My experience showed me that…human experience continues beyond the grave...under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each of us.
- Eben Alexander, neurosurgeon and author
Marty had been diagnosed with lung cancer, which had now spread to her brain. She was gentle, generous and very beautiful. She had served her God and fellow man all her life. She was also a very private person.
Her close friends loved her dearly and respected her privacy and need to be alone and she loved them for that. They understood that tragedy had visited her heart too many times to bear and so she pulled inward more and more.
One evening years ago, her oldest daughter, Cathy, decided to drive to a nearby restaurant to pick up dinner. Not five minutes away, she was hit head on by a car and killed. There are no words capable to express the sorrow this family felt at the loss of their eldest daughter and sister, but with heavy hearts they moved on.
Not too many years later, her very handsome son Joseph, in his late thirties, married with children, was diagnosed with leukemia. He received the very best medical care possible but God must have had a different plan for him, and he too died.
She and her husband, Jim, were a devoted and loving couple and they clung to each other as never before. You would see them often walking hand in hand near their home, and when they were at Mass she would often lean her head on his shoulder as he placed his arm around her, holding her tight. Their shared grief was palpable. Then, unexpectedly, Jim died and Marty was left with a daughter and son. They supported one another as only a loving family can.
And now Marty was dying. It was hard for her and them to believe at first but they came to understand that this disease would soon take her life. She allowed hospice care in her home, which made all the difference in the world for them. In the days and hours just before her death, her children heard her talking to her daughter, her son and her husband. She seemed delighted to see them and her two remaining children were thrilled to hear her conversing with them and enjoying it so much. She asked them many times if they could hear the beautiful music she was hearing and was surprised when they said they could not.
Losing this wonderful mother was so hard for them, but seeing her smile as she visited with her family in heaven gave them great joy. God wants so much to draw his children home to heaven for all eternity and knows just how to give joy and comfort to those we leave behind.