I can’t quite decide which words to start with, so I’ll use the last ones we spoke to my dad:
“Well done good and faithful servant…come and share your master’s happiness!”
Our pastor did a commendation of the dying, my family shared in the sacrament of Holy Communion, and the nurse removed the ventilator and made him comfortable. We gathered around him and sang the Nunc Dimittis and the Doxology – and his eyes opened when we first started singing.
We sang several more hymns: Savior of the Nations Come (I remember when he was assigned to memorize all the verses during his first year at seminary and freshman Lizzy did it too), Thine the Amen Thine the Praise (sang at my wedding), Christ the Life of All the Living (one of Spartacus’s favorites), and ending with my mom’s favorite Go My Children with My Blessing.
Within fifteen minutes my dad passed away. He was so ready to join in the promised salvation he had preached and shared his whole life.
His son Ethan gave him last communion just before Thanksgiving. His son-in-law Ted was on speakerphone and sang along for this final send off. Mom and I are joining the GriefShare support group starting at our church next month – funded by a grant my dad wrote.
I might restart my blog as a way to process this time and share as I am able. We don’t have any final arrangements planned yet but will communicate them as we can. We will also try to share needs and allow all of you who have offered to serve us during this time to do so. The next three months until Ted comes home will be especially challenging.
I feel a sense of relief that my dad is now free, and now we tackle the grieving process especially with our kids. They actually FaceTimed their teachers yesterday to tell them; we are so blessed with our Lutheran school that they can lovingly walk through this with my kids and all the students and staff who have worked with my dad for the 12 years he served as pastor there.
This picture is from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells in June, to see Hubster on his last pass right before his unit deployed. My mom will especially miss our family road trips, but I am so thankful for how much traveling and time our family has had together in such a short time.