on death and dying...and peace...

it will be 2 years this year that my mom has passed, and 9 years for my dad.

during tonight's bible study, it was briefly discussed how people "look" when they are dying...
that there is a definite peace about the people who are saved.  someone mentioned that there was a definite grimmace on the faces of those who are not saved as they are passing.  it was discussed that perhaps people get a "glimpse" of where they are headed before they actually die. 

i never thought about that before.  it was quite disturbing at first.  but then i started to understand...the people who were saved knew where they were going.  they had a "peace" about it. 

i believe that both of my parents had a "peace" about where they were going.  i knew that my parents were saved.  they told me so.  my dad accepted Christ into his heart 2 days before he passed.  my dad was at peace with his imminant death.  he told me so.  he told me that he saw Jesus and his dad (my grandpa) waiting for him.  he told me he was ready to be with them.  of course i cried, and felt a terrible loss.  but being saved myself, i also had a "peace" about his death.  with faith in God comes that peace.  as the instructor of the bible study told us, the peace that surpasses all understanding is given to us freely.  it is a gift from God. 

on the flip side of that coin is those who are not saved.  those people do not have peace.  they are lost and lonely and have terrible worries and guilt and a deep sadness that penetrates their very soul.  death to them is a final destination. the end of the road. you're put in a box and covered with earth and there you stay, rotting for eternity.  no hope. no peace.

i saw this in the faces of my family in the intesive care unit of St. Mary's Hopsital, as my mom lay there with no earthly or medical hope of surviving through the night.  yes, i prayed to God to keep her here for me, for us.  but it was a selfish prayer.  God knew that my mom could not take any more. her body was just wore out.  the family that was all around me, with the exception of my husband, was not saved. they had no peace about the situation. they struggled with the fact that the doctors could not do anything to help my mom. they struggled with the fact that we had to make a really tough decision to cut off all life support to her body.
they struggled with the "why" of it all.  again, i too cried and felt a deep loss, knowing that my mom would not want to be kept alive by machines.  knowing that we would have to make the decision no child should have to make for their parents.  but also knowing that my mom was saved and will be on Glory's side when the alarms from those machines stopped going off.  i had that peace...that only God can give. 
i pray that ALL of my family will be able to one day feel and know that peace that surpasses all understanding.


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