It is hard for me not to have death, departure, and the other side on my mind these days, and rightfully so, after just losing my mother whom I had cared for full-time for over six years. She had lived in our home over ten years. We were always close, but those precious years made us grow even closer. A few years ago I started journaling things mother said and did and shared them on Facebook, a social media on the Internet. People fell in love with mother and looked forward to reading the almost daily posts. Now they write to tell me how much they miss reading them.
In my thoughts about death, departure, and the other side, I think about the thoughts we have when a person dies. There may be rejoicing because “the old coot is finally gone and out-of-the-way,” or because they are “out of their pain,” or because we know they are now happy in their long-awaited home in heaven. There may be happiness because we know we will be reunited with them and all the saved ones in glory.
I had prayed often and asked God to give me the strength to endure the passing of mother. Never having experienced this before with someone I loved so dearly, I didn’t know how I would react. God answered my prayer and blessed me not only to endure the time, but to witness her beautiful departure. And, it was beautiful. The clock on mother’s wall started playing “Amazing Grace” on the 8:00 o’clock hour, and mother closed her mouth, opened it a bit, and sighed. The room continued to be filled with the beautiful old hymn being played on the clock. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that room. What a beautiful, peaceful passing into the presence of the Lord. I had such a feeling of peace to witness and be with her on her final journey home. Praise God!
I remember hearing Douglas, my husband, say to someone, “Heaven is a more desirable place now that they are there.” Through the years I have thought of his statement, and now find it true more than ever. A song written by Tillit S. Teddlie in 1932, states, “Earth holds no treasures but perish with using, However precious they be; Yet there’s a country to which I am going: Heaven holds all to me. Heaven holds all to me, Brighter it’s glory will be; Joy without measure will be my treasure: Heaven holds all to me. Out on the hills of that wonderful country, happy, contented and free, Loved ones are waiting and watching my coming: Heaven holds all to me. Why should I long for the world with its sorrows, When in that home o’er the sea, Millions are singing the wonderful story? Heaven holds all to me.”
During the 11 days mother was confined to bed I told her she was getting ready to go to heaven. I went into detail about the beauty of that city, and that God had promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. I assured her that we could rest on that promise. She never was fearful or anxious. She was accepting of the word of God and ready to go be with the Lord and her loved ones. One of the last things I said to mother was, “You be watching for us. We are coming.”
We are all going to take that same journey one day. Let’s make sure our map is clear, and correct, and keep our destination in view. If we miss heaven, we will have missed it all.