Friday, February 26, 2010

Finished the race...

At 6:30 yesterday morning, my Isaac quietly left earth and entered the glorious gates of Heaven.  I wanted to share with you a glimpse of that precious time. 

Tuesday, Isaac was unresponsive.  He didn't say a word, barely moved, and only opened his eyes once all day.  I knew this meant that he was nearing death, I just had no idea how near he was.  In the morning, he lay there in bed just groaning and breathing very uneasily.  I switched him from nasal canulla to an oxygen mask and that eased his discomfort.  That evening, I started to hear his breath become raspy and a bit "gurgly".  I know that is one of the signs that a person is in their last hours, but I have heard Isaac breath that way before - even before we called in hospice.  I figured he had more fluid on his lungs and I'd call the nurse first thing in the morning. 

Around 4:30 Wednesday morning, I awoke to hear him groaning again.  His breath was very uneasy and it was obvious he was uncomfortable.  He was breathing like he had just run a mile.  I gave him some morphine and Ativan (an anti-anxiety that helps calm him), waited 30 minutes, and when those meds didn't seem to help, I called the on-call hospice nurse.  At about 5:15am, she had me repeat the doses of the meds, plus give him another to help dry up the fluid in his lungs.  After about a half hour, he was breathing really comfortably.  In fact, it was the most comfortable I had seen him breathing in a few days.  I thought the storm had passed and we'd be okay for a little longer.  I looked at the clock, saw it had been an hour since I gave him the meds and it was time to repeat.  I told him I was going to get more meds and stepped into the kitchen.  I poured some coffee, grabbed his meds, and when I came back into the dining room, he was gone.  I could see he wasn't breathing and couldn't see his heart beating in his chest.  He was just gone.

That's the technical, medical play-by-play.  But, something more important was happening in that time between 5:30 and 6:30am while I waited for the meds to ease his discomfort.  I decided there was no way I'd be able to go back to sleep, so I pulled out my Bible and sat down at his bedside.  I read to him from the Psalms (I remember reading Psalm 121 and Psalm 23, plus many others!), Isaiah 55 (8-9 were his life verses), and Revelation 21-22.  Here's a verse I remember reading and praying "He who testifies these things says 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20).  I prayed as I read that "Yes, Lord, come...come for him quickly" and the Lord answered! 

I also pulled out my phone, and turned on my Pandora app to my Hillsong station.  For some reason, I started writing down the son  gs that were playing in that last hour.  The first song was "This is Our God", which I just found to be so peaceful and comforting.  Then, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" came on and that's when I thought I should write the songs down because I knew God was telling us something...little did I know, it is very possible Jesus was right there with us just asking Isaac to see Him.  Next, came "Spoken For", which really got says 'take this world from, I don't need it anymore, I am finally free' - and I think that's probably exactly how Isaac was feeling.  The list also included, "Desert Song," "Your Love, Oh Lord," and "Your Grace is Enough".  The last song that was playing was called "Came to My Rescue" - Wow!!!  Came to Isaac's rescue, indeed! "I called, You answered.  You came to my rescue and I want to be where You are." 
But for me, the songs and the verses were not the sweetest part.  I am so glad to know that in his last hour, Isaac was hearing the Word of God and praises to His name.  But...I am the most joyful knowing in his last hour I was there.  I was holding his hand, I was telling him over and over that I was right there with him, that I'd do everything I could in my power to ease his pain, that he was a wonderful husband, and how very much I love him.  I was at first surprised that death came so quickly.  But then I remembered one of the last real conversations Isaac and I had last week.  I remember telling him not to hang onto this world.  I told him that the moment he sees Jesus he should run to Him as fast as he can and not look back.  I told him "When you see Jesus, you run.  You run as fast as you can to Him and don't hold on to us back here.  We'll be okay." I like to think that's exactly what happened.  He saw Jesus.  He didn't hesitate for a moment, he just ran into the arms of His Savior and was healed.


  1. Thank you for sharing your last precious moments with your sweet husband. I am so grateful you have such wonderful support around you. For me having never met Isaac I am touched by him from the words you speak of him and the praises from others that have been scattered on facebook and guestbooks to your blogs. He sounded as equally wonderful as my friend "Sweet Pea".
    You have been in my thoughts constantly and I am sending all my warmest thoughts to you and your friends and family. Take care, my friend...

  2. I'm crying as I read this. I'm sad for you, Jess, because I know you will miss Isaac. But, at the same time, I'm crying because of the utter beauty and grace that I see in the way you and Isaac ran this last leg of the journey together.

  3. Gosh Jess, sitting here at work with tears streaming. What beautiful words, it's my wish that everyone has someone like you nearby in their last hours. What a blessing.

  4. That my friend is the way to go. You loved him right into the arms of Jesus. You go girl.

    Hoping to be there beside you as you as you dig your way out of the valley. I will pull you when you need it!

  5. Jess, Thanks for sharing those precious last moments. You are a remarkable young wonen of faith. I will be there for you to help you find your way, as will so many others that love you.

  6. Dear Precious One~

    I am sorry for the loss of your sweet husband, but at the same time, I CHEER with you knowing that he has been PROMOTED TO GLORY and is pain free in the arms of Christ Jesus!

    Reading about your last moments with your beloved, was almost exactly like how it was when my sister, Vickie passed back in 2002. We were all their with her, PRAISING GOD and singing hymns and praying over her. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but at the same time, it was the most BEAUTIFUL experience I have ever had! It is something I will cherish forever.

    Continue to Praise God and seek His face and He will deliver you from the valley and bring you to the top of the mountain!

    Blessings to you, sweet Jess~