Lord, here comes the flood…

Today, Sunday November 4th, 2018 at 12:30pm, Brian passed from this world. He was surrounded by his family.

I had offered a family prayer and shortly after, his respirations became agonal and I could no longer palpate a pulse so I placed my stethoscope on his chest and I listened until his heart beat for the last time and for a full minute afterward.

His last few days were mostly peaceful. I am so grateful that we were able to honor his wish to die at home. Ethne and I spent the last few nights together in my bed which was pushed up against his hospital bed. Because of the help of our families, we were able to meet all of his daily care needs without any outside help. The hospice nurse came to assess him twice a week, but other than that, we took care of him.

I know there are people who wonder why and how Brian and I would choose to have him die at home in the bedroom that we shared. Why would we expose our young children to that? Our current culture keeps death away behind a closed door. I do not believe death should be stigmatized in this way. I feel that it is one of the great transitions in life, just as birth. We come from somewhere, and we are going somewhere. To be a part of that process, to teach my children that it is not something to shy away from or fear is such an honor to me. We teach our children to live, to love, to grieve. I’m teaching mine the sacred importance of these things.

Our house isn’t special. Its just the four walls that shelter us. Brian never really even liked it. But in the past weeks as he was declining, a sacred calm came over this space. It was palpable upon crossing the threshold. People who came to visit felt it, people who just stepped in to hand us dinner felt it. And we were blessed to live in this place as we said our goodbyes. Its a tenderness I can’t begin to describe, but the veil between this world and the next has certainly been thin.

The one ounce of grace that glioblastoma offers, is that by the time the end comes, you are praying for it to be over. You pray for your loved one to rest, for their pain to stop, for peace. But never let it be said that Brian “lost his fight” to brain cancer. For one, he hated that language, but more importantly, he didn’t lose at all. Brian never gave up. He fought valiantly. He lived each day after his diagnosis with love, grace, humility, and gratitude; serving others, taking care of each of us. He lived a selfless life. He loved us. His children were the lights of his life and he wanted nothing more than to watch them grow. But even when it became evident that he wouldn’t get a fraction of the time that he deserved, he still persevered, he loved even more, he did not despair. He triumphed over cancer. He won his fight.

I have so much more to say, but I need to rest. I have been giving medications around the clock and my sleep has been lighter than usual as I listened for subtle changes in Brian throughout these many nights.

I will say one more thing. I asked Brian months, and then again weeks ago, to please give me a sign, let me know he is close to us after he passes. He said he doesn’t know how it all works, but he would try. Today, as I was waiting for the hospice nurse to arrive, I was lying on my side on my bed next to him with my hand on his arm. My eyes were closed, but I was awake. I distinctly felt a hand on my waist. I opened my eyes to see if someone had come into the room, but I was alone. I believe Brian’s spirit was close to me.

I hope he continues to stay close for awhile.

24 thoughts on “Lord, here comes the flood…

  1. First, Lindsay, i do know how you feel and yes, there will be many signs to let you know he is near. Just last week on my birthday I decided i did not want to get out of bed on my birthday because i miss him so on special days. As i was just laying there a peaceful feeling fell over the room and either God or Bill or both made me feel like someone was holding me. You will experience many signs because you believe. I pray for all of you every day and things dont get better but you do after a period of time and grief learn to accept or cope with the change…i am stilling trying to accept. If you need to talk let me know. I am a good listener and will completely understand. You have wonderful support and you will get through this even though you probably cant imagine that right now. May God bless you and your family and hold you in the palm of his hand.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I admire you so much for your strength and your ability to share all that you and your family have been going through. Brian was lucky to have such a beautiful family.

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  3. Lindsey may God Bless you with his cont.Peace. Your faith and strength is something that I never want to forget…I will continue to pray for you and your family. Love you and so sorry for your pain..

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    1. Lindsey and family, Brian was a student in church many years ago. He is such a kind good young man. You knew he was special the day you met him. When he worked at Westminster-Canterbury (retirement community), all the residents loved his attitude and kindness.. They told me he was a special young man. I am sorry for your and your familys loss. It will no doubt be hard without him even knowing you will see him again.. my prayers are with you and your families. With fond memories of a fine young man.. Karyl Morgan

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  4. Thank you for what you have written so beautifully.
    I appreciate your approach to death. Having been at the bedside of several people as they died (my father included) I have seen and felt the beauty and peace that can be present. It doesn’t have to be a horror that should be hidden. The horror is the premature departure of the wonderful person so many knew in Brian.
    I am so VERY sorry for your loss, your children’s loss, and that loss of a son, a brother, a friend. I feel so inadequate as I try to express condolences to YOU, and all those listed. It is with love that I think of and pray for you, and Brian’s family.

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  5. Lindsey,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your strength. You are one of the strongest women I know. I will be praying for you and your precious! May God meet you right where you are and wrap his loving arms around you and hold you tight! You have such a beautiful soul Lindsey! Love you friend!

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  6. Lindsey,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your strength. You are one of the strongest women I know. May God meet you right where you are and wrap his loving arms around you and hold you tight! You have such a beautiful soul Lindsey! Praying for your family! Love you friend!

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  7. Your strength will see you through. Your children will depend on you to help them through and this will be the boost for you to make through the rough times. Good luck and I am praying for you all.

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  8. Words can’t express how very sorry I am feeling for you and your family. But knowing that Brian is with Jesus and they are watching over you and the family can bring you much peace . May you too find healing and rest in the days ahead. God Bless you and thank you for sharing Brian’s journey with all of us.

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  9. very sorry for your loss thank you for sharing the stories and feelings that went with you as the process was not where we would have wanted it to be. you are a very strong woman and keep your family close to you as they draw that strength from you.

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  10. Lindsey, I am a friend of your Mother’s and she shared the blog. This year I have also fought cancer and her touching messages certainly meant a lot to me. As she shared the struggle that Brian (and you) were going through, I felt as if I knew you both well. I don’t, but know that there are countless people you most likely won’t hear from that are praying for you, Brian and your family ever day. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  11. Lindsay,

    You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of your moms and knew you when you were a lot younger. I have been following your blog and have been praying for Brian for you and your sweet children and your extended families. I am so sorry for your loss but am so happy that you have embraced love and death and allowed your children to be a part of what their Daddy wanted. You are amazing and for such a young women, you understand so much. You have already given such gifts to yourself and your children. Don’t forget to take some time to rest and time to allow yourself what you need. I pray that you can continue to always feel the love God has for you and will comfort you when you need them most.
    Know that you, yourself, will continue to be on our prayer list. Take care of yourself and know that thoughts and prayers are pouring in to surround you with love of those who care about you.

    Gina Chapman

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  12. You are such a strong woman and I am humbled to be able to read your blog and offer prayers for your family. I know your mom and have been praying for all of you and I will continue to pray. Thank you for sharing this journey you are on.

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  13. Words can not express what an honor it is to say that I worked along side of you. We will continue to pray for you and your beautiful, brave, strong, and loving family.

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  14. My heart and my prayers are with you all during this time, and I will continue to send up prayers for all of you. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us. You all are so very loved

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  15. I don’t know if you remember me (I dated Lindberg about 6 years ago). I’m so very sorry for the loss of your husband. You are such a strong woman and I have always admired you. You’ll be in my prayers.

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