My Mother’s Death


It is hard to believe that three weeks ago my dear sweet 92 year old mother had a heart attack followed by a stroke. She was airlifted from the rural hospital near where she lived to a larger facility. Mom was alert and her own sassy-self as the helicopter prepared to take off. The flight nurse asked her if she would like to be positioned so she could see out. “Of course,” she replied. “I don’t want to miss anything!” Mom died a week later on June 28. One or more of us (her five children) was with her day and night, along with our spouses and many of her grandchildren.

We got back home to Fuquay-Varina last Monday night. I’m processing a little at a time or sometimes not at all. Taking some naps. Reading a book of meditations from a dear friend, Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Trying to get psyched up for my own visit to the Cancer Center next Wednesday. Trying to remember where things are in our house, etc.

As I was trying to put some order to my projects and thoughts today, I remembered this paragraph by Henri Nouwen. I find it very comforting as I struggle with the feelings and realities of these days.

“Dying is a gradual diminishing and final vanishing over the horizon of life. When we watch a sailboat leaving port and moving toward the horizon, it becomes smaller and smaller until we can no longer see it. But we must trust that someone is standing on a faraway shore seeing that same sailboat become larger and larger until it reaches its new harbor. Death is a painful loss. When we return to our homes after a burial, our hearts are in grief. But when we think about the One standing at the other shore eagerly waiting to welcome our beloved friend into a new home, a smile can break through our tears.”



June 28, 2017

Creating God, the LOVE that never ends

You knew my mother when she was yet an unformed substance

You knit her together in her mother’s womb

She has never been hidden from you

You know her heart and soul

When she came to the end

She was dispersed into your healing wholeness

And you were there with her

Whispering to her

“Dear One, my Beloved, LOVE NEVER ENDS!”


Redeeming Christ, the LOVE that never ends

You know the pain of suffering

You, too, have been overcome by grief

You wept at the death of your friend

You were broken-hearted

Broken like bread

Your cup was empty

Like mine

Waiting to be filled again by your healing wholeness

In the waiting

I hear your whisper

“My Beloved, LOVE NEVER ENDS!”


Sustaining Spirit, the LOVE that never ends

You are indwelling

Helping me when I am weak and worn

When I have no prayer left in me

When I can only groan like a woman in labor

You know my heart and you intercede for me

With sighs too deep for words

You are my Comfort, my Solace, my Hope

I hear your whisper in the wind

“My Beloved, LOVE NEVER ENDS!”


Creating God, Redeeming Christ, Sustaining Spirit

Tenderly encircle me this day

And all the days ahead


Let it be so


  1. Sarah Phelps
    Jul 12, 2017

    Dear Donna, you always amaze me with your capacity for love and empathy. I hope the coming weeks help you to find even more peace and understanding. Much love to you and Terry

  2. Robert Morris
    Jul 12, 2017

    I am so happy I had a chance to get to know your mother. She had a presence all of her own and she will be greatly missed. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love always!

  3. Tam Larson
    Jul 12, 2017

    So beautifully written. It says it all God’s Love never ends, we are blessed in His Love and Through His Love. Peace, Comfort, Prayers and Love, Tam

  4. Gerrit McDaniel
    Jul 12, 2017

    A beautiful comforting prayer, Donna. Truth….Love that never ends.

  5. shannon tate
    Jul 12, 2017

    Donna, so many trials, so much sorrow yet so much hope and love. Please know that we continue in prayer for you and Terry.
    Blessings hugs and love, Shannon and Harold

  6. Mary Lou
    Jul 12, 2017

    Thank you!! I love the prayer… so perfect for Gladys for you for us all!
    Prayers surrounding you as you make your way through this valley and especially as you journey to Duke next week.
    Love you!

  7. Pat Churchman
    Jul 12, 2017

    So moving, Donna. You have been even more in my prayers as I’ve thought of you going through this in your already tired state. So glad you had your mother with you for as long as you did. I am reading the book you sent and chose a passage last week for our house church worship.
    Thank you

  8. ConnieShore
    Jul 12, 2017

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    We do believe that Love never ends!
    With our love. Connie and Roy Shore

  9. Judy Williams
    Jul 13, 2017

    Dearest Donna, Someone sent this anoymous quote after our daughter Amy’s death in 2009: “Death is like blowing out a candle because morning has come.” May it add to your comfort as it did to mine. Loving you & Terry and all your children! Blessings, Judy Williams, with Gene’s love tucked in here, too.

  10. Harriet
    Jul 13, 2017

    Will save the poem -so perfect for where we are. Didn’t know your mom, or that she had passed, but our prayers continue for you and Terry!

  11. Carol Fields Fleenor
    Jul 13, 2017

    Your mother was a dear, sweet Christian lady that knew the importance of praying for others. Mike special memory was her presence at Prayer meeting. It was especially sweet when you or Camila came with her. You and Terry continue to be in our daily prayers. Thanks for sharing your caring spirit with us. Our sympathy and love to you and your family. Mike and Carol

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