Sunday, March 6, 2011

52 Sundays Ago

I remember a lot of visitors the day before as family members came to say their good-byes, but by Sunday I can only recall my immediate family, Michael's mom, and his aunt being at the house with us. There was a hospice nurse, as well.

Michael had been in a coma since Saturday morning. I honestly do not remember his last words to me, but they were probably I love you.

Around dinnertime, my family went home, and my mother-in-law and her sister left to attend mass at a local church. No one intended to return that evening unless I called for them to do so. Therefore, I was facing the night alone with just the nurse here.

For some reason, Michael's mom and his aunt decided to come back after their mass was over. I'm so glad they did. I was just weary and overwhelmed, and I remember breaking down at one point. Michael's Aunt Sally, herself widowed at a fairly young age, was incredibly comforting. She made me get into bed and she held me. I would have liked to stay there and sleep, but I could sense that it wouldn't be long before Michael left and I wanted to be with him. Hospice had prepared us for what we should expect, and we could all tell that it would be soon. So I got up and went into the back bedroom where he was.

It was the first time that I had ever been with someone while they passed from this life to the next. It was very sacred. I held his hand and watched him closely. I wasn't afraid for him. I knew he would be okay.

At 7:35 that evening, Michael took his last breath and the nurse confirmed that his heart had stopped beating. I felt somewhat relieved for him because his suffering was over, but I knew that my life would have a huge hole in it and that I would miss him with every breath from then on.


  1. Oh Joannah,
    My heart breaks and I am crying for you. All I can say is that God is good. And, soon you will have the love you and Michael shared in your loving arms! Sending Love, ((Hugs)) and Prayers your way,
    Jan, John & Jillian Rose

  2. Every breath and every pause between breaths, I'm sure.
    Healing hugs to you and much strength and peace.

  3. you were both so loved by each other that until you meet again you will always miss him with every breath.
    Hugs for you today, more than usual.

  4. Oh Joannah...this makes me cry. I can't even begin to imagine losing my love. Alex is my best friend, as I know Michael was yours. I'm so grateful we have hope...that we KNOW we'll see our loved ones again. I'm also thankful that God has given you a piece of Michael and that you will be holding her in your arms very soon. Such a miracle! Love you, friend!

  5. Dear Joannah, my prayers are with you. You have so beautifully captured in words the moment of Michael entering his eternal kingdom. You have all the knowledge that you WILL be with him again one day. However, I realize that the gaping hole in your heart is here on this earth and that you miss him and long for him every single day. I do hope that holding your baby in your arms will bring you the tangible feeling of pure joy. Thinking about you especially at this difficult step in the journey. Hugs

  6. (((HUGS))) Joannah - death can be peaceful and yet sad for those left behind. I remember holding my dad's hand as he passed away years ago. To have that moment with a loved one is a bittersweet feeling that you never forget. You have come so far in coping with the loss of your dear husband, I hope the rest of your pregnancy passes quickly with good health. Soon you will hold your sweet daughter in your hands, and while I'm sure it will hurt that Michael is not beside you, rest assured that your daughter will carry his love.

  7. Oh, I am in tears as well. You have such a beautiful way with words. If anyone did not believe in love, they would after reading your website. I hope that this day has not been too painful, and I'm glad the day is almost over for you. XOXO

  8. Dear Joannah, It was a sacred time and I'm glad you were with Michael as he crossed the threshold into eternity. God's hope is a gift and great is His faithfulness in the beautiful story of your life.

  9. Hoping love and peace surrounds you during this difficult time.

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  10. Words fail me. ((hugs)) Praying for you as you remember this day when you said a sweet goodbye to your husband.


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