You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
Snow lay on the ground outside the Hospice that evening although it was very warm inside. Her husband holding her hand felt the grip lessen as she slipped away. Her sister was with him although the rest of the family had just left for home. “She is at peace now,” she said. And so she is.
Jay has fought a long and hard battle with cancer for a number of years so this day was not entirely unexpected. She had a loving family, husband and three daughters and her mother. I cannot begin to imagine how mother must have felt watching her child suffer and die as she did. No one expects their child to predecease them. I suppose Mary must have experienced the same anguish as she stood by the Cross on which her Son died.
There were good times as well, of course; the birth of her grandson Charlie a year or so back, for example. She was able to spend this Christmas with him and all the family. Charlie had been told to be careful not to tread on “Grandma’s tail” - the tube leading from the oxygen bottle to her mask and so he carefully stepped over it each time. She went into the Hospice a few days into the New Year giving her mother a hug and a kiss before she went.
Her passing will leave a gaping hole in the family life but they are strong and with God’s help will cope, I am sure. Jay, as her sister said, is at peace now, no more fear, no more suffering or painful operations, no more long and tiring journeys to the specialist hospital in London that was treating her. Now she may rest in God’s peace and may God be with her family to guide and support them all in the years to come.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years