Richard Exley Ministries

Telling Daddy Goodbye
Posted on February 20, 2007

On Thursday afternoon, February 8, 2007, my father departed this world after suffering for several years with a heart condition and fibrosis of the lungs. His home going was peaceful, although the weeks preceding it were filled with considerable suffering. He bore it all with remarkable grace – the pain and choking, the inability to eat and the humiliation of not being able to care for himself. As the end drew near he became ever more affectionate, repeatedly kissing and hugging those of us who cared for him.

My sister turned the office in her home into a sick room and all of us chipped in to purchase a queen size adjustable bed so mother could continue to sleep with daddy.  As the end drew near the children and grandchildren and even the great grandchildren gathered at my sister’s home in Friendswood, Texas. Don and Mel flew in from Argentina, Bob and Anita came from Illinois, Brenda and I drove in from Arkansas and my father’s eighty-seven year old sister arrived from Colorado.

The last Sunday before his death we all crowded around his bed for worship. For the most part Dad seemed oblivious, but when it came time to receive communion he opened his eyes and reached for the cup and the bread. Kneeling beside his bed, I took his hand and began to quote John 14:2 & 3. As I quoted the familiar words, “In my Father's house are many mansions...” he moved his lips, soundlessly mouthing the words along with me. As we sang his favorite hymns he seemed to draw strength from them. Not strength to live but the strength to pass from this life to the next without fear.

Category: Grief

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