This is not the death I would have chosen for my father-in-law. If I had chosen, Edmund would pass away quietly in his sleep after his 125th birthday. As I look back on the 14+ months, he has lost many things to cancer. He has lost several inches of height as the cancer has stolen his bone cells. He has lost his comfort and sense of well-being as every day has been marked by pain, nausea, fatigue, depression, or some combination thereof. He has lost his social interaction and no longer does any of the activities he used to enjoy.
As I was thinking about these things, the Lord encouraged me by reminding me that He Himself will restore all that Edmund has lost to cancer in heaven. Please understand I am not anxious for him to die. Even now, acutely aware of how much he suffers in life, I know how painful it will be when the Lord brings him Home. But God is helping to prepare my heart, looking forward to all that Edmund will gain on that day.
God will restore his height and Edmund will walk upright. God will restore his strength and Edmund will walk confidently, rather than shuffle his feet. God will give him a glorified body that is never in pain, never nauseated, never tired. There will be fellowship restored as Edmund meets up with friends and loved ones who have gone before him, but most importantly will be fellowship with Christ himself. O glorious thought!
I confess that we are entering into a harder stage of caregiving. It weighs on my heart that he does not seem to be getting any better, but remembering these things helps to lighten the load in my heart and I am already happy for him.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Pet. 5:10-11