hospice, hope and healing

Daisies on white

“Momma, I don’t want grandpa to die, but I know he will feel so much better in heaven.”

My sweet 12 year old son uttered those words as we sat in an Urgent Care waiting to see the doctor for the two of us, and while my father lay in a hospital bed waiting for word from his doctor.

Today we found out that those words were not the ones we hoped to hear.  Those words included “hospice.”  Earlier in the week I had said that word, but it was in a hopeful sentence, “At least they haven’t mentioned hospice.” 

Now they have and I don’t know what to do with that word.  It strikes a pain in my chest I can hardly bear.  It brings me to tears just thinking of my dear father facing death so imminently. 

My daddy accepted the Lord about 10 years ago, but has not truly grasped what it means to him.  Oh that he could grasp grace and not let go of it.  It breaks my heart in more pieces than I can say that he hasn’t.  I can see the fear and anxiety etched on his beloved gaunt face.  I can hear it in his frustrated, angry words. 

We have all talked with my dad.  Friends have too.  We’ve tried to encourage him in his faith, but it’s hard when death is staring back so relentlessly.  I long for my Dad to see life instead of death…Life!!! 

I’ve dealt with a lot of pain and sorrow since my family fell apart 4 years ago.  There is a large part of my heart that is already in heaven.  I want to be there so badly I can taste it sometimes.  I understand Paul’s statement, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”  (Philippians 1:21)  But I am not faced with my death coming soon…at least that I know of.  I pray that my hope would not waver in the end. 

My Daddy’s hope is wavering…it’s wobbling all over the place.  I wish I knew exactly the right words so he could really grasp that peace which passes all understanding to guard his heart and his mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7), but once again, God is reminding me that I’m not the one in charge.

God loves my dad so very much.  He doesn’t want this man to die hopelessly, but rather with hope of eternal glory…of all the wonder that is heaven blissfully beckoning. 

We all selfishly want healing or even partial healing so that my dad will be around longer.  But like my little boy said, why would I want to have my dad suffer another day when he could know true and complete healing in heaven?  I know the answer but I can’t bring myself to write it because I want my dad around.  I want my children to know their grandpa even better…I want him to tell stories we haven’t heard or even ones we have. I want more time with him.

Tomorrow I will head back down to see my dad…to spend the day with him while things beep and swish around us and nurses come in and out and in and out and in out, and he tries to rest amid it all.  I will pray for the opportunity to encourage and bless my dad…and I will pray for peace for him and for all of us…and I will hope in the Lord for my dad’s eternal inheritance and mine as well. 

By Sue Birdseye

Single, divorced Mama of 5 - walking this path with a lot of hope in my Lord and a fair amount of humor at life! Praying that you will be blessed, encouraged and find something to chuckle about in this ridiculously exhausting, chaotic single parent life.


  1. Dear Sue,

    I was sleeping when I heard my phone buzz. I will be praying for you and your family as you face this difficult time with your dad. I will pray that your dad will know God’s peace that surpasses all understanding.

    I am sorry that your family must face yet another difficulty.

    I would write more but my mind does not work well when I am sleepy. Did want you to know that I will be praying for your dad.

    Dan Enck
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  2. Oh sis, I pray God pours out precious blessings on you, your Daddy and your family. My heart goes out to you. Isaiah 26:3 comes to mind. ~Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. ~


  3. Dear friend,

    My heart aches for you all as you face the end of your beloved dad’s life. I pray that your remaining days with him will be sweet and that you will be blessed by evidence of his trust in our Savior. Your dad, who I always mentally identify as “Colonel Birdseye,” is one of my heros. I thank God for his life and for his salvation, and I praise Him that your dad doesn’t have to worry about you at the end of his life.


  4. Prayers are being lifted on ur behalf as well as the rest of ur family as usual travel this difficult time of so many unknowns. May u feel Gods peace and comfort all around us knowing his ways r higher than ours. Thank u once again for being so real in ur writing, it is so encouraging to others u r blessed by reading .


  5. Read scripture to him. Inundate w/the word. Sing scripture to w/your beautiful voice. God will give u songs to sing. We will be praying for u.

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. I want to encourage you that being yourself, grieving, being comforted, feeling torn, aching so badly, and being held by Jesus are all the things that your dad needs. You long for him to see how good a relationship is with Jesus, to trust Him with his very life, and life beyond. You are trusting Him. He will see. He will have peace. You will have peace. His kindness will lead your dad to repentance. Not the big repentance of trusting Him for salvation, that has already been done, but turning from fear (and he probably has fears of the effects of things that he hasn’t done and wants to do, and probably some of the same things that you mentioned). Turning to the love that will finish the job of driving out that fear. May Jesus bless you all with a sense of his nearness.


  7. Sue,
    You definitely have the right thinking but again it does not make it any easier when it is your parent. Continue to focus on God and pray and He will give you all peace. You are doing great. I think you just need to heard it more often.
    Hang in there,


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