"He comes to my house and works His will..."

Earlier today, I wrote this in an e-mail to a dear friend whose father-in-law died in his home a month ago...

How sweet that you were able to care for (your wife's) parents (and that your father-in-law was able to die in your home).

As you may know, Mary Lee cared for my father's ...sister in our home the last six years of her life, the final two of which she was reduced to doing nothing herself other than eating. It was hard on Mary Lee, but a very sweet death. Then, this past year, Mother died in David's home after six years living with him and his wife and children. She had Alzheimer's... Again, hard on David's wife, Cheryl, but a very sweet death.

So praise God for you and (your wife's) godly work.

Really, there's no other way to die. Mary Lee and I had our babies at home, which some of our children are now doing. So we're believers in birth and death getting de-professionalized, returning to heartbreak, tears, love, service, and silence. 

Then a friend, a Titus 2 woman in our church who grew up in India a missionary's child, sent on this link. It's excellent. Read it. Then bring your loved ones home to die.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

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Comments

I can imagine the joy and difficulty of caring for an elder in your own home. I haven't considered the honor of seeing someone pass away there too, but I understand the idea. There isn't a day that I am not burdened by the imminent passing of my own father, who lives in a longterm care center. What is one to do without the benefit of a spouse who can share the required care, when the loved one needs 24 hour supervision? How do you move a frail elder or lift him off the floor without having 911 on speed dial?

Todd,

Several years ago, my mother purchased long term care insurance which would help pay for care in our home. Even without the insurance, I would think home care would be cheaper than residential care.

Dennis, the man who authored that post, is a friend of mine. I met him and his wife at a home school convention years ago. Genuine, kind people who love the Lord, their family and others. Thank you for sharing their sweet love for Naomi's mother!

Denver,

I second Kamilla's reference to services that can send trained hospice workers into a home to provide a variety of ameliorative services to the dying. Medicare and supplemental insurance companies have this benefit. To access it usually requires a physician to certify that the patient has less than six months of life expectancy and that therapeutic measures are of no effect any longer.

We used these services on behalf of my mother, mother-in-law, and my third daughter (age 9 at the time). In our area, hospice services are top-notch.

In the interests of full disclosure, our ability to manage these situations was founded on my wife's vocation in the home (not in the public workplace), as well as the presence of children in the home able/willing to contribute to the maintenance of various domestic systems (laundry, housekeeping, etc.).

Both my father and father-in-law lived in their own settings with non-hospice domestic help (my father, whose domicile was his own home here in town, about five minutes away) or as a live-in member of the family (my father-in-law). Both departed this world in our local hospital (just 3 minutes away), but they resorted to it for what everyone supposed was a short visit for elementary therapeutic services. As it turned out, they departed quickly after arriving there (no reflection on the hospital, of course; one was 85, the 0ther 90). The point: from dying children to advanced-age elder care, one can find affordable assistance, leaving the responsible parties (me and my wife) to serve primarily as managers of the services and advocates for the family members where needed.

It was a joy and a privilege to serve my father in his own home during his last days this past summer. He had been active at age 85, still remodeling homes and serving as a handyman throughout the community, seemingly very healthy. He was diagnosed with "various presentations of cancer" throughout his trunk June 3, given two weeks to three months, and died in his own bed August 25. Jesus was by his side throughout.

My workplace was generous in permitting me to be absent for long periods of time to be with Dad in northern IN. Hospice made regular visits to assess and advise. They were kind and helpful But the most precious thing about his dying was his family gathering around from all across the country to listen to his stories, to clean his house (and him eventually), to help him get up and down and give him sustenance. My three sisters and I are still awed by the response of his adult grandchildren coming from Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Virginia and Indiana over those months to show their love and respect. The Arizona grandson - a big bear of a guy - just "moved in" for a month, worked his job remotely, and took turns with me on night shifts. Dad's teen great-grandchildren came to help, some taking turns and staying overnight to help me help Dad get out of bed. The little great-grandchildren, including two newborns, played indoors and out, learning that death is a natural process of life, and that we take care of each other throughout. What a lesson for us all! We just wanted to be with him and each other, and it kept grief from becoming despair.

Pastors, neighbors, friends and family visited every day, bringing food and friendship and prayer. He was energized by this show of love. All of this for a man who was often cranky and brusque with others; they saw through his tough demeanor to the tender heart inside.

Dad's dying at home was like a gift to us all, showing us the way. I pray that those in the family who do not call Jesus Lord and Savior have been shown the Truth and will repent and cry out in faith. That would be the greater gift.

God is good, Cheryl.

Love,

All the time, Timothy!

I have nobody.

Dear Todd,

No, you're not alone. That's a lie of the Evil One who is the master of alienation.

You have your Savior who is a friend who stays closer than a brother. You have His Church, where true love is not a function of marriage or blood relations, but adoption as a son of God. And you have all of us on Baylyblog. Including me.

Love,

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