It has taken me more than three months to gain the courage to write about the day my mom passed away. My grief is still fresh and real, and reliving those final moments will not be easy.
My mom passed away just before 5 pm on Friday, December 21, 2018. She had been under hospice care for a month. A few days prior, her hospice nurse told us the end was near.
On Thursday afternoon, I was at her side with no plans to leave until she took her final breath. I kneeled beside her bed, I held her hand, I told her how much I love her. My dad and I stayed through the night, taking turns sitting by her side while the other tried to grab a few moments of sleep. Every time she coughed or moaned, I was on high alert.
By Friday morning, my body and mind were exhausted. I stretched out on the floor next to her bed to try to get comfortable. My eyes were red and swollen from crying and lack of sleep. My mom was still with us.
By the afternoon, my dad and my mom’s care team encouraged me to go home. While I didn’t want to leave, a small part of me wondered if my mom was waiting on me to leave to pass. I kissed her, told her how much I love her, and told her it was okay to go. With tears in my eyes, I left.
At home, I tried to take a nap. My sleep was fitful and broken. My husband and kids were watching the movie Prancer in the living room. A little before 5 pm, I awoke to the sounds of a choir singing How Great Thou Art. Though it was coming from the movie playing in the other room, a part of me knew in that moment that my mom was gone. A short time later, my dad called and told me my mom died just before 5 pm.
After his call, I was filled with a sense of peace. I can’t begin to describe it, and I haven’t felt that way again since the evening my mom died. I quickly showered and got ready to go be with my dad. When I got in my car, Lauren Daigle’s song You Say was on the radio. Since I listen to a mainstream station (Sirius XM’s The Pulse), the timing of the song felt like it was from God. It was exactly what I needed in that moment: a reminder that I am strong, loved, and held by Him.
Wanting to listen to that song over and over on the drive to Trinity Hills, I opened Spotify, looked up the song, and hit repeat. The next song wasn’t You Say, though. It was Rescue. Those lyrics? “I will send out an army to find you, in the middle of the darkest night, it’s true, I will rescue you.” Only God could send me those words in my darkest hour.
Look Up Child came on next. “Where are You now when darkness seems to win? Where are You now when the world is crumbling? Look up child.” But God.
As I pulled into the driveway of Trinity Hills, Trust in You began to play. Trust in You, the song I have clung to the past few years. The song that helped me through my mom’s diagnosis and decline. “When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move. When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through. When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You. I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.” I hear you, God. I hear you.
I stayed in my car until the final chords of Trust in You faded. I closed my eyes, prayed, and took a deep breath. I then walked inside knowing that even though the next few hours were the toughest I might ever face, I could do it. God was with me. God IS with me.