Saturday, February 09, 2008

The end of a long life

I want to thank everyone who has been thinking and praying for my mother-in-law and for my husband and I as we looked after her. On Wednesday she passed away, safe in the arms of Jesus. We are relieved and had prayed that God would take her. Over the last few days she was no longer responding and truly ready to go.

My husband and I spent most of the past three weeks close by her side. I found out what it's like to live in a care facility, spending many nights sleeping in a cot in her room and eating there. Tabor Home was a good place to die. Mom was loved and respected by all the staff and they truly showed her their love as they cared for her. It was like dying at home. We're very thankful for the care she received.

The funeral arrangements have all been made, everyone has been notified, and now my husband is preparing the eulogy. During the open mike session at the reception I also plan to say some things. I want to say how thoughtful Mother was of other people, even as she lay dying. Several times she reminded me to call her sister-in-law to see how she was doing in her fight with cancer. She had me buy a 90th birthday card for her sister and dictated a note for me to write, explaining how things were for her and saying goodbye. When another resident who had not been well came into the room, she asked her if she was feeling better. Although she had a hard time speaking, she said several times, "I just want to thank everybody." This was a lady who was completely other-centered - a grateful lady. She was an inspiration for all whose lives she touched. And now, at the age of 96, only a few weeks after her last quilting session, she is at peace. She will be missed by the many people who loved her.

Soon my life will be back on track. I have much to do. Many emails have come in response to my TV interview and I need to get to answering them. There is interest in starting other Living Room groups and interest in finding churches that are supportive to people with mental illness. Much work to do. I look forward to the challenge and very much want to promote church support in whatever way I can. I will need to do more writing; I will need to have an info session for church leaders and a workshop for new facilitators.

I thank God that I am well. I thank God for allowing me to have spent Mother's last weeks by her side, knowing that I did all I could for her. And I pray that he will be with me as I go on to the next chapter of my life.


Anonymous said...

Dear Marja:
How so very lucky Mom was to have you both at her side as she went to meet Our Lord!

Both in my job and in my family,I too have "assisted" at the bedside of many as they made their journey leaving this world.

My Gran too thought of everyone else but herself up till the last breath. I believe it says alot of her and your MIL as a person and a tribute to how they lived their lives.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through the funeral and aftermath. Sometimes it feels like such a fog - the last three weeks and the upcoming week or so.

Prayerfully yours, Anne

Anonymous said...

Dear Marja,

It is encouraging to read of the Lord's mercies to your Mother-in-law and her selflessness and thankfulness. Thank God too for preserving you and your husband. May God be very near to you, and continue to give you much grace, strength and joy as you serve Him in your various callings in the days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care.

Praying for you and family,

Dream Writer said...

I am happy that your Momther-in-law was not alone when she passed.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Thinking of you.

Jim said...

I remember hearing my 90 some year grandmother wanted to go home eveyday. Whenever she wakes up and look around and got disappointed that she is still on earth and not in heaven.

Finally, she passed away and she is home.

Miss you and will wait for you to get settled.

Jim :)

bipolar_girl said...

Dear Marja,

Your mother-in-law was so blessed especially having you by her side when she passed away. You're an inspiration!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Your mother-in-law was truly blessed to have you as a daughter-in-law. My condolences to you and Wes and the people you love!


Merelyme said...

oh marja...i am so sorry. i have been thinking about you a lot these days. much peace and love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Marja, your Mom was a very fortunate person to have you and your husband with her. My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family. God Bless..

South Carolina

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Marja,
Condolence on the death of your mother in law. She's now with our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to greet you and your loved ones, a Happy Valentines Day. I hope you are all okay now and in the best of health. God bless you all.