Today is the fifth anniversary of my dad taking his leave from this earth. I feel his spirit close to me often and with my sister posting his messages every Wednesday and having him singing on my playlist keeps him very much in our mind. I will never be afraid to die after seeing him and my mother both take their final breath on this earth. Just thought I would post this to keep the memory of how it happened fresh for those of you who loved him and to build faith for those of you who might need it!
Monday night, May 6, 2013, we called the family in as the doctor told us our dad was going. He told us that his father was standing in the room dressed in a black suit. I asked if my grandfather had come to take him and he answered, “Yes”, “Do you want to go?” “No”. But as we stood there he began to see things, there were people afar off on a city street but they were too far away for him to recognize. I was standing there and he said, “I saw my soul, it came out and I saw it!”I asked him, stupidly, “What did it look like?” He looked a little incredulous and answered “Like ME, it looked like ME it IS me!” He continued, “It’s so simple, so simple, you just go out and come back and you never feel a thing! If people only knew how simple it was!”As we all stood around and prayed and softly sang he became weaker but opened his eyes and knew it was time for everyone to go home, he asked where my brother-in-law was, he wanted me to take mother home to rest. By Wednesday the doctor was telling us to consider hospice care, which I knew was not something he would want and neither did I. She thought he might have six months but didn’t believe he would make it that long. They sent the hospice people to see me and I signed all the papers hoping to take him home even if he had to have the hospice care and walked back into the room. He was speaking softly and I walked closer, “Membrane, membrane, there’s only a membrane separating us from them.”I said “Daddy what does it look like?”I was going to continue and ask if it looked like Saran Wrap when he spoke again, “Like thin plastic.” I spoke quickly, “Daddy we aren’t going to let yours get torn for a long time!” He rolled his eyes to find my face and said “Ohhh but it’s already done.”That was about the last thing he said that we could really understand. No one was there at that point except my siblings my mother and my brother’s wife. We were talking quietly and as if someone signaled to us we all three got up and walked to the bed where my sister placed both of her hands on daddy’s head, I went and had my hands on his feet and my brother was standing at his right hand. As we stood there I began to softly sing “It Is Well With My Soul” my sister and brother joined in, his breathing became more shallow, he yawned and my sister called out “DADDY”,he opened his eyes wide and looked at her, when he closed them his head dropped and he slipped into eternity as we stood with our hands on him and prayed.
I always believed that we have a cloud of witnesses around us, I always knew that the spirit of the departed could come to comfort you, that your soul could come and go and that until the “silver cord” is broken you will not die but seeing it up close and personal gives you a whole new faith in what happens in the after life. He had died on the “glorious” occasion of the 51stanniversary of the day we first walked into 2800 Piedmont Road, 5-8-1962 to 5-8-2013, and he was able to pastor his own congregation, one that he would never have to walk away from.
I know that my dad is sitting in heaven with family and friends that are already there but mostly know that he is happy to be with Jesus, his friend. Never doubt that eternity exists and we will all be a part of it and it won’t be long!