Posted by: mahlbrandt | August 15, 2008

The Miracle of Death

I don’t have much energy to write much right now but since this was already typed, I think I can manage to copy and paste. Below is what I wrote and shared at my granny’s funeral.

A little after midnight on Sunday morning I was on the way to the nursing home with my husband, Jason and my aunt Linda. We had just received a call that Granny’s heart rate was slowing down and the end may be near. I think we were all scared. I felt so lost—unsure of what to say or what to do or what to expect when we got there. I prayed for strength and guidance. I’ve never witnessed a birth but I thought about how oddly similar it was to get a phone call and then go down to the hospital to wait. Most would consider it an honor to witness the miracle of a birth. No one ever refers to the “miracle of death” but I felt like God was speaking to me that it was an honor for me to be there with her, to be at Granny’s side holding her hand at the end of her life. It was my privilege to be there; not just to support my aunt or to stand in place for those who wished they could be there—but as her granddaughter who loved her very much.

A chaplain from the hospice service came to be with us. He explained that a person’s sense of hearing is the last sense still functioning even when she doesn’t have the strength to respond. He spoke to Granny and prayed for her. She seemed like she wanted to respond but wasn’t able to. It was clear to me that she was hearing what he was saying. He assured her that God loves her very much. This seemed to be what she was holding on to hear.

Linda hugged her again and told her that we all love her very much and that we were all there with her. She told Granny she had been a good mom and a good grandma. Surrounded by family who loves her, she quit fighting for breaths and was peacefully still. This, I think, is the miracle of death—that though her life here is over, she is beginning a new adventure in heaven with a new body, pain-free; a new mind, complete in Christ; and a spirit that’s rejoicing over a long life lived well and an eternity of joyful reunion.

Thank you all for your sympathy and thoughts and prayers. They help so much. Also, to the friends who came to the funeral home-thank you so much. I imagine it’s a little awkward and uncomfortable to come to the funeral of someone you didn’t really know but it was so nice to see some familiar faces and it means more than you know. Thanks.


  1. […] name was Dorothy Jean Good. I won’t let anyone borrow my sewing machine except my mom. Not now, at least, because it’s one of the things I have to remember Granny by. Possibly related posts: […]

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