Lessons Learned while Waiting for the Death of a Friend

Our friend Lisa Marie came to live with Karla and me in November 2021 when the doctors thought she should not live alone any longer because of the progression of her cancer. (You can read about it my book, Got Cancer? There’s Help). She is nearing her final moments. Here are a few lessons we have learned on this last leg of her journey:

1. God is the decider, not me, on death’s timing. 
Rev. “Kevorkian” I am not. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 14:7-9

2. Pro-Life = Giving dignity in death 
This fact is just as important as giving hope in birth. Some in the pro-life crowd forget this. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15

3. Caring for the dying is more than a one-man job (one woman job).
One lady has put her life on hold and mostly moved in to help tend to Lisa. Other ladies have spent the night. Still others have brought in meals. All of this has been vital. We couldn’t have done it without them. It’s been amazing! Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Philippians 2:4

4. The Gaither’s were right. I’m so glad I am part of the family of God. 
See the above list of individuals who have helped these last few weeks. It’s been Lisa’s church family (not biological; not friends from work or otherwise) who have cared for her in these closing moments of life. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6:10

5. Like all our possessions, our house isn’t our house. It’s God’s house.
We should have installed a revolving front door for these last few weeks. Hospice workers, pharmacy deliveries and visitors have been coming and going. Some of Lisa’s family have stayed with us too. Our house isn’t our house. It’s God’s house. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. Romans 12:13

5. Everyone deals with death differently. 
I anticipate that Karla and I will deal with Lisa’s passing differently than most since she will be the only person to die in our home. I’m not certain how one prepares for that eventuality. Maybe we can’t be prepared. Death will come and when it does, we will need to rest on scripture and God’s blessed assurance. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21

Maybe the biggest lesson,

6. Make decisions based on having no regrets.
Karla and I will have no regrets about allowing Lisa to come live with us back in November, 2021. We didn’t know what our “yes” meant back then, but we are glad we said “yes.” Our lives have been changed for the better because of Lisa and her love for the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understandingProverbs 3:5