How do you describe the moment of someone’s death? How do you put such a sacred, devastating moment into words?
Or at least I don’t.
The one thing Michael and I want you to know about his dad’s death, the most important thing, is that God was overwhelmingly and unquestionably sovereign.
Michael and his brother arrived in their hometown late Friday night. Their dad had been rapidly declining earlier in the week, but then he bounced back a little bit, so they went home with the anticipation of making decisions about hospice care. They slept in a little bit on Saturday morning while their mom went up to the hospital to relieve the overnight caregiver who stayed with him. They called her as they were leaving, and she noted that their dad was breathing really slowly.
When they walked into the room, both Michael and his brother – both doctors – knew immediately what their mom had not yet realized. He was dying. He would take a deep, gasping breath, then stop breathing for a few seconds, then take another deep, gasping breath.
They both ran to his side, held his hands, told them how much they loved him, and that it was okay to let go now.
Within five minutes, he was gone.
When Michael called me, when I received that phone call that I hadn’t expected so soon, my first thought was He waited for you! How amazing – he waited for you to get there!
Michael’s perspective was a little different. God made sure we were all there together. He gave us the gift of all being together when Dad left us. I don’t think Dad knew we were there, but God knew that we needed to all be together.
And not only were they all together, but God was there with them. Just like He promised.
How much his dad was aware of that morning, only God knows. There’s no way we can say for sure. But something we do know without question: during that sacred moment, the moment of their deepest pain and grief, God was gracious and merciful, and He handed them a priceless, precious gift.
For Michael, it was the greatest affirmation of God’s sovereignty and enormous love he has ever experienced.
And if Michael were a writer with a blog, this is what he would say to you: wherever you are, whatever you are experiencing, He sees you. He knows. He’s right there with you, and He loves you more deeply than anyone has ever loved you.
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. Psalm 116:5
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2