The decision was made to discontinue my mom’s IV fluids. What an awful choice to have to make. Because of her weakened state she’s unable to swallow or speak. All docs confirm what’s been in the back of our haunted minds…my mom will not recover from the complications of her brain cancer. They’ve started a morphine drip, and I have no defense against the grief. It’s overtaken me and I’m completely undone by it. There’s no more denial. And besides a Lazarus raising miracle, which will remain in my prayers until her very last breath, we have no more hope she will live. My mom’s life is almost over yet she’s still able to stare into our eyes as we pour out our love to her. We know she’s there. But not for long. It’s an impossible knowing.
The pain is so excruciating that I begged God to take her quickly. But as I watched a steady stream of family and friends make their way to my mom’s bedside with stories of gratitude and blessing, I realize how very small minded I am. I never considered this time to be a blessing. I didn’t see this coming. I only saw suffering and a way to end it. But if God had ceded to my desire and would have taken her quickly, it would have robbed my mom of the most loving experience of her life. She wouldn’t have listened to her sister and nephew sing her favorite worship songs to her while she raised her weakened arm in praise. She wouldn’t have seen the harvest from all the seeds of love she planted in so many people. She would have missed the blessing. And I would have stopped everyone else from their process of reflective grief and the opportunity to express heartfelt appreciation. I would have stopped the healing that took place in the hours I held her hand, and the strength my dad felt by the support of his children. I would have blocked God’s blessing and put an end to everything good he planned.
I’m humbled by my lack of view. Who am I to direct God’s plan for my mom’s life?
Today I realized that some of the hidden work God’s accomplishing right now is simply none of my business. He’s working things out for people, including me, in ways I will never know and could never imagine. I know that pain, not faith, lead my prayer, and I humbly surrender my ignorance to the One who sees everything, to the One who loves us beyond comprehension.
As I try to brace myself to lose my mom, I’m aware of the incredible blessing it is to have this time with her. It’s an awful blessing, to be sure. But I suppose that’s the deal while we’re here on earth: times of enormous pain, but with the hope of heaven.
My mom’s life is between her and God. And, thankfully, I am definitely not God. Even though this realization is crystal clear to me now, I know this awareness of my small-mindedness won’t end with today, or even with the death of my mom. I still don’t see it, and I never will. I still don’t know the goodness that God has planned for my mom and all of us. His goodness is immeasurable.
I’m thankful that God doesn’t take the advice of humans. Because this mortal has no idea what she’s asking.
“For God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28