His breathing had been so labored for several days now. He was heavily medicated and had been unable to speak, so she had to rely on her instincts to know what to do as each minute passed. She and her husband had discussed it all, thank God. They had shared words of love, of regrets, of happiness, of sorrow, and of faith, so she knew exactly where he stood on these matters.
The morning had been extremely difficult and so Hospice was called one last time. The nurse, her angel wings tucked neatly under her jacket, attended to him. She suggested that it was time to increase the medications a bit. Before she left, she assured the family that he would soon be very comfortable. His wife noticed that the nurse had left her a note of instructions, and at the bottom of the page, it read “no refills necessary”.
She snuggled along side her husband and gently cradled his head in the crook of her arm. Daughters and grandchildren surrounded his bedside, all with puffy, tear-streaked faces, nudging each other into a comfortable mass of love and grief, reaching out with hands wet with tears, touching his chest, his knees, his arms, his head. They watched and grimaced with each labored breath, praying for it to stop, but not wanting this life to end.
One of her daughters looked at her, pleading, and said, “Maybe you should give him some more morphine. He’s struggling so much.” She swallowed back the lump in her throat, and said, “No, we just gave him the medicine ten minutes ago. We need to wait at least twenty more minutes. I do not want to do that. It is in God’s hands. It is God’s will.
And as she spoke those words, her husband opened his eyes and looking up, he took his last breath.
With love and thanksgiving. My husband is free from pain and at home with his Savior.