I had the double honor of leading my mother to the Lord Jesus Christ and also being present at her death when the Lord Jesus took her home. I witnessed every glorious second.
When my mother first got diagnosed with lung cancer she didn’t understand why she had gotten cancer and I quoted to her Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God was perfecting her and He accomplishes this though trials. This would be her last and greatest trial. I reminded mom that it was the sacrifices by fire that were the most pleasing to God. The prayers we pray to him during our most difficult times when we totally seek and rely on Him.
I got the call that mom had less than 24 hours to live and I went to the hospital. The death process is horrific to witness. This once beautiful mother of mine now lay in a hospital bed: thin, bald from chemo, her mouth open and her eyes partially open and rolling back in her head. Her oxygen tube irritated her nostrils and developed into a herpes infection that ate away part of her nose. It caused huge sores above and within her mouth and throat. Mom looked like she walked out of a horror show and none of us kids wanted to see her like this, or suffering as she now suffered.
Initially she could motion if she was experiencing pain, or if someone walked into the room her eyes would completely open, or she could squeeze a hand. I asked her if she was afraid and she nodded yes. I read her Scripture to help calm her. Little by little her eyes stopped opening and the movements became less. We thought she would pass that night but she hung on until the next day. I told her “mom you have an appointment with Jesus today.” Her eyes kept opening an eighth of an inch, showing only her whites and I kept shutting them. A few hours earlier her breaths were coming with rattling, but now they were hard and labored and there were pauses. It was now evening around 9:30, she lay totally unconscious. The swelling and mottling of her ice cold feet spread to more toes, was now deeper in color and had traveled up the leg with darker spots also on her knee caps. Her circulatory system was shutting down. Her nose was a mass of raw, bloody, eaten away flesh.
She stopped breathing completely and started breathing again but her mouth only slowly let out the breaths as if her muscles in her mouth were weakening. I heard stories of amazing moment of death experiences and I knew that I was going to witness something but I did not know what.
As mom’s mouth moved slowly I knew this was her moment of death. Immediately I felt a most incredible presence in the room and exited I said, “Mom, Jesus is here for you.” To the shock of those of us at her bedside, her eyes opened and she was looking up as if looking into someone’s face. Her face looked angelic, her nose appeared normal, her mouth slowly moving as if expelling her spirit. I was rejoicing and cheering mom as she went to Jesus. It became obvious to everyone in the room that she now beheld His face. She uttered, “God, God, God” with her last breaths, as she looked at Him in awe. She could focus on nothing else but Him. She seemed to expire and then came one last movement of her mouth as she completed her exit from her body. Right after her body collapsed in death. While the death process was horrific, her moment of death was glorious.
The four of us in the room testified to witnessing the same experience. As they began to cry, I felt such great joy and peace and was rejoicing. Mom didn’t die, she now lives with Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
The experience of my mom’s death changed my life as I felt the heavenly presence in the room and saw it on her face. I realized how short our life really is and the things we think that matter really do not matter at all. All that matters is Jesus Christ and what we have done for Him and living for those things that are above than what is on this earth. On mom’s death bed I read to her from Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Mom’s face at her death spoke a thousand powerful words and those were among them. While a part of me felt sad, overall I felt happy because how can I be sad when mom is now living in such a glorious place, and a place that is open to all.