It was Monday, October 16th around 10:30 am. I could not believe we were here yet again. As I looked at my mom’s lifeless body with four paramedics standing over her and one delivering chest compressions to her in the middle of my living room I could not help but think about everything my mom had been through over the past 3 months.
On three different occasions she went into cardiac arrest and was unresponsive, in a coma for 7 days, losing her voice from a tracheostomy placement, completely paralyzed on her left side, unable to walk, and a slew of failing organs. So much had taken place and now here we are, was this really the end?
The paramedics were doing chest compressions for about 25 minutes. One of the paramedics looked at me and said, “Ma’am we have done everything we can do so we will be stopping chest compressions in about 60 seconds.”
Heartbroken and with tears streaming down my face I walked outside, I could not be in the room while they called the time of death. I felt as if I couldn’t breathe in that living room, it was claustrophobic. I had so many thoughts running through my head:
How did we get here? I was just talking to my mom an hour ago and she was fine.
Would it be better to let her go?
She has been through so much…
What is God’s will right now?
How can this be happening, she is still so young?
Is there anything else that can be done, Lord?
This does not feel like the end but it sure looks like the end…
I know You extended my mom’s life earlier this year God, but is that it?
My mom and I just watched a movie last night, was that really the last time we would be together?
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, am I about to lose my mom right before the holidays?
All of her daughters are not here to say goodbye…
I didn’t get a chance to say bye…
I looked up at the sky, and it was a beautiful morning. In my mind, it was too beautiful of a day for my mom to pass away. The sun was shining brightly and I wondered if my mom was already up there, past the clouds, in heaven, resting in God’s presence.
This was the longest 60 seconds I had ever experienced.
I had my phone in my hand and I took a deep breath and began to look at my contacts to see who to call first to inform them of my mom’s passing away. I did not want to call my sisters to tell them this news.
Soon as I began to dial a number, my Dad runs outside and yells, “Debbie Mommy has a pulse!”
I ran back into the living room truly astonished that within the last seconds before paramedics called off the chest compressions my mom’s heart began to beat again. They transferred my mom to a stretcher and said that she would be admitted to Pearland Medical Center. I watched them load my mom into the ambulance and hook her up to more equipment than she was on before. Her feet were blue and she looked so pale but she had a pulse. I tried to cling onto a glimmer of hope but deep down inside something felt different about this time.
Upon arriving at the hospital my family and I learned my mom had no brain activity. She was completely brain dead and on a ventilator. The doctors explained that although my mom had a pulse she would never completely recover and gave her three days before she would transition.
They say a person’s hearing is the last to go, so my family and I took the opportunity to surround my mom and pray, love on her, and talk to her. It was during this time I said my goodbyes and shared some of our favorite memories together.
My mom transitioned to be with the Lord a week later. I was completely devastated, and my heart was broken.
The heartache of losing a parent is unexplainable. My life was shattered and I remember questioning God as to why ending my mom’s life so early was part of His plan. Over the next six months, I went through a series of emotions ranging from depression to even anger. To be honest, I was unable to pray because I did not have anything to say.
Opening up my bible turned into an unwanted chore, and sleeping became an all-day pain reliever for me. It was not until my Mom’s birthday month the following year after she passed (May 2018) that I began to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit comforting my heart and lifting my spirits. During this time He revealed to me four convictions concerning my grief and changed my perspective on death.
GOD IS NEAR DURING HEARTACHE
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in Spirit.
After losing my mom I felt as if God’s presence withdrew from me. As crazy as it sounds, I began to think He no longer loved me or I did something displeasing to Him for my mom to no longer be here on earth.
Looking back, my way of thinking was so irrational. Isn’t it strange that when we go through troubling times we forget to apply God’s word to our lives?
We lose sight of the promises He has implanted on our hearts. God did not leave me at all. In fact, He showed me that I actually withdrew from Him because of my anger and my perspective on death.
God was near to me more than ever during that time. I failed to see it because I was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow. God’s word tells us that when His sons and daughters are broken, crushed in spirit He will save us from drowning in our burdens. He brings us comfort and support during our most difficult times. I remember going for a walk one day in the park and reminiscing on the times my mom and I shared.
As I sat on a bench crying I remember feeling God’s presence surround me. Suddenly my heart did not feel so heavy at the moment, it felt light. A sense of joy began to overtake me and I was reassured at that moment that my mom was in God’s arms, free, healed, and rejoicing.
TALKING TO GOD DURING TROUBLED TIMES
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Remember when I said I was unable to pray when my mom passed away?
Well, during that time I was unable to convey to God what I felt. I was experiencing so much grief and anger in my heart that talking to God through prayer was the furthest thought from my mind.
The Bible explains that when we give our burdens to God He is faithful in relieving us of our troubles. He loves us so much that He releases us from our heavy burdens, but we must be willing to lay our burdens down.
Grief can pierce our souls, to the point where we become so overburden by sadness that our powerful weapon of prayer becomes non-existent. During my time of grief, God showed me that He cares for me deeply. He was with me through every circumstance leading up to, and even after my mother transitioned to heaven.
Although I struggled to pray to God during one of the most difficult times in my life I began to realize talking to God was the antidote to my sorrow. Once I began to express my pain and sorrows to Him through prayer I found myself being more at peace. Do not get me wrong I missed my mother like crazy, I still do, however; the turmoil I felt immediately after her transitioning is no longer there. Surrendering our troubled hearts to God can bring us incomprehensible peace.
As children of the Most High, we have the assurance through God’s word that He loves and cares for us deeply.
REACHING GOD’S ULTIMATE PLAN FOR US
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
“To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.” We hear this familiar verse at funerals, home-going services, memorials, etc. but do we honestly believe this?
You see, my perspective of my mother’s death was not centered on God’s ultimate plan for us. After Jesus died on the cross He told His disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for us (John 14:3) because He wants us to be with Him.
After my mom transitioned I struggled with truly understanding God’s ultimate plan for us. Sometimes we become so caught up with the people in our lives, our parents, spouses, children, and friends that we begin to believe they belong to us. This is the wrong perspective to have.
We are on borrowed time and the people currently in our lives God has entrusted us with for a short time. My mother did not belong to me. I was not her Savior, and God loves her more than I ever could. His ultimate plan for her and for us is to be with Him above the clouds in a glorious place called heaven. Heaven is our final destination. The Holy Spirit worked on my perspective in understanding His plan for my mother. She is not dead but she is alive more than ever now because her soul is rejoicing in eternity.
GOD WILL MAKE ALL THINGS NEW
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.
From the time my mom became sick up until the time before she transitioned her only prayer to God was to be made completely over.
I remember holding her hand in the hospital as she would say this prayer daily. During this time, I thought she was asking God to give her a new body while here on earth. Her organ systems were failing her, and she was unable to walk from the massive stroke she most recently had. It was not until after my mother’s passing that I realized she was not in prayer asking for a new body while she was here on earth but she was petitioning God to be completely made over in the spirit. She was undergoing so much suffering and pain. I remember her telling me she was ready to give up. I did my best to encourage her, to be by her side every chance I could but when I looked in her eyes I could see she was drained.
The bible tells us that God will wipe away all of our tears, there will be no more sorrow once we are in His glorious presence. There will be no more pain or death.
My mom was tired of all of the hospitalizations, the surgeries, the constant breathing issues; she was ready to go home to be with the Lord. I always wondered why God never answered my mom’s prayer and gave her a completely new body but in all actuality He did.
He answered her prayers! He just did not answer in the manner I thought He should answer.
Do you see how our perception of God can sometimes deceive us and whirl us into a sea of doubt and disbelief? Our bodies will fail us because they are an outer shell designed to hold our souls until it is time for our souls to transition into heaven. Understanding that God will make all things new gave me the assurance that my mom is where she prayed to be, and that is in the loving arms of our Father in heaven.
I prayed daily sometimes three times a day for my mom to recover completely but this was not God’s will for her life. To this day I now understand my mom did not even want that for herself. Sometimes when God does not answer our prayers we have a way of withdrawing from Him. We begin to stray because our minds lie to us, telling us that God does not love us, or He does not exist. After all, He did not answer our prayers in spearing the life of a dear loved one. We then make a decision to not serve Him because our prayers have gone unanswered.
This is a tactic the enemy tries to use against us to pull our hearts away from God. I would like to encourage anyone who has lost a parent to understand that God does love you. Your soul is dear to Him and the grief you are experiencing He is not blind to it.
Through your grief, God wants to draw you closer to Him. He loves you more than you know. This is why He sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that the gateway of heaven can be within our destiny. God wants to show you that you are His child, and He wants you to trust Him with your whole heart. Sometimes we have to go through stormy weather, sailing through deep uncharted waters to reach a calm sea only to look behind us and realize God was with us all along.
Losing my mom was God working to bring her home to be with Him, but also an opportunity for me to become closer to Him. Enduring the experience and pain of losing my mom actually pulled me closer into God’s presence.
I watched Him work in my mother’s life from the time she became sick up until her passing. Then He began to work in my life. He showed me the value of life and comforted me during my time of heartache. He taught me the importance of trust by caring for me during one of my darkest moments. He gave me a sense of understanding by revealing His ultimate plan for not just my mother’s life, but for my life as well.
Through my mother’s death, God revealed to me that we are gaining an everlasting pain-free life with Him because earth is our temporary home. I miss my mom daily, at times I miss her so much it brings tears to my eyes but grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. Grieving is expected when losing a parent, but it is through our sorrows God reminds us that He is closer to us than we will ever know.