Signs the End Is Near

May 21, 2009 at 8:09 am 3 comments

Heavy sweating, low fever, confusion, restlessness are some signs that the end is near per the Hospice Handbook.  This morning, Dan’s head and neck were wet with sweat before he awoke.  Later in the day, his hair stayed wet with sweat.  Today he asked me, “Do we have a place to stay in Paris?” Not being sure what he said, I asked, “What?”  He asked me again, “Do we have a place to stay in Paris?”  Seeing the look of confusion on my face, he smiled as he said, “No, we aren’t going anywhere.”

Even though I had read the Handbook, I still wasn’t prepared for a statement like that.  The more helpful response would have been,  “We’re ready to go.”  But what if he had said, “Good.  Where are we staying in Paris?”   That’s a definite “oops.”  Instead, I sidestepped the issue.  “Natasha and Amber are coming here today.”  That satisfied him, and then we went on talking in “real time.”  

This afternoon, he began running a low-grade fever, 100.1 F.  Later it was 100.9, but is now 100.2.   Restless all day. Dan would sleep a few minutes in bed, then get up and, taking tiny steps, walk to his recliner in the living room with the aid of a walker.  Before long, he was moving back to the bed.

For many years, Dan put our daily pills in little bottles.  He can’t manage that now.  Nurse Amber made a list of  pills Dan takes and at what time of day so that I’d have an accurate check list.  Dan helped.  A few times he got confused and told her, for example, that he takes only one pill of a Rx when actually it is 3 a day.  Then, Dan requested that Amber make the same kind of list for me…to help me when he is gone.

I cry easily because I don’t want to lose my beloved Dan.  But I am so calm that I have been doing a “self-check” to see if I am in denial that he may go any minute.  This scripture explains why we are so calm.

Psalm 63:1-8  “O God, You are my God, Earnestly I seek you: My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is not water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands….With singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you:  I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you. Your right hand upholds me.”              — Anne and Dan

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeanie Mercer  |  May 21, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I’m familiar with this sense of calm and call it “rest in Jesus.” (That works both as a noun and as a verb.) With love and prayers for both of you. Jeanie

  • 2. Charla Arnold  |  May 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Precious friends…

    I was loaned a book called Visions Beyond the Veil, Visions of Paradise by H.A. Baker, pub in 1973. Street beggar children in China, rescued to a Mission, had visions of things they could not have known about, including visits to Heaven and to hell. A very remarkable book about the truly remarkable God. On page 72 of this small, aged paperback:
    “I well remember how one of our boys was given a vision of what happens at the death of a Christian. As relatives and friends gathered about the dying one, an angel stood by the bed awaiting the liberating of the Christian’s soul. When the man was set free from his bodily encumbrance, the angel took him by the arm and ascended with him into heaven. The principalities and powers of evil hosts in mid-heaven in their attempts to hinder the passage of the angel and his charge were overcome by the angel’s faith and praise as the ascent continued toward the heavenly city.
    Having been welcomed at the gate, this new arrival was received by hosts of angels, singing, dancing, rejoicing, all uniting in giving him a royal welcome into the eternal city of the redeemed.
    Such visions as these have but confirmed our faith in the Word of God and its promise of eternal life through Christ Jesus.”

    What Victory! Bittersweet as it is for us. Faith is the Victory!

    I love Jeanie’s “rest in Jesus”, the Peace that passes understanding, the clarity of Hope.

    David said: “I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; He’s right by my side. I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades; I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.” Acts 2:25 (Message)

    May God’s abundant Peace be with you each moment.
    I love you always,

  • 3. Sherrie Hammond  |  May 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Dearest Anne,
    According to the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:5-9, I believe we call that kind of calm you feel, “God’s calm,” or “the peace that surpasses all human comprehension.” We’ve prayed for you to have peace, calm courage, and tranquility for many months now. And now, God answers as you go through this time. When we totally trust in God’s Care, thankfully receive God’s loving care, and do the right things God shows us to do (like you & Dan do), then God’s Spirit guards our hearts and our minds in the calm tranquility of Jesus’ comforting peace.

    Paul teaches, “Show a gentle spirit to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything. Instead, let God know what you are asking for in prayer. Tell Him all about what you want. And, be thankful. God’s peace, which goes far beyond all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus . . . think about good things and things that will bring praise–whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. Practice the things you learned . . . received . . . heard . . . or saw in me. Then, the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:5-9-SEB).” God’s abiding peace is with you! My heart is with your heart!

    Love to you both,
    Sherrie H.


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