When It’s Time To Say Goodbye

Aug 11, 2014

“Can I see your ID?”

I handed over my driver’s license, watched as the woman in a Frontier Airlines uniform compared the photo and name to my face and boarding pass.

She smiled and returned my ID. “Are you going for a fun weekend?”

Ah, so she’d noticd my destination. Las Vegas, NV. The place of so many wild weekends. The stuff of crazy photos and legendary stories.

If only.

“No.” I swallowed, almost whispered. “I’m going to say goodbye.”

The minute the words were out, I regretted the confession, my raw disclosure to a stranger who couldn’t possibly understand. The grief was mine, not hers.

I couldn’t stop talking.

“My dad is sick. Hospice is coming. I’m going to be with him.”

She stopped schlepping bags on the conveyor belt. Stopped checking IDs and printing baggage receipts. Stopped helping frantic travellers navigate the kiosks. For just a moment, she saw only me.

“Oh, honey. I’m sorry.” The pain on her face revealed evidence of understanding. “I know what it’s like to say goodbye.”

Six days ago–six profoundly short days–I found out my Dad is dying. A month, at most, the doctor said. These are tough words to type, tough words to read. You can’t imagine how sorry I am for that.

But although I am loathe to write an awkward and emotionally-charged post, this is real life. In all its beauty and gore. None of us can escape it, try as we might. The longer we live, the more we’ll face our own goodbyes.

Which why I must, must, must tell you this:

Dying space is sacred space. When the beauty of life meets the reality of death, all things frivolous fade and what is left is holy. What my mother, brother, and I are experiencing right now is nothing short of Divine. Heaven has stooped down to meet us. One of us will go home, the others will remain. But none of us will ever be the same.

Because of this, I won’t be blogging much (if at all) over the next month. Instead, I’m doing my best to say goodbye. I’m learning to love and let go in a way that brings peace and joy, in inexplicable measure, to the one who leaves as well as the ones who remain. This is how we’re embracing our painful goodbye:

We Cry. It goes without saying that weeping is part of the process. What surprises me is the unpredictability of the flood. When I saw the Words With Friends icon on my iPad and know we’ll never share another game together. When I thought about the empty chair at Jacob’s highschool graduation in 9 months. When I tell my little ones how much their Papa loves them. Oh yes, I cry. Because daddy’s life is worthy of an ocean.

We Laugh. For as long as I can remember, my family celebrated every vacation, soccer season, academic accomplishment with ice cream. Dairy Queen, in particular. In fact, we never needed a reason. Regular trips to DQ were always part of our family’s story. Which is why we weren’t surprised when, during a lucid moment, Dad told us to serve Dilly Bars at his funeral. We nodded and laughed, thinking how ridiculously perfect his suggestion. He may be dying, but he refuses to stop smiling. We can do no less.

We Remember. Morning and night, we gather around the hospital bed in the family room. We remember all those fishing trips to Minnesota. We talk about Christmas-tree cutting, family game nights, that crazy trip to Kentucky Lake which we lovingly refer to as “the worst family vacation ever.” We talk about the good and bad, the happy and sad, because all those memories are the glue that made us a family. Funny thing is, in the remembering we see the blessing. All this pain is simply proof of love.

We Sing. We never expected to hear the doctor say the words, “There’s nothing more we can do.” It hurt to hear. I wanted to scream and hurl something. Several somethings. But not dad. When the doctor delivered the verdict, he simply closed his eyes and started to sing: “When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there!” Yes Dad. When faced with the worst of life, we can still choose to sing.

Thank you for allowing me to withdraw for a time. In a couple weeks, I’ll be back to writing, just as before. Dad wouldn’t want it any other way.

But, for now, I need to cry, laugh, remember and sing with the man who helped make me the woman I am today. Death requires it. I think life on the other side of the goodbye requires it as well.

Have you ever had to say a painful goodbye? How did you cope? 

96 Comments

  1. Christian Willoch

    Thanks for sharing, Michele.

    I had to say a painful goodbye to my mother when I was 23. She didn’t make it through a by-pass operation, and they attached her to a machine just to keep her alive for some few hours until life passed away. So we could give our farewells.

    She was not conscious during these couple hours, but certainly alive. And the doctor told me one important thing: “The last thing you loose before you die, is the ability to hear.” So we stood around her, talked, prayed. I read outloud Psalm 23, to give her comfort on this final road against the golden gate.

    Like you write: we cried, we laughed, we sang, and we remembered. I am so grateful that we got these valueable hours with my mom.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh, Christian. How beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story with me!

      Reply
  2. Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Michele. The other night I watched “Heaven is For Real,” all alone in my living room. I was glad I was alone. I started crying 1/3 of the way through and by the end, when the face of Jesus appeared on the screen, I was sobbing. A movie theatre setting would have undone me. I didn’t have a family like yours but I have had to say goodbye many times — sometimes abruptly. Being around my mom when she had cancer was extremely anxiety-producing. So the Lord gave me a dream. I was in a huge four-poster bed. My mother entered the room wearing a long white nightgown. She came over to me and put her arms around me and began to cry (this would have never happened in real life…or so I thought). A few months later I went to see her. My sister, who lived in the same city as our mother, had to go somewhere so I came down and agreed to stay at her tiny bachelor apartment. It was filled with the stench of cigarette smoke. As soon as I got there my anxiety went through the roof. We talked for a little while and suddenly she came over to where I was sitting on the couch, threw her arms around me, and began to cry. The dream immediately came to mind and I knew this was a holy moment. I felt peace. She asked me, for the first time, about life, death, and Jesus Christ. I was able to tell her about Him and how he loved her. We prayed together. One day I will live with her again. No more goodbyes. Forever.

    Reply
  3. Sundi Jo

    So beautiful. I am praying with you. I had to say goodbye to my dad five years ago, but I was able to bring him to the Lord on his deathbed two months before he died. I wish we would’ve sang, but we didn’t. Unfortunately, before the cancer took him, he lost his battle with addiction. I’m so thrilled for you that you get to hold onto these memories and be fully present, even in this time of sadness. Praying for you.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      How proud he must be of YOU! You gave him the best gift—hope of new life.

      Reply
  4. Pat Layton

    You are truly precious. My heart overflows with prayers for you dear friend.
    I wish I lived close by and could vacuum your floors or run to the grocery for you. So for now, I will pray from afar.
    Pat

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Thank you, dear Pat. The prayers mean more than anything else. It ushers in the divine, keeps our eyes and hearts open so we don’t miss it. Thank you, friend.

      Reply
  5. Holly

    Tears rolling off my face. Michele, thank you for sharing. I know this post must have been so hard to write. I’ve been walking through cancer with my dad for the last year, so this really hit home.
    You are an inspirition and your writing is amazing. (Just FYI.) 😉 Will be praying for you and your precious family.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      How I hate cancer. It’s from the pit, I am certain of it. Even so, God is profound in how he turns this horrible darkness into the most beautiful light. It’s unparalleled. Thanks for sharing your story with me, Holly. My heart is with you!

      Reply
  6. Heather

    I had to say goodbye way too soon in April. My dear friend, only 41 and a mother of two, found out her cancer had returned and before we knew it she was gone. It wasn’t even a month from diagnosis until she went Home. I had some peace knowing she would be in Heaven, but the sadness is overwhelming on some days. We will never, ever understand God’s plan for each of us, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that He will care for us. I know I will see my friend again, in fact she said she would be waiting for me with a cold Dr. Pepper (our favorite drink). May God grant you and your family peace as you travel this journey.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      The Dr. Pepper made me smile. Perfect. Evidence of your sweet friendship.

      Reply
  7. Elaine Clampitt

    Michele, Praying for you as you share your father’s last earthly moments before eternity.
    My father went to be with the Lord almost twelve years ago. That had already been a challenging year with losing my mother-in-law to cancer, and my youngest having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We’d only been home from the hospital with her for a week or so when we we found out my father had had a stroke. I rushed to Texas with my daughter, who needed me to give her insulin shots, but was able to hold my father’s hand and sing to him. I had to return to CO when he entered hospice and was in a coma, but I knew that even though he hadn’t wanted to go home in that way, he knew where he was going and was at peace. (He’d had an out-of-body experience many years before after dying for several minutes and had gone to heaven.) I still miss that he isn’t here to know his grandchildren and see how some have followed in his footsteps into medicine, but I know I will see him again someday.
    Praying as you watch this sacred time of transition of your father from one life to the next.

    Reply
  8. diane homm

    Dear Michele, I know you know I had to say good bye for now to my sweet Recon Marine son, Caleb a little over a year ago. We didn’t get to spend time with him to say good bye. We didn’t get to view his body…but, in the midst of tremendous heartbreak, God’s grace met me right where I was (and still am.) The healing balm of Gilead washed over my being from head to toe, taking me to a place of peace. In the darkness there is light, and our God is faithful. My heart goes out to you during this precious time, as you spend these days with your dad before he gets to go home. Oh, the blessed hope we share. I love that your dad broke into song. What joy in the midst of sorrow – to know that when the roll is called up yonder, we will all be there – together forever – no more good byes. For now, and at this time, I know the road is hard. Our lives are filled with love, and it’s so hard to think of being separated from those we love so much. Please know you and your family have been and will continue to be in my prayers. ~ He will carry you. He is our Good Shepherd. He will never leave nor forsake you. Much love – Diane

    Reply
  9. Bruce Cross

    Michele — thanks for being so real…and for honoring us with your candor and vulnerability…..given your Dad knows the roll will be called up yonder and HE WILL BE THERE….a time to celebrate….Bruce

    Reply
  10. Lily Kreitinger

    I said good-bye to my dad almost seven years ago. We lived thousands of miles apart and I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I traveled to spend three weeks with my parents while my dad was still aware. He also had cancer and was in pain management stage at that time. I prayed with him, laughed and cried with him too. We celebrated their 36 wedding anniversary by sneaking out to the store and buying him flowers to give to my mom. We celebrated his 59th birthday and bought him an electric train. The one toy he had wanted since he was five. He sobbed when he received it and set it up for the grandkids to play. I told him “Dad, you have taught us about Heaven and about God’s love. It’s time for you to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”” As hard as it was to hug him one last time and go home to wait for “the call”, I am thankful for the gift of faith and the belief that he was released from all pain and welcomed into Our Father’s loving arms. Michele, I continue to pray for you daily. God bless.

    Reply
  11. Danica

    Beautiful post as always. Love you lots and praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  12. Denise Walden

    Oh my yes………… Lost my precious Mom and Dad just 72 days apart. I was care giver for 8 years or more. Thought I would die, I really think I wanted to. I wanted to be where they were, but the Father God just wept with me and kept me while I grieved. What a personal process. No one can help, no one can relate, it is your grief and it belongs only to you. Now 4 years later, HE has kept me and my emotions has healed and the overwhelming longing to see them has once again turned to the hope that we have in Christ. They have no become a part of my future and the beautiful expectation of seeing them again makes me smile. Sending you my heart felt blessings while the Father God holds you close and heals the hurt.

    Reply
  13. Phyl

    I am sorry for your impending loss but am in the same breath happy that you and your loved ones have been able to embrace this precious time. Prayers for everyone who loves him.

    Reply
  14. Pam Haddix

    I got a lump in my throat reading your post, immediately remembering that moment for myself.

    I was much younger when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, after being misdiagnosed for many months. By the time they realized what it was, it had spread far. They figured they had to give her a strong chemo dose to stop it – and that one chemo treatment killed her. From the diagnosis to her death was a grueling 3 weeks. It didn’t help that she was in an ICU where we could only see her for 10 minutes every 4 hours – and only 2 people at a time. She died on my dad’s birthday. He had just retired a few months earlier.

    I admit that I was not good at saying “bye” at that time, because I wanted so desperately for the doctors to be wrong. But I probably did get to express much of what I needed to in the few minutes here and there that I was given. It was tough since she was on a ventilator and couldn’t talk back. But no matter how long it was, it wouldn’t have seemed like enough. I was close to my mom and talked to her a couple of times a week from 2 states away. She couldn’t get enough news about my two then little ones. She was the center of the family and we weren’t sure how we would function without her. But like everyone else, we gradually figured it out. And actually her death helped me to work harder at communicating with my dad, a man of few words. Our relationship blossomed!

    I wasn’t given the chance to say “bye” to my dad years later. And while watching them die is excruciating, not being able to say “bye” due to a quick death has its own pain. I’m so glad that you get this time with your dad. I know he is so very, very blessed by your family’s presence and fun stories. But there’s nothing easy about it. Thankfully, His grace is more than sufficient!

    The good news is that the tears do eventually stop as you get past all of the difficult firsts, and the memories and stories really do bring more smiles and laughter. And best of all is the very real hope we have of spending eternity together in the presence of our God! I can’t imagine not having that hope!

    Praying for you and your family Michele.

    P.S. Yes, you must have Dilly Bars!! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Michael Hyatt

    Oh, Michele. I have no words. I am sitting here in Salzburg with Gail on a bleak and rainy day, crying with you. This post has touched us both so deeply.

    Your love for your dad is so precious. I only met him once, but I knew he was special. He was so proud of you—and so kind to me.

    May God bless you and your family during these days. Though you will be saying goodbye soon, know that your separation will seem but a moment in the scope of eternity.

    We are praying with you, dear friend.

    Reply
  16. Merri Dennis

    I listened to your fun banter with Michael Hyatt this morning and then checked my mail and read this post. Yes, I have said some painful goodbyes. And, honestly, I handled the goodbye well but not the grief afterward.
    I’m lifting you and your family in prayer during this time.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      I dread the grief afterward, the enormous void that will be left after Daddy is gone. There is no one quite like him—he’s irreplaceble. And I know the ache I feel now is but a whisper of what is to come. But I WILL see him again.

      Reply
  17. Laurie Barton

    We are in the process of saying goodbye to my husband’s father. What a painful time. I will be sharing this blog with him, beautifully said.

    Reply
  18. Connie Stevens

    Yes, Michele, I’ve said goodbye. To both of my parents, but the most painful was when my son–my only child–went home to be with Jesus. The parting was excruciating for me, but joyous for him. The separation has been grueling, but this one thing I’ve learned:
    My ways aren’t God’s ways. My understanding of circumstances cannot begin to comprehend why God allows things we think are tragic. But I finally came to grips with the “not understanding” thing. I’m okay with not understanding, because it’s easier to trust than it is to understand.

    Reply
  19. Kathy Stappenbeck

    Michele, Chris, Deanna, Loren
    Thank for sharing so openly and succintly something so difficult and private. We
    have not been in each others lives for a long while now but know that for the
    time we were you affected me in a way that has never been lost. I am sad for
    you and with you and pray that you are surrounded by God’s presence and
    comfort and ultimately His peace.

    Reply
  20. Kim hatfield

    When my momma passed, she was a young 38 and I was 18. This amazing God-fearing, super mom, wonderful spouse, SS teacher, song leading, 4-H leader, school board member, seamstress, prom queen, lover of Jesus was THE BEST! Every missionary our church supported came to our home for mom’s homemade, delicious food and her warm servant-heart. She taught me so much and oh, how I miss her. I went off to college in the fall of ’74 and a month later, she had Cancer of the liver and colon (and she never drank or smoked a day in her life), and 9 months later she was gone. I carry on to glorify Jesus and be with her someday. The support of God’s Word, prayer, family and friends have helped me along my journey these past, almost 40 years. Not a day goes by without me thinking of her. Nothing has ever been the same….but she would not want me to mourn. So, I carry on–until we meet again.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh, wow. I don’t think I knew this, Kim. What a beautiful testimony to your mother. How proud she must be of you! And what a reunion it will be.

      Reply
  21. Leah Ann Crussell

    Oh Michele, I am in tears. What a beautiful post. And how true your words: Dying space is sacred space. When the beauty of life meets the reality of death, all things frivolous fade and what is left is holy.
    May God extend his arms down to you and your sweet dad, your mom and your brother, as you embrace these sacred moments and in doing so, are forever changed. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Thank you, Leah Ann. I remember well when your sweet daddy died. What a great man. He is not forgotten.

      Reply
  22. Christine

    I just said goodbye to my mother on May 3, 2014 at 2:47 am. It was just her and my father there. It was very peaceful and very sad. The floods still happen several times a week sometimes even days! Be strong and enjoy every last minute.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh, Christine. Your loss is so fresh. Thank you for sharing your story and sitting together in our grief.

      Reply
  23. Mike Asbury

    You’re in my heart, Michele. I wish you buckets of warmth, tears, smiles, laughs, and memories as you take this final journey with your dad. Cherish each other. Your work will be here when you return. -Mike

    Reply
  24. Leah DiPascal

    Michele,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad and I’m praying for you today. My father died last January, only 15 {short} months after my mom died. I can definitely relate to some of the heartache you’re feeling right now and I’m asking your Heavenly Father to comfort you in a way that no one else truly can.

    Reply
  25. Judy Watson

    Michelle: Please share with your wonderful parents my heartfelt love and hugs to them and to you and your brother. I’ve thought of you all and prayed for you the last several months since I heard your dad was so ill. I know how much you will miss having with you here, but, isn’t it glorious to think of him in the presence of our Lord? I know you know that – but the parting is so hard. I’ve lost both my parents (Eastview – Cletis & Helen Fritzen) now and I miss them so every day. But, when I think of them, all I see are happy smiles on their faces and I know everyting is ok. God is so good – I (all of us) just need to let him take care of us. Hugs and blessings to each of you! Judy Watson

    Reply
  26. Kay Wilson

    Oh Michele,
    What a wonderful post. You found words to describe how we go through the motions as we see them slipping away. Loved your dad saying to serve Dilly bars.
    Praying for your strength, your dad & family.
    I was going through treatments with my mom, radiation on an inoperable tumor in the chest wall, coming back from the doctor, stopped at bank & when I came back to the car she was gone. God chose not to let her suffer & took her home early.

    Reply
  27. Carol Howell

    What a beautiful tribute to your Daddy and the loving relationships he forged throughout his life. You have made him proud, no doubt, by just being YOU! Relish these days. Know you are in my prayers. When life turns to the new normal, I would love your permission to use your beautiful blog in the newsletter I produce for families who are caregiving those with dementia. No hurry. Just take care of yourself and your family.

    Blessings!

    Reply
  28. Marilyn

    I’m so very sorry for your impending loss, but so very glad you have this time to share with family. I had to say goodbye to my husband five years ago last week. There were tears, smiles and declarations of forever love. May you make sweet memories during this time.

    Reply
  29. Jenny

    Michele,
    I was attending Cincinnati Bible College in 1993 when my mom passed from cancer at the early age of 50. Your brother Chris, among others wrapped their arms around me, and held me tight for several months. I was 19, and boy did I need all of those “kids” on the hill. We were all just babies, and they were facing grief with me head on. I survived, no thanks to my friends and of course God. Nothing anybody can say will ease the pain of losing your Daddy, but your heart will always skip a beat when you think of him dancing on those streets of gold. It will be 21 years in Sept. since I lost my mom, but I also have such sweet, sweet memories of all those CBC friends loving me, and holding me up. The body of Christ will do this for you, including me!
    Jenny Perry-Simms (known as JP at CBC)

    Reply
  30. Jon Stallings

    I lost my dad when I was just 11 years ago. Sadly it came suddenly and I was not able to tell him good by. Thankfully I had that time with my mother before she passed.

    One of the most impacting moments though was with my father in law. Our family had moved in with my wife’s mom and dad before he passed to help take care of him since he had Parkinson’s Disease. It was life changing to help him walk through the last few years of his life. One of the hardest things I had to do though was to pray with my wife’s mother that her husband of 50+ years would pass peacefully. The next day God honored that request.

    To cope it was to focus on the good. I know that may seem simple but those memories never fade. I still remember riding on my dad’s shoulders as if it was yesterday.

    Reply
  31. Jevonnah

    Michele,

    I am so sorry and you have my deepest prayers and condolences. The photos you’ve posted of final moments with your dad remind us how precious life is and how to cherish it.

    You’ve taught us all the story of strength, love, kindness and unshakable faith. Thank you for sharing your journey. You have a tribe who stands with you, prays for you, and supports you during this time. We are here.

    You are truly loved.

    Sending prayers and love your way,
    Jevonnah

    Reply
  32. Pam Halter

    You wrote: Dying space is sacred space. When the beauty of life meets the reality of death, all things frivolous fade and what is left is holy.

    Wow.

    I saw this link on Facebook and read your blog. I am touched beyond words. Thank you for sharing. Praying God will continue to meet you and comfort you. What great hope we have in Jesus!

    Reply
  33. Christy Largent

    Dearest friend, Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute. Tears and more tears.

    I believe angels are in the room of the saints in their last weeks. When we lost my sister-in-law to cancer 2 years ago it was if we, the mourners, were being ministered to by our sweet Donna and her angel companions.

    Music was a source of our comfort up to and including the minute after Donna died. Here’s what I wrote the day she died…
    “As Craig (my brother) was holding her and we were crying together on the bed with Donna, not 15 seconds after she passed Donna’s FAVORITE song, Damaris Carbaugh, “He’s Been Faithful” started playing on their “random play” iPod! It was like Donna was sending Craig a message, “I’ve arrived and it’s all OK”! Wow! What a precious ending.”

    I’m sure you’ll have your own miraculous moments along this journey too. Big hugs and continued prayers for all from California.

    Reply
  34. Leigh

    Just had to let go of my dad this June. Within the span of 6 weeks, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He passed away two days after coming home with hospice. He didn’t want to talk about it and so we didn’t say goodbye. We just played him his favorite hymns, old songs, funny videos and told him we loved him every time we saw him. He lived a good long life in devotion to the Lord. We know we will see him again. It was so fast though. Good memories, God’s Word and the comfort of the Holy Spirit sustain us. The strangest things can comfort too! My dad’s nickname was “Buddy”. Since his passing, I always seem to get the Diet Coke cans that say Dad or Buddy at home or when eating out. Oddly it brings comfort. Makes me smile and/or cry of course. Peace to you and your family during this time.

    Reply
  35. Lorraine

    I have met you twice when you spoke at our women’s retreat at Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset, NY. You have given me so much to think about, read, practice… But the journey you and your family have been on with your father is one I took 7 years ago. And with every verse or song you quote, tears come to my eyes. My father fought the same long cancer battle. He lived with cancer for many years but when it returned, it was…beyond words.
    I remember the family coming around his bed, people from his church would visit and when he couldn’t speak anymore, he would point his finger for them to come and sit on the bed. People I didn’t even know we’re curled up next to my father on the bed, praying, laughing and talking to him.
    He played the drum in a small praise and worship group for his church and some of they came with a guitar and surrounded my father’s bed and we all crowed in and sang praise and worship songs.
    Although hospice was involved , my mom continue to wash and change my father. She would lotion his skin and move him so that he would not get bed sores. She promised him that she would do this until she couldn’t anymore.
    There are five kids and five grand kids. We all at one point or another got to say everything…in the end got to lay by his side, stroke his hair and tell him with all our heart that we would take care of mom…his wife of almost 50 years. We whispered to him over and over that we would take care of her and that it was ok to see Jesus now.
    I know that I am rambling but one more image of my parents always comes to mind when I remember those last days; I walked into their bedroom and my father’s hand was holding a wooden crucifix (something he did for a long time…cancer was his crucifix) and my mother’s hand was holding his. Isn’t that what marriage is….a man and a woman coming together with Christ at the center of their lives?!
    Michelle, celebrate your dad’s life with your family. Come along side your dad, whisper in his ear, stroke his head( when the hat is off, my dad wore a wool cap too) let him know that his wife will be surrounded by friends and family. Let him know that the living will be alright and that it’s ok for him to meet Jesus.
    The living do go on. Never the same, but different. Sadness will come in waves but your faith and family get you through and eecially the knowledge that your father will be with The Lord.

    God Bless.
    Lorraine Bellmann
    Port Wagington, NY

    Reply
  36. Frank Falbo

    That guy is just about the best guy I’ve ever met. Whatever this temporary thing is down here we call life, he’s winning it-and by a wide margin. At everything that is important, he is the best. Here’s another (I’m sure you’re swimming in them) comment verifying his far-reaching impact on lives. I’m sure I speak for thousands. It’s not that this helps the grieving process, but you know, sometimes when you’re losing something it’s still nice to know you had the best there was.

    Reply
  37. Pamela Mursch Steiner

    Oh yes. Just a couple of months and days ago we made a similar trip to be with our son, who was dying of cancer, in a hospice house in Maine. Age: 41. Married, Father of one amazing son, age 14. Our #2 son of 3 boys. Oh yes. I know what you are feeling and thinking and praying. Yes, I’ve already said goodbye to my Father and Mother, and that was hard enough, but they were both ready to go…89 and 92. Still hard to say good bye. Oh yes. I do feel your pain. I will pray for you and your family. It hurts to say goodbye, but because of Jesus, we know it is just “farewell”, “until we meet again”. That gives us great hope and comfort and a reason to smile. In between the tears. http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-journey-of-opposites.html This is a link to the blog I wrote while we were with Matthew in hospice house. http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-could-i-not-want-this-day-to-come.html This is what I wrote the day he left this earth for heaven. I’m still writing. Working through the grief…it’s good therapy. But it doesn’t totally take away the sorrow. They say that time will do that. I’m not so sure. But I know that God is with us, and our son is with God. So, what could be better than that? (((Hugs))) to you today. I don’t know you, but I do know you. You are loved.

    Reply
  38. Rick Coplin

    A friend and mentor died of brain cancer several years ago. It took three bouts of cancer to defeat his earthly body. He said to me several times, that if the Lord chose to heal him, he would praise Him. If the Lord chose to take him, he would praise Him. Either way, he said, he would be healed. And he was!

    Reply
  39. Linda Winterland

    Had to say goodbye to my oldest son who was 43 this last October. He had a massive stroke which left him unable to communicate except by blinking his eyes. We used the alphabet as best we could but I wanted to hear his voice so bad. The doctor told us too that he could hear and from his” eye spelling” we knew he was thinking. After about 14 days he agreed to turn off his ventilator and leave his life in the hands of our Father God. He lived only about twenty minutes. What a relief to share this with someone who truly understands. Thank you.

    Reply
  40. Linda Kohlmeier

    Michele, I just said “good-bye” to my Mother who was 89. I had the privilege of spending the last 7 weeks of her life with her. It was not planned but truly a God thing that I could be there. God carried me through each step of the way. You have verbalized the things I experienced but could not put into words. I too will never be the same. May God be glorified in every way.

    Reply
  41. Jeanne Hultgren

    Michele,
    I knew your folks 25 years ago in Bloomington at Eastview…a lot has happened since then, but your story is so very close to the story of my own dad’s passing 10 1/2 years ago from pancreatic cancer. Such an ugly disease, cancer. My dad was the one who prayed with me to receive Christ as a child and at the time of his death he and my mom had been married almost 53 years. He was father to 8 and grandfather to 14 when he died. He missed my girls weddings, countless graduations, the birth of my 3 grandsons…just to name a few things. He died knowing where he was going…”home” he said…I spent the better part of 7 months curled up on his bed or at his bedside telling him everything I could think of to say and listening…oh, the listening…to him share what he needed to, what he wanted to, what he had to. At the end, I was not with him…had been there for a long weekend and went home on a Tuesday…he died in the early morning hours of a Friday. No more pain…such a blessing.

    I miss him frequently…for a while it was every day…and then it became less often. But there has been so much I want to share with him lately…and so it goes.

    Your writing expresses it beautifully…be present with your dad as much as you can. What a wonderful legacy of faith he is leaving in his wake…

    Prayers and blessings to you in these difficult days.

    Reply
  42. Pamela Mursch Steiner

    I’m back again. Still thinking about you and what you are going through right now, spending as much time as you can with your precious Daddy. I remember those days with my Daddy too. Saying goodbye to someone who knew you your whole life from start to, well, to his “finish” here on earth, and who taught you so much about life…well, that is just plain hard. No doubt about it. My Daddy was 92 when he left this earth for heaven, but he left behind such a rich legacy of love, laughter, strength. I wanted to share with you what I wrote right after he passed away, and included are some thoughts I had not long before that. God does work in mysterious ways. But He always works…in ways that He knows will touch our hearts and give us the strength we need to keep going. I hope you’ll enjoy this little story… http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2011/04/last-farewell.html Praying for you today my new friend here in blogland. May you be touched with the mystery and wonder of this part of life’s journey with your Dad.

    Reply
  43. Lori Kempton

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things I’ve done thus far. I rejoice knowing that he will be reunited with you again some day. What joy there is in knowing of our tomorrow.

    Reply
  44. Connie

    Oh yes, goodbye is so hard. Five years ago I had to say goodbye to my father. This time is precious. You will never be the same. A little part of your heart will go along with your father. Blessings and comfort to you.

    Reply
  45. Dori mitchell

    Thank you for sharing your heart. So many are with your family in prayer.
    Others envy your grief as they read about the relationship with your dad. A sign in my home says,don’t cry because it’s over,smile because it happened. So, yes, there are tears today and more as you face the empty chair at family events.,
    I have experienced the death of three parents. My dad was killed in a car accident. I sat at the bedside of my mother and father in law as they were ushered into Gods presence..there is no perfect way to die. I’m thankful that God decides and gives us the grace and strength to face life without these precious people. He will do the same for you and your family.

    Reply
  46. Kelly Ward

    I have been praying for your dad and entire family. What great memories I have of your parents during my teen years spending time at your house and always feeling loved and important. I have so much respect and admiration for your family. Michele, you are an amazing writer, speaker, and friend to so many. I pray God will comfort you and bring you peace during this very difficult time.
    Love and prayers,
    Kelly

    Reply
  47. Nicole Gillick

    Michele,
    At the age of 61, my dad lost a battle to pancreatic cancer surrounded by all of his children and his wife in the home we grew up in. I wanted to share with you the ways we have coped over the last 2 and a half years. Most importantly, we had our time during his illness to love, share, talk, cry, pray with him and each other and we definitely talk about and remember this time. I love how you describe it as sacred because his journey home was exactly that. We witnessed an unbelievable, undeniable presence from our loving Father in his final days and for this I am forever grateful. God allows me to see my dad through the most amazing ways and I allow myself to remember…even when it hurts. We spend a lot of time remembering…laughing at his uniqueness (which we could never understand but now truly appreciate), admiring the handy work he has left behind for us and just plain missing him. We remind each other it’s okay to miss him. We make the special occasions easier by being okay with however we feel and we always get together to celebrate them with my mom. In fact, we will be doing this very soon all because of a facebook post from you. I had the privilege of hearing you speak 2x at she speaks and I was telling my mom how much I enjoyed your teaching, as well as, Lysa and Christine. When you announced you would be a part of the Women of Faith Tour…I looked it up…I immediately checked the locations to see about attending. Interestingly enough the tour is scheduled for Kansas City, which happens to be about 4.5 hrs from St Louis, where we live…I was shocked when I saw the dates of Aug 22-23. August 23 would have been my dad’s 64th birthday…I called my mom and sister and asked them if they would like to spend dad’s birthday with me in this way…We will be there! When you shared such a personal story today and then asked about our stories and how we cope I needed you to know, whether you are there on the 23rd or not, you are instrumental in helping us cope. My prayers are very much with you and your family. I will be flooding heaven with these prayers on August 23 as we celebrate my dad’s life. I praise God for carefully placing each of us… maybe one day we will share more of our stories!

    Reply
  48. Barbie

    Michele, I am so sorry about your dad. We are never prepared to say goodbye. And those last moments we steal away with our loved ones are sacred indeed. I’m praying that you find rest and comfort in the arms of Jesus. Hugs!

    Reply
  49. Lindsey

    Crying for you right now. And with you.

    Reply
  50. Heather Laurie

    My heart aches for you and your family. This time is hard. I know. I am on hospice. 38 years old with a hubby and 5 kids. All the emotions you described are so very REAL. I am glad you had time to return home and be with your father.
    May God give you strength and healing as you walk through this time.
    God bless
    Heather L

    Reply
  51. Mark Warren

    Michele – Beautiful words . . . Beautiful life. I praise God for creating Loren and his influence on my family. I see your Dad’s influence in you and in your writings and blessed beyond words. Thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  52. Dayna Bickham

    I am so sorry. I know that goodbye all too well. Lean in and know you will get through it. I am praying. Take all the time you need and let us know if there is anything we can do.

    Reply
  53. Kirsten

    This is beautiful and sad at the same time! What a beautiful story you have. I lost my mother 16 years ago, so I can relate closely to your sorrow. Enjoy your last days with your precious father. I rejoice with you about his homecoming, but I know it will be hard on those left behind. At least we have the promise of seeing our loved ones again! God bless you and your family! You are in my prayers. In Christ, Kirsten

    Reply
  54. Alison

    You just do (cope). I’ve said good-bye to both of my parents. Drove to be with my Mum when Dad died (two days after I arrived and bro had left) and I sat with my Mum and held her hand as she died. I was better prepared for Mum’s death because 2 years before I’d been with a dear friend as he died. He was my age, we’d worked together as youth group sponsors, he was more of a brother to me than my own had been. He had cancer and died surrounded by about 15 friends. It was an honor and privilege to be part of such a sacred moment with his wife and sister. It is not easy but it’s going to happen so be present and laugh and cry while your Dad’s alive and then you will laugh and cry when he is gone. My prayers go out to you and your family.

    Reply
  55. Angie Webb

    Prayers for you and your family. I know how difficult this must be. I have never had the privilege of sharing in the precious time before a death because all of my family has died tragically. Share in this time and enjoy the moments with your family. God Bless

    Reply
  56. Kathleen Thompson

    I am crying, laughing, remembering, and singing with you, Michele. I didn’t get to say good-bye to my husband. He died suddenly one day when I was at work. Crying, laughing, and remembering help us to heal. And singing praise to our Savior helps us to remember that God is good, that heaven is our final home, and that we can trust him in the meantime.
    –Psalm 34: 1-10

    Reply
  57. Eileen

    Michelle, thank you for sharing this sacred and holy time with me. Your father clearly lives on through you, your teaching, your family – your light. You inspire me.

    Reply
  58. Bradley Clark

    Beautiful writing, Michele. Thank you for being transparent about your sacred, final days with your dad.

    My mom battled cancer for nine months after we unexpectedly found out about her diagnosis. She passed away just two months before our oldest son was born. That was fourteen years ago. We, too, did a lot of crying, laughing, remembering. Music brought her comfort so we always had something playing softly in her room. As she took her last breath with all of us around her, the hymn “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Selah played. It was a beautiful and bittersweet moment I will forever cherish.

    There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss and think about her and my dad. His health deteriorated over the course of several years. He passed away nine years ago. My wife’s father then passed just ten days after that. Dealing with death is never easy but always important. Our faith in God through Jesus Christ is what helped us get through each day.

    And grieving doesn’t end in a few weeks, months or a year. It’s not linear; going from one stage to the next. It’s more fluid; running here and there. Your feelings and emotions hop around. Even all these years later something will be said or experienced and I’ll think, “I wish Mom & Dad were here for this.”

    I also spent some time as a hospice Chaplain. I met so many wonderful people and families who allowed me to share in their intimate, final moments of their lives. It wasn’t as depressing as many people believed. While there is sadness and heartache there is also joy and peace, quiet handholding that speaks volumes, laughter through tears, and lots of memories shared. I was honored to assist them in living out the rest of their days.

    I pray you and your family would be surrounded by God’s grace and peace until the day your dad finally finishes his race here on earth.

    Tami & I have often wondered what ever happened to you. It’s been over twenty years since we’ve seen you at CBC – probably since you sang at our wedding. 🙂 Craig & Cheryl Taylor shared your blog on their Facebook pages which is what led me here.

    Grace & peace to you, Michele.
    -Bradley Clark, Benevolence Pastor
    First Christian Church – Canton, OH.

    Reply
  59. Blanche Brooks

    Thanks for sharing your heart and your hurt … This is my first visit to your blog … stopped by after watching the latest This is Your Life … what a flood of memories and tears as I read … I said my own good-byes to my Dad five years ago … I know how the tears, laughter, and memories carried us through … No singing, Dad couldn’t speak due to his brain tumor, but then, he never was a singer anyway! But he continued to laugh with us despite his “fate.” The memories created during that long, yet too short, year of good-byes has sustained me, my mother, and my brothers in the years since as we anticipate the happy reunion ahead! You have blessed me today … thank you!

    Reply
  60. Edie

    Oh, I didn’t make it through this with dry eyes, sweet Michele.
    I made it to my Daddy’s side 20 minutes before he died and sang him into glory.
    The grief is sometimes overwhelming, but our heavenly Father is ever faithful.
    Sending you love and praying for Christ’s comfort and peace.
    xoxo,
    edie

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      How did I miss this, Edie? I am going back through this post, these comments, because even though two months have passed, it still feels like he will walk into the room any moment. As for singing him into glory? I sang to my dad the afternoon he died, the same song I sang to my little ones at bedtime for so many years. I’ll never forget it.

      Thank you for the love and sharing my tears, friend. ~m

      Reply
  61. Linda Sloss

    Thank you, Michelle. Whether it’s the death of a parent, a good friend, or a child, the grieving begins, and through the years we will remember, laugh, cry every time we think of that loved one. May your pain be lessened and your joys increased as time and Jesus work their miracles in your life.

    Reply
    • Linda Sloss

      Just to add, 11 years ago today, my youngest son Matthew (aged 20) died in a fall from a cliff in his favorite park, Devil’s Head WI. There were no sweet gatherings to say goodbye, but I found out just how much he was loved as hundreds of young people thronged to his wake and funeral to tell us how special he had been to them. That is the sweetest memory of those days and I cherish them with all my “mother memories.”

      Reply
  62. Nancy

    Michele,
    Thank you. I am so sorry for the passing of your father.

    I’ve said goodbye to both of my parents. I still miss them.

    “When the beauty of life meets the reality of death, all things frivolous fade and what is left is holy.” So powerfully said.

    God’s special comfort to you, your mother, brother, and family – in this holy time.

    Blessings,
    Nancy

    Reply
  63. Michelle Richard

    Michele,
    I read your post with tears welling and my heart aches for you and your family. I, too, had to say good-bye to my Dad in 2003. He passed away from cancer just one month after he walked me down the aisle at my wedding. Your are SO right when you say: “dying space is sacred space.” Embrace every second you get to spend with him. You won’t regret a moment. I was able to spend the last few days with my Dad before his death and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. (For some reason, I found myself reading “Tuesdays with Morrie” during many of those sleepless nights.)

    My Dad slept a lot during the day and I sat next to his bed, holding his hand and just “being” with him. I whispered over and over again that it was OK for him to say good-bye. In the end, he died right in my arms and I feel very blessed to have been part of that sacred experience.

    After his funeral, someone sent me the following poem that I still hold dear:

    Gone From My Sight
    by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

    And that is dying…

    I hope this poem can provide you with some tiny sense of comfort and peace the way it did for me. You are in my prayers.

    Reply
    • Stella

      Oh Michele… I read this piece on the day you posted it and shared it with a colleague whose mum has given less than a month to live. I pray that you’ll continue to hold up in the face of this transition to glory. In the meantime, be comforted by the words of “No More Night” made popular by David Phelps (Gaither Vocal Band).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i-Vr8kj3NU

      The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away
      Its not a dream, God will make all things new that day
      Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell
      Evil is banished to eternal hell

      No more night, no more pain
      No more tears, never crying again
      And praises to the great, “I AM”
      We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

      See all around, now the nations bow down to sing
      The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King
      Slowly the names from the book are read
      I know the King, so theres no need to dread

      No more night, no more pain
      No more tears, never crying again
      And praises to the great, “I AM”
      We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

      See over there, theres a mansion
      Oh, thats prepared just for me
      Where I will live with my Savior eternally

      No more night, no more pain
      No more tears, never crying again
      And praises to the great, “I AM”
      We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

      All praises to the great, “I AM”
      Were gonna live in the light of the risen Lamb!

      Read more: David Phelps – No More Night Lyrics | MetroLyrics

      Reply
  64. Sharon

    I’m so sorry to read that your dad will not make it to Jacob’s high school graduation. I’m sorry for Jacob as well. When my mom was stubbornly refusing to die that is what she kept repeating … “but I still have 2 high school graduations to attend” (my nephews). Unfortunately, she needed more than determination – and the first of those nephews graduated in June without her there. Having met your father, I know that he will be greatly missed. I know that you have lots of support and that you will find comfort in this very stressful time.

    Reply
  65. Shelly Burke

    God bless you and your family during this difficult time, Michele! I pray that you will feel His presence and peace and continue to find joy in these precious but painful moments. You are not alone–He will never, ever leave you. May you find peace in knowing that you WILL be with your dad again, in heaven.

    Reply
  66. Nick Cerda

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Having experienced yet another painful foster parent situation yesterday my writing this morning took me to the callouses that want to make their way onto my heart. Your post is a beautiful reminder that life is full of hurts but somehow beautiful as well.

    Reply
  67. dori jones

    This story touched my soul. In January I flew to Reno and buried my Dad. We served m&m’s at his reception. Thank you for sharing your Dad with everyone. From the pictures He had a smile that lit up the room.

    Blessing,
    Dori

    Reply
  68. Stella

    Oh Michele… I read this piece on the day you posted it and shared it with a colleague whose mum has given less than a month to live. I pray that you’ll continue to hold up in the face of this transition to glory. In the meantime, be comforted by the words of “No More Night” made popular by David Phelps (Gaither Vocal Band).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i-Vr8kj3NU

    The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away
    Its not a dream, God will make all things new that day
    Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell
    Evil is banished to eternal hell

    No more night, no more pain
    No more tears, never crying again
    And praises to the great, “I AM”
    We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

    See all around, now the nations bow down to sing
    The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King
    Slowly the names from the book are read
    I know the King, so theres no need to dread

    No more night, no more pain
    No more tears, never crying again
    And praises to the great, “I AM”
    We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

    See over there, theres a mansion
    Oh, thats prepared just for me
    Where I will live with my Savior eternally

    No more night, no more pain
    No more tears, never crying again
    And praises to the great, “I AM”
    We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

    All praises to the great, “I AM”
    Were gonna live in the light of the risen Lamb!

    Read more: David Phelps – No More Night Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    Reply
  69. Jen

    Thanks so much for sharing this post! Lost my dad to cancer 17 years ago and I still miss him so much! I was 27 when he died and just was thinking the other day how God used that very painful experience to bless my life in so many ways as I walked out of that hospital room with a realization of how quickly life passes and how important it is to treasure the people we love while we have them. I have never been able to explain the strange mixture of overwhelming grief mixed with such a sweetness of the Lord’s presence in that hospital room as our family gathered around the room and sang hymns and talked to my dad as he was dying. He was unconscious, but we took that chance to tell him goodbye and that we loved him. It was a holy time for us as a family. Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  70. Wayne Stiles

    I lost my mother to alcohol addiction ten years ago, Michele. We found her on Thanksgiving, of all days. But God has given me a great peace with her loss, knowing she has been the in presence of Christ since then– adoring Him with a whole heart for the first time.

    I know the journey you’re walking, and I’m telling you that the Lord will hold your hand through it and He will show you an unimaginable purpose for it some day—most likely in the encouragement of others who need hope (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). Thanks so much for blogging from the heart.

    Reply
  71. Doug Tjaden

    Michele,

    Said goodbye to my dad 22 years ago. You will remember. You’ll remember things you haven’t thought of in years at the “strangest” times. Little gifts from God, sprinkled throughout time until the day you meet back up with him. Prayers for you and your family.

    Reply
  72. Denise Dewald

    Oh Michele, my heart goes out to you. I wrote the following poem for my father-in-law when he passed…I hope it brings you some comfort:

    Sweet Release

    We wanted you to stay with us
    But God had other plans;
    He knew that you had suffered long,
    So He stretched forth His hand . . .
    And while you slept He smiled at you,
    Your hand within His own-
    And He lifted you up to Himself
    To stand before the throne . . .

    And oh, if we could see your face
    As Jesus holds your gaze!
    For now you see and understand
    The mystery of His ways . . .
    Which are not always clear to us
    While waiting here below,
    But when we see Him face to face
    It’s then that we will know . . .

    Just why we had to live with pain
    And skies not always blue,
    For everything will be made plain
    As now it is to you.
    Dad, now you know our God’s great love
    And you’re in perfect peace,
    For Jesus knew this was the time
    To give you sweet release . . .

    So as you reunite with friends
    And loved ones gone before,
    Enjoy yourself, but keep one eye
    Upon eternity’s door . . .
    For one day soon we’ll meet again
    And we shall all embrace;
    Oh, sweet reunion in the sky,
    Because of our God’s grace!

    Now Lord, we leave Dad in Your hands
    -No better place to be-
    No longer is he bound by pain
    . . . You’ve set his spirit free!

    I wish you God’s peace, Michele.

    Reply
  73. Lisa

    Michele,
    I sit at my dining room table. Prepared to read the transcript from a Podcast with Michael Hyatt and you, on August 13. Your name sounds so familiar to me so I go immediately to social media to discover how I know you. I am not sure I do but I was introduced to the news of your father going home. Wow! My heart reached out to you through a prayer to our Abba as I asked for the Holy Spirit residing within you. I prayed comfort, peace, and healing.
    I prayed what I wanted last October 9, 2013 as I sat in a hospital room, my mom in the bed and my dad by her side. I prayed what I wanted when on December 16, 2013 I sat by her bed, my brother holding her hand and my daddy crying like I had not before witnessed. Wow!
    I prayed because we don’t know each other but we share a pain from losing a parent we loved. We cherished. We weren’t prepared to say good bye to.
    May the God of all comfort, comfort you now as you walk through the todays without the presence of your earthly father but the filling of Your Heavenly.
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

    Reply
  74. Anne

    Hello, my father died August 4th – just a few months ago. Tomorrow I am taking his ashes and saying goodbye. I’m at a complete loss as to what to say. I found your story while I was looking for inspiration. Yours is a beautiful post. I send you love and strength and thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  75. Linda N

    Michele, I am so sorry to hear your news but happy that you and your family have the sweet treasure of right now. I’ve had to say good-bye to my dad, my husband, and then my mom over a 12 year period. I was so blessed in each case to have had time with them before they went home to be with the Lord (as none were sudden & unexpected partings). One primary thing that helped me cope with their deaths was the knowledge that they were all saved, and I know that where they are they are whole, healed, and happy, and I will get to see them again one day. My prayers will be with you and your family as you travel through this bittersweet time.

    Reply
  76. Anne Peterson

    I have had to say so many goodbyes that death is more familiar than life. My struggle is not in those moments, but in trying to resume my life with still another loss. And right now we face it again, but this time my insides scream at the thought of saying goodbye to someone I have not met yet. Our Granddaughter will be born soon and she has Trisomy 18. The doctors are saying she will die shortly after birth, if she makes it. I have tasted the peace you talk about. I have jars full of tears in heaven. I get weary. And then I lean into Him once more. Why? Because really, there’s nowhere else to go. He IS our sufficiency. Even though I plead with Him that I want more. I am sorry for your loss. But may I confess, it’s also hard when you say goodbye to loved ones without all the good memories to keep you warm. So you grieve the person you lost, the times you’ll never have, and what you never did have.

    Reply
  77. lyn

    My prayer to your
    Dad and family
    my dad just passe last 11-5-12 and I
    haven’t say goodbye coz I didn’t
    go home to see him on his last moments on earth
    coz even I do love dyeing to go I can’t
    Its un expected coz he died so fast no one at home
    with him. You blessed to have a moment to your dad

    Reply
  78. lyn

    I found your this
    when I looking for inspiration
    and I read your post it help me a lot
    thanks. My dad just passed away this
    month.
    I still do know when im going to say
    goodbye

    Reply
  79. Leigh Thomas

    Michele,

    The single hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was say goodbye to my dad…but it really wasn’t goodbye…it was “Dad, if I don’t see you in two weeks, I’ll see you in Heaven…”, my last words to him in person.

    His last words to me that day? “I can’t wait.” Then he closed his eyes in sleep and I knelt and kissed him on the cheek.

    Saying goodbye is nothing you can ever prepare for. I’ve just discovered this blog tonight upon looking for something comforting for a friend who is facing this time, too. I wish I’d had this to help me, as if anything could help one prepare for it…God bless you.

    LoveLeigh

    Reply
  80. Missy

    When my Dad was passing I was his main nurse. I could separate myself as his daughter and be his nurse, which I hid behind until the last couple of hours. My Daddy was my hero and it took my a couple of years to completely deal with his death. The main thing I had to do was get rid of anything that had to do with the illness that took him from me. Then I had to tell myself that it was ok to mourn, to cry and to miss my Daddy. It’s been 10 years and I have tears in my eyes. He’s the man that understood me, that laughed with me, and that loved me no matter what. Now I’m going through the dying process with my Mom. It’s no easier to say goodbye a second time to my last remaining parent. My Dad had Huntington disease and at the end only remembered who I was. My Mom knows who, what, why, and when, so it’s different. I want to say so much to her, our relationship has never been great, but I love her with all my heart. She’s a woman that showed no tears to anyone and now cry’s all the time. So this time it’s new and I’m not sure how I’m going to handle. Pray for me.

    Reply

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  1. Monday Start: Resources for the Week | A Place for the God-Hungry - […] Don’t miss this powerful post by Michele Cushatt “When It’s Time to Say Goodbye.” […]
  2. links: this went thru my mind | preachersmith - […] Death: When It’s Time to Say Goodbye […]
  3. Links to Go (August 28, 2014) | Tim Archer's Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts - […] When It’s Time To Say Goodbye […]
  4. Peek Into Our Week: Trim Healthy Mama (I quit sugar!), my love of essential oils, sewing, homeschooling, and a trip to Las Vegas - Money Saving Mom® - […] with a few of my dear friends (Kathi Lipp, Renee Swope, and Michele Cushatt) for a few days. But…
  5. Marks of a Life Well-Lived | Michele Cushatt - […] ⬅ When It’s Time To Say Goodbye […]
  6. Red Sea Moments | Michele Cushatt - […] This is not what I dreamed of for 2014. This is not what I imagined when twelve months ago…
  7. How To Handle Grief And Mourning | Michele Cushatt - […] has shared her journey through loss and mourning with us. Her reflections and tribute to her dad continue to…

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