learned as a small child there was never a point in trying to understand, but to know our Heavenly Father was always with us and that our home is in Heaven not here on earth. I will continue to pray the HE will comfort you and give you wisdom in the days ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Barbara, David and I have been tearing up all morning since Mary let us know. It hit us hard because we have been praying for both of you and will continue to pray for as you navigate your way through this. I am so thankful that our Lord is carrying and comforting you and your family as well. Please know that we are here for you if you need anything. Christine and David.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so shocked with all of this Barbara, I'm crying, my husband is shocked as well, just telling him. I'm just so, so, so, sorry.

    We will be praying for your precious family. I wish you could talk to my mom, this sounds so very much like what happened to my stepdaddy.

    Please know you are in our prayers major. May God hold you and comfort you Barbara Friend. Love you, gentle hugs... A kiss on the cheek.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dearest Barbara, I am saddened to read this news about your Tom. I know that he is with the Lord and one day, you will be together again. I am praying for peace, strength and comfort for you and your family in the coming days.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Tears are running down my face, Barbara... I'm so very sorry to read that your beloved has passed. I found your blog through our mutual love of cross stitch and have always been inspired by your love of faith, family, and friends. May those three things comfort you as you enter this new chapter of life. Keeping you in my prayers and sending you a caring hug. ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Barbara, my heart breaks for you and your family. You will be in my prayers. You are greatly loved and one day you will be with your Beloved together. xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Barbara, my heart breaks for you and your family. You will be in my prayers. You are greatly loved and one day you will be with your Beloved together. xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. I’m so sorry. He was such a wonderful man. You both are a beautiful example to us all. We are so grateful to have lived so close for these last few years and have been able to spend more time with you both. We will miss him greatly. My heart breaks for you and I will continually pray for you all.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes, the tears are flowing here. I'm so sorry. But thankful for the promise of eternal life, for no more breathing issues and for the life you had together. Praying for all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh Barbara, I am so very sorry to hear this news. I am so thankful that your Beloved was able to smile and wave in that last goodbye. Sort of a "till we meet again" type salute. And meet again you will. So thankful that you can know that for an unshakable fact.

    Thankful too that some family members are with you and that others will be there soon if they aren't already. And that our Heavenly Father has never left your side. Praying He will be incredibly, indescribably real to you in this hour of grief and deep emotions. I think of what He told His disciples as He approached their boat 'in the midst of the see, tossed with waves': "It is I; be not afraid".

    Of course humanly we are afraid, as well as grieving. But I know you are trusting Him for every moment. Will be keeping you all in prayer as you follow Him trustingly through this storm.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear Barb, I had to wait a bit before posting a comment and I am still at a loss for words. I wish I was there to give you another hug or three. I know it is a blessing to have your kids and grandkids there with you. We can be thankful for our faith in a loving Savior. We talked about how some prayers aren't answered the way we want them to be at our Bible study last week. A man who lost his wife to cancer said that Heaven is the ultimate healing for our loved ones. He also said that Jesus loves each of us more than anyone else can. We have to trust in that. God bless. My prayers are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am so sorry for your loss. You are blessed to have your children with you at this time. I'll be praying for you and your family. Hugs, Edna B.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. May God give you His peace and comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am so sorry for your loss. I know having your family with you is such a blessing. Praying for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Lord is very close to the brokenhearted. Yes, the tears are flowing. Your testimony stands faithful, strong, and true.

    Sending love across the miles.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the story here and the message of the Gospel so others can have the hope that your beloved had. He is now reaping his eternal reward. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 comes to mind as a scripture passage to comfort you. Praying for you dear one and your family. ~ Abby

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sorry to read about your loss. To have your family around give you peace and strength.
    I hope they will get this virus by the touch soon.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family and Godspeed to your beloved.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sorry for your loss but grateful for his redemption. God will hold you close as your beloved did for many years, wiping away tears, listening to your heart cries, and carrying you when you think you can't go on. Blessings, wisdom and peace to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. I just came home after almost 4 weeks in the hospital fighting this brutal virus. May God touch you with his love and peace.

    ReplyDelete
  31. So sorry for your loss. May God bless you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm so very sorry, Barbara. Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family. God bless and keep you until you and your beloved are reunited once more in that Heavenly home.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am so sorry Barbara. My heart aches for you and your family. You and your family are in our prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I’m just so sorry for the turn this whole situation has taken. I was cheering when it seemed like he was turning the corner. Sending my prayers for peace and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I come here from Closed Window, Open Doors. Pamela had shared the news of your situation earlier. I am so sorry for your loss. I will continue to pray for you and your children.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh, my heart has ached for you and yours these past days and will continue to in the days ahead. It's just unbelievable! And, yes, to know that it is just a temporary good bye does soothe the soul but oh, how you will miss your Beloved. My prayers will continue to cover you in the difficult days ahead. You are such a testimony of our Lord's faithfulness! Sending love, hugs and prayers your way.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh dear Barbara, my heart is heavy with this news. I haven't been online until now but have been praying for all of you. Sorrow for us is always mixed with joy and hope in knowing we will be reunited with our loved ones and absence from the body is presence with our Lord. Tears here for your earthly loss and the transition you will be going through. He was a dear man from what I could tell from your writings and his comments on your blog posts. Hugs...

    ReplyDelete