Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dear Brian,

It is becoming more evident that you are not going to suddenly walk through the door or emerge from the bedroom. Yet, for some reason, I keep looking for you to do exactly that. Why? Why would I keep looking for you? I knew for months this was coming and that you would leave this earth. Why, then, is it so difficult to accept the permanence of your absence?

Why did you have to take your last breath when I was sleeping on the cot next to you instead of in your arms just an hour prior? Often I feel that if I would have felt your last breath then I would better be able to accept your death - that it would feel more real. Is that ridiculous? Would it be any different? Jan, your mom, wonders a bit why she wasn't awake holding your hand for your last breath, too. She thinks it would have been just too painful to witness - that you had to leave with the two women you love most near you, but just not touching you. Is that true? Would it have been too difficult and traumatic for us? Did you leave this world being ever compassionate towards us as you always were?

I can't express how much I miss you, Brian. I love you.



  1. Big hugs to you Angie. You, the boys and Jan are still in our prayers and always will be.

    Jessica from Canada

  2. I am so so sorry. How courageous to continue to write about your thoughts and feelings. Your boys have a wonderful example of strength in you.

  3. I am unspeakably sad for your great loss. No words to cheer you - just know that even though we are strangers, I hurt for you - maybe collectively we all take a piece of this great sadness and carry it for you. I hope so.

  4. Very few people I know have had a loved one die in their arms--I think they cannot leave us with us right there. I think they choose their time carefully.

  5. My mom still unconciously wait for my dad or listens for his footsteps. And it's been a year for her. The heart forgets and listens for what it is used to hearing and wants to hear.

    Still praying!

  6. Angie,

    I can't remember how I found your blog a couple weeks ago. I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through. I am praying that God's unfailing love will comfort you and that His grace will sustain you. Jesus loves you very much and He knows and understands everything you are going through. I also pray for your boys and the rest of your family. Cling to God's promises.

    Romans 8:18--"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us."

    In Christ,

  7. I totally think Brian left this Earth on his terms. With you and his mom nearby, and the children having their last memory of him not as he spent his last day.

    But it must be so hard that he's gone. I cannot imagine. So all that I can do is think of you, and pray. And tell you that I'm

    Still Believing.

  8. Angie....thanks for the hug this morning at church. It was so wonderful to see you - it is so wrong that your hug is so therapeutic for the rest of us. Your strength is amazing and admirable. I feel like I never know how to best support you - then you come along and give us all peace about you and your situation. Please continue to rely on those around you when you need it!!! You and the boys continue to be in our prayers daily. Brian would be so proud of the way you have handled all this....such dignity and grace you have.


  9. Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  10. I am so glad you feel comforatable enough to share all this with us... so personal, yet we need to know the feelings... or at least some of it... you ministering to others right now... You are also in the healing process... Bless you dear sister in Christ... you are in our prayers...

  11. Angie, I am a total stranger to you..but have been checking your blog since Dec. 07. Thank-you for opening the door to your life, and the struggles of Cancer. You are an awesome writer. I hope you pursue this in the future.

    You are now going through the steps of greaving. This is normal. You will go through many levels, with 3 forward, 2 back. There will be days when you will hear a familiar sound, or a door open, and you will momentarily think it is Brian coming in..a song, a sunset, or a smell will remind you of him, and you will be swept back to a moment in time when all was well. Embrace the memories.. they will sustain you. Embrace the future..God will help you, He will lead you back to a comfort zone..

    "The experience of suffering will not destroy the faith of a genuine Christian; it strengthens it. There is a Swedish proverb that says, "Blessed is he who sees a dawn in every midnight." When suffering comes crashing in upon us and we have exhausted our resources, then we surrender to God's sustaining mercy and our hearts reach out for His love. The very trials that make us feel deserted are the ones that can draw us closer to Christ. As we come near with tear-filled eyes we lay our burdens at His feet, and in exchange, we receave comfort and strength."
    From the book, "Triumphant in Suffering", by Merlin Neff.

    Mathew 5:4, "Blessed are they that Morn, for they will be comforted".

    Still praying for you, Liz, from WA. state..

  12. So raw and real, Angie. Praying, praying, praying for you and your new normal. Love you, Shawn from TN

  13. I wanted to tell you also, that my mother had been in the hospital for a week with a heart condition. At the end of the week, she wanted to spend her birthday at home. They decided she was doing ok, so released her from the hospital. She was home for about an hour, and was sitting at the kitchen table, making out a grocery list, when she told my older brother that she felt funny. She passed out, and he grabed her. My father had just left the room to use the bathroom. But her heart quit, and she died right then. It was her 63rd birthday. My father always wondered why he left the room right then?? Who knows.. it is and will be a mystery, but not one that needs an answer right now.
    Another side note.. My husband and I were on the road, driving a moving van, and starting a new career, and would be 7 hours closer to my parents home!! I was so excited!!! Now we could be close enough to spend the day together, and she could share her wisdom of raising children. I missed my mother so much after I got married, and moved away. Now we had our first child, and I couldn't wait to be near her. But she died the day we arrived!!
    I know how death makes us feel. It's hard.. At the time I didn't think I could live without her.. but you will recover.. give it time..
    Liz from WA. state.

  14. Such honesty and beauty here, once more. I'm praying for you.


  15. Angie,

    I know it must be all consumming to live and relive every detail of those last days. I'm not sure how you are even functuning right now. When a friend of ours lost her child, I could barely get out of bed. And, she wasn't even my own daughter! My prayer for you is that you are able to breathe deep and restoring breaths. That God will reveal somethng to smile about. I pray that you will find your laugh and be okay with that. This is my prayer for the boys too. Still believing...

  16. peepaw/peepsMarch 29, 2009

    AngieThere is no one thing that any one can write to explain why Brian passed the way he did from a sunset on earth to a sunrise in heaven. He was always surrounded by love on earth from family and friends and now is with a Savior whose love is eternal. He will remain with you in sensory and memory and in your heart. The world will stand with you and your sons in prayer, hope, faith and love for we will Keep Believing.

  17. I have no idea either. Since he occupies such a large portion of your heart that probably messes with your head?

    Wish I could be more help in so many ways...

  18. Angie,
    Thank you for sharing your letters to Brian with the rest of us. Beautiful!

  19. Angie- We are out here praying for you and the boys. I hope you can feel the prayers.

    First time here (thanks to All Mediocre,) but it most certainly won't be my last.

  20. I was just checking in, as I do every now and then, to see how things were going. I'm so sad to find your sweet husband has passed. I'm so very sorry.
    I know he has gone to a most wonderful and peaceful place, I do believe he left when he did out of consideration for you, as you think he did. I also believe you will be reunited one day, and it will be wonderful and glorious.
    My prayers are with you and your sweet boys, and the rest of your family as you deal with this next stage in your life. I pray the Spirit will comfort you and bring you peace.

  21. It's amazing to watch you, as you transparently share the raw emotion of grief. There is so much wisdom in what you are doing and that you are experiencing your grief and not stuffing it. It is a valley that has to be journeyed through. On the other side in heaven is your love and he and Jesus will meet you when your work on earth is done. In the mean time Brian has given you two beautiful sons. When your heart is not so raw beauty will slip in again. Joy comes again in the morning. Not now but it will. love you, prayers for you all.

  22. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. Teri (Laurentius) MooneyMarch 30, 2009

    Liz from WA is right on. Thank you, Liz for encouraging Angie is such an awesome Christian way. You certainly understand the way of
    "grieving with hope", because our true hope is in Christ Jesus.

    Angie, this pain will not last forever even though you feel it will. Each day, draw strength from Jesus, and leave the "What if's" at the cross. The "What if's" do not change the outcome and it does us no good in our grief journey. You don't have to "feel guilty" because you are not "guilty" of anything. Yes, I'm pulling out the tools that I learned in my Christian grief class, which I now facilitate. God will use you for His greater good, as you continue to draw strength from Him.

    Remember what the pastor said at Brian's funeral, "To look up and link up". That's what you do sister, continue to look up, at the same time that you are linking up with other believers.

    Take care and you know that I'm just a phone call away if you need a "mini grief class".

    Love ya bunches,



  24. Angie,
    My mom got the call from the nursing home that her mother was not going to be here on earth much longer. She and my dad hopped in the car immediately to make the 2+ hour drive to get there. Both being diabetic they quickly swung by Hardee's for a sandwich and then they left the city to go to her mom.

    Her brother was there by their mother's bedside. John watched his beloved sweet mom take her last breath and he even swears that he felt her spirit linger a moment before leaving, as if to say "John, I am OK now."

    Almost immediately after Lucille died her youngest son said he felt her presence sit next to him on his bed in another city. Dan said it gave him the peace he so badly craved as he knew his mother was dying.

    My mom, however, was walking in to the nursing home front door just as her mother crossed over to heaven. She was too late. If she had just skipped getting that stupid sandwich! (her words later) What was she thinking - It ripped at her heart that she had "missed" her chance. She just could not understand WHY would her mom visit or linger to say goodbye to her 2 younger brothers, but not her... WHY?

    Then after many tears and much praying she came to understand something that her mother had already known. My mom, Merilyn, had the knowledge, the faith AND the strength within her own heart to carry on without having to say that "final" goodbye. My mom found peace knowing that her mom knew her that well. Lucille knew that her little girl was not only strong but that Merilyn had a sweet testimony of life everlasting... she didn't need that final reminder that they would be together again some day... And even though John and Dan knew these things too, Merilyn really understood and could feel the truth of it all throughout her whole being.

    My mom has since had experiences with her mom. There have been times when my mom has felt Lucille's presence and simple words of comfort years after she passed. My mom now understands that our loved ones know what we need... even if we do not understand their decision... they have a connection with God AND with us and that connection allows them to do what is best for us... Even if we wish things could have gone differently.... GOD KNOWS YOU ANGIE!!! Still and Always!
    Continuing to pray for you and send you Hugs,
    Jenny Alcenius

  25. Dear Angie,

    How difficult this must be for you to bear. But I believe it was just as difficult for Brian to deal with and accept when he knew he was leaving this world for the next. I was with my Mom when she passed away 4 years ago and it took her a long time to "Let Go". I believe they are caught in between 2 wonderful worlds-not yet ready to leave behind the people they love but truly believing their future with Jesus in Heaven is the ultimate goal. To see the outstretched arms of welcome so clearly, yet still be conscious of the only world they know has got to be so difficult. When Brian knew you and his mom were at peace, he went on because it was the only way he could leave. Please know you did so much to bring Brian comfort in his final days and the lonliness you feel is normal. He was your life and you love him-this will take time. Mourning is different for everyone. My prayers are with you and the boys.

  26. I am so sorry for your loss. While it is not the same, my mom has been asking herself these questions these last 7 weeks about my daddy. I am truly sorry for your loss. My prayers to you and your boys.

  27. Angie,

    Thank you for sharing these personal letters with the rest of us. I know that Brian is reading them too.

    What an amazing love you both have.

    Sending hugs your way....

  28. She thinks it would have been just too painful to witness - that you had to leave with the two women you love most near you, but just not touching you. Is that true? Would it have been too difficult and traumatic for us? Did you leave this world being ever compassionate towards us as you always were?

    This really touched my heart....The same thing happened with my aunt on March 1st....her husband and daughter both question why they were not there also...I believe not only would it been hard for you to see his last breath, but difficult for him to release his last breath when he wanted to be with you in the flesh, but his spirit desired so much to be with our Lord...((hugs))) Always praying, always holding your family close.

  29. Angie... you know that this is my one regret, too. I believe that our loved ones wait to be alone, on purpose. Maybe it is to spare us the heartbreak... maybe it is too hard for them to leave us, when we are by their side.

  30. Praying at this moment for a gentle peace that passes all understanding to wave over you.