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“Oh Love, That Will Not Let Us Go”

There is something in us that clings to life.  We do a lot of grumbling and complaining, but when push comes to shove, we hang on with every ounce of our being.  My spouse of 63 years is finally taking his leave.  He’s no longer eating or drinking.  At times he’s been agitated. He mumbles and talks to people we can’t see.  We’ve given him permission to move on to that next adventure, yet he stays.  Perhaps, like the Apostle Paul, who was eager to go and be with his Lord but still loath to leave his friends in Christ behind, our beloved is also loath to leave us behind.  

The house is quiet, with each of us taking turns sitting by his bed, talking to him, praying with him.

Otherwise we are each involved in some small activity designed to fill the yawning space his leave-taking is creating.  We draw comfort from each other, aware this thing we call love is greater than we can ever comprehend.  After being up and down last night as my beloved thrashed, muttered, and breathed his rattled breaths, I am finally ready to let him go — even though I cannot conceive of life without him.  The only thing missing in this leave taking process is knowing our one child who is not able to be here with us is grieving alone.

Families are such complex entities, such a mishmash of tangled emotions, personalities, and experiences, yet at this point in time, as one chapter ends so another begins, all that unresolved junk has little meaning.   Just being together, forgiving and letting go is all that matters.  Gathering around this flawed but amazing man who has been the center of our family fills us with gratitude.  We are at peace.  

“The Love That Will Not Let Us Go” is gathering our weary souls in Him, empowering us to us to give Him back this man we’ve known and loved that in His ocean depths our beloved’s life may richer, fuller be.

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