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Main : Death & Dying

Peaceful Passage
  by: Jim Graf, Source Unknown

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My mom was taken to a nursing home because she was just getting too much for my dad to handle at home. She was undergoing the last stages of emphysema and struggled for every breath. I had gone from Maryland to Northern Illinois five times in as many weeks, helping Dad care for Mom. I was there on the day they carried her out of her home for what she knew would be the very last time.

I prayed constantly that God would take her peacefully, not struggling for the next breath. I hoped that it would just not come so she didn't have to fight for life in panic. Now I don't pray like most people. I just sit on the edge of the bed and "talk to God!" That's right, just like he was sitting right there with me and we were talking like old friends.

Oh, I wouldn't often say my words out loud, just think them very slowly and carefully. For example, "You know, God, I sure would appreciate it if Mom could pass from this life peacefully, and not in a panic about where her next breath is going to come from."

Well I was back in Maryland again when the inevitable phone call came.

Dad told me that she passed while he was holding her. That she'd been continually struggling for her next breath. But then Dad then said to her, "It's okay, Mare, you can go now. I'll be okay." And at that point, Mom's breathing came easier, very shallow, but easier.

This was so unlike her ability to let go when it came to breathing. Moments later she passed away.

So God answered my prayers in spades! Not only was she not struggling for that next breath, but she was also being held by the person she loved most in this whole wide world - my dad.

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