Did that really happen? The events of the last month seem so surreal. No matter how long we prepare for the loss of a loved one it is a tremendous loss. Still life goes on. Babies need to be changed, children go to school, women shop for spring dresses, men set up their tee times, the Apple store is still crowded, traffic backs up at stop lights. But wait. A life was just lost. It happens every day.
Times like these make me question my faith. Is God really real? Why didn't he answer my prayers? Why did such a good man have to suffer in such a way? Why did my children have to experience such trauma watching their daddy leave?
This has to have been the most intense week of my life, words cannot express the amount of sadness and love that has passed through my heart, soul and mind in such a short amount of time. Short...but long. Jerry's journey was so long..but his end was so short. So final.
These are questions that probably will never be answered. However, now that two weeks have passed, my head is beginning to process what happened. I can see so many prayers that were answered.
First, my greatest longing was to have Jerry surrounded by those who loved him. I could hardly bare the thought of his slipping away alone. That prayer was answered in that his last breath was taken while being cradled in my arms. His children were draped over him. For 7 days the love spilled out was almost tangible.
Second, I cried out to the Lord that Jerry would never have to be moved from the place he now had called home. And when it came time for me to decide to move him because of Medicaid requirements... that prayer was answered. Jerry was able to finish his days surrounded and cared for by his closest caregivers.
The timing was uncanny. My son, who is usually in Los Angeles, just "happened" to be in town for a photo shoot, when Jerry began to take his last decline. We were all here. A beautiful night aide sang, "oh, how I love Jesus." I had never met her before. Such gentleness and strength I've witnessed. The response from friends was overwhelming. I cannot even fathom it.
This, more than likely will be my last post. :( It has been an honor to serve in such a way and I only hope this blog has provided strength and hope through a seemingly impossible journey.
So, is my faith shaken? It make have been rocked a bit..but it is still firm.
All I know is this. It is a fact that this man called Jesus was crucified. He gasped for his last breath. Just as Jerry did. He cried out, "Why have thou forsaken me?" He knew anguish and suffering. Was Jesus merely a man? All I know is that his disciples, afraid and with complex emotions, went into hiding. But, when Jesus appeared before them they must have seen something. Thomas actually felt his nail pierced hand. Jesus truly was their risen Savior and they were willing to be crucified themselves afterwards. So, if Jesus was who he said he was and was willing to provide a way for eternal life with God, the Father of this universe....then I suppose his promises are true. Jerry is no longer suffering and he is now at peace with his Heavenly Father and he has no memory of what just happened. While it may be excruciatingly sad for those who are left behind, it can't be any better for those who are moving forward free from suffering and into the glorious light of the Almighty God.
Jerry, we will miss you. You left a huge impact on so many lives. You were God's gift to me and I will be forever grateful.