The end and the beginning

My sister Jodi returned here to south Florida on Saturday, September 22. She was going to stay with my mom, and I was planning to return home for a bit before coming back here to take another turn hanging out with my mom. Within a short time after Jodi came into the house, my mom lapsed into a final coma, and died at 2:10 p.m. (Here’s the link to her obit.)

Those last hours were remarkable. After the reality of what was happening to my mom set in with my sister and I, I began reading Scripture aloud: Psalm 23, 27, 103, 139, John 3:1-18, Luke 15. I prayed for her, and sang to her. Jodi and I told my mom (again and again) we loved her, and we watched together as she took her last breath. The presence of God was very strong – I never would have imagined it could have been like this for my mom.

But it was. I believe this is because she experienced reconciliation with God in Christ. Though she was too gripped with pain to speak about it, it felt very clear to me that something radical had changed in her soul.

A month ago, when I got the initial phone call from my mom to tell me that “it might be cancer”, I never would have imagined it would have ended this way, this quickly. For most of my life, I never could have dreamed that my mom would find her peace in Jesus. But she did – I watched in awe as the Holy Spirit drew her through the patient, insistent witness of her hospice nurses and through some conversations and prayer times with me.

Throughout our lives, my sister and I experienced a kind of walled-off distance from our mom. We grew used to it. The last month really changed all of that for me. Participating in her death was actually a gift of healing in my life. And the thought that she is finally free and whole and enjoying the kind of life forever NOW that I can scarcely comprehend has taken the sting out of her intense, difficult death.

Thank you for your prayers…

About Michelle Van Loon
  • Jessica

    You get back in two weeks from your mom’s. I leave in three weeks for my mom’s.

    There will be one week of Meish and Jess (and Bill too!) time in between.

    And I haven’t been more excited than this in a long time.

    Counting down the days my friend …
    And still praying for you.

  • Dan van Loon

    Michelle. I am really really really sad for you and Jodi. But you saw God at work. And as you testify, that really does remove the sting. So this chapter of the story ends and we are all humbled and at peace.

    Anyway… I have been with you in spirit and have prayed much for you, Jodi, Bill, and the offspring.

    I love you.

  • Anonymous

    Death is so limited…
    It has not crippled love,
    It has not shattered hope,
    It has not corroded faith,
    It has not eaten away peace
    Nor destroyed confidence

    It has not killed friendship,
    It has not shut out memories,
    It has not silenced courage,
    It has not invaded the soul,
    Nor reduced eternal life.

    It has not quenched the Spirit,
    It cannot, has not,
    Nor will not lesson the power of the resurrection!

    Our prayers are with you –
    Dan & Tammy Dahling

  • Michelle Van Loon

    Thanks to all of you who’ve commented (and those of you who lurk or simply read) – and thanks to all for your prayers and love.

    Back home, soon, Lord willing.


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