By Linda Murdock

Several times during my Dad’s end-of-life journey I could see the hand of God helping my family to make decisions about his care. When he could no longer walk and required increased home care post-hospitalization, we were faced with having to find nursing care because his home care giving agency suddenly went out of business.

God took care of the situation by providing a faith-based nursing home (Lutheran Home, Livonia) that pre-qualified him for admission and had a bed ready for him just when we needed it.

When Dad required a second hospitalization, God provided a very compassionate team of doctors and nurses at St. Joseph Mercy in Ypsilanti and a wonderful private room where we could take care of Dad’s needs in a comfortable, attentive way.

They were very patient with Dad and his needs, allowing us to take time to absorb the gravity of his health concerns and the need for hospice care. God opened Dad’s mind to understand what the next steps were for his care and made the end-of-life discussion with him much more peaceful than I ever would have expected.

When Dad entered hospice, he was spared a long stay. The Lord put him at rest and alleviated his pain so that he could sleep through to the end. My sister and I stayed with him while the rhythm of his labored breathing lulled us to sleep during the night.

I awoke at just the right time to take a look at his face and could tell he was about to pass away. I aroused my sister and we were both able to be with him when he drew his last breath. Thanks be to God that we were awake and with him at that moment! Thanks be to God that he loved the Lord and is with Him at this moment!

My Dad’s courage was a faith-builder for me. God’s faithfulness to our family was shown through this experience.