When Someone You Love is Leaving

A person, very dear, is on his final journey.
All his family is gathered round. He is resting in his own home, where he raised his five children, with his loving wife and best friend. Fifty-seven years of love; five children, eight grandchildren. Every one of the children and grandchildren, individually, have their own, deep relationship with him. Although he has come full circle, a life well-lived and nothing left undone, it is not easy to say goodbye.
He has passed very quickly from what appeared to be good health, to being near death. He has had time to give his final thoughts to those closest to him. He has had meaningful conversation with his priest. He knows his family is gathered near. Now he is peacefully passing from this world to the next.
It is an anxious time for families who stand, in good health, beside their declining loved one, while that person changes from someone to they talk with, to someone they talk about. When a loved one is hovering seemingly between two worlds, it is somewhat reassuring when they do not appear distressed.
It can be a tense time for people, waiting, as their own relationships can be strengthened, or tested. At a time like this we truly walk in faith, and remember the things that the loved one has taught us. Now is the time for the next generation take its place at the head of the line.
What a time it must be, though, not for the children so much as the spouse, the one who is watching their beloved, go. It is their life that changes so much, going forward, and often at a time when they themselves are most vulnerable to the effects of physical aging, loneliness, and perhaps, some fear about what will become of them, too?
You can only believe, if you do, as I do, that God is merciful and will be faithful to the most vulnerable among us.


  1. I'm Julia says:

    Oh my… finding the strength to say goodbye, & watching a life slip away is so very hard. May your loved one travel peacefully, and may his beloved find solace in her family's loving arms.

    I'm lighting a candle for your family, Jeannie, & asking that whatever is needed, is granted to each.

  2. Sink says:

    Wishing him peace along his journey and love and acceptance for your family. This posting brought my husband to tears as he read it.

  3. Mickey Johnson says:

    …saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. it is good to think that they will no longer have pain and sorrow…it is good to know that they have lived a lovely full life…it is good to know that we will see them again, but it never seems like the right time. praying with you my friend, xo, mickey

  4. Colleen says:

    Good piece of writing, but who are we speaking of here? Call me. Please.

  5. Debra W says:

    Oh Jeannie,

    I do understand what it is like from both the perspective of a family member, and as someone who has worked as a Spiritual Care Volunteer at our hospital.

    It is an absolute blessing to be able to usher others into the next stage of their journey, to surround them, to love on them and to let them know that it is okay for them to leave.

    I wish you peace as you say good-bye to someone who is very important to you. And you are so right. The person who is leaving has the easier job. The people who are left behind are the ones who will need the extra love and support.

    With healing hugs,

  6. Jan says:

    very beautiful…thank you Jeannie…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Jeannie, that was beautiful, I didn't know you had such a way with words. Going through this just a few months ago brings back the tears that we shed for our loved one as well. Our love to you and Johns family.
    PS I love your site, keep it up!!

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