5 Unforgettable Hours

5 Unforgettable Hours

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I just said goodbye to someone.  We knew for a few days that he was at death’s door.  I’ve lived long enough to know that there are times when death is harsh and ugly.  I’ve also experienced times when I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s presence in the circumstances and He makes it a special time (or at the very least, less painful).

My step-father was nearing the end of his life.  My heart ached for my mom as I anticipated that she was about to lose the person she loves, or as she puts it, “her dream man”.  So, I prayed that God would make it special.  I asked that the Holy Spirit would move in a powerful way through all the circumstances surrounding Walt’s death.

It’s over

A few days ago, at 1:30 a.m., I got a phone call.  Walt’s daughter told me that he just died.  I was half asleep and couldn’t think of what to do.  Should I drive there in the middle of the night?  Should I wake up my mom at this hour?  Should I let her sleep knowing that the next day would so full of activity that she would be exhausted?  I was in a fog and couldn’t think straight enough to figure it out.

I admit that this thought crossed my mind:  How could this happen in the middle of the night?  I guess God didn’t answer my prayer, it’s all over.  Where’s the specialness in that?

I drove 1/2 hour to the assisted living center.  The nurse said that we could take time with Walt as he lay peacefully, already with His Savior in Heaven.  His daughters began to relay story after story about their childhood, what they did, how their dad handled it or how they got away with it.  Periodically we hugged Walt as we laughed and shared memories.  It was dark outside; the whole world was asleep.  There were no residents in the halls, no noise and no distractions.

Finally, at 4:00 a.m., I decided to wake up my mom in the next wing of the facility.  I didn’t want her to miss out on this chance to spend time with her precious husband.  We left her alone with him as she said goodbye to the man who held her heart.

Light seeped through the windows, brightening the dim hallways.  The morning shift of nurses began waking up residents.  The funeral director arrived and activity buzzed around us.  I watched them roll the gurney down the hall.  Time sped up from a slow, peaceful, long night to a fast-paced day with meetings and funeral arrangements.

5 unforgettable hours

Earlier I had questioned God and asked why this happened in the middle of the night.  But God had a much better plan.  He gave us the gift of 5 unforgettable hours in the quiet darkness.   God really did answer my prayer, I just didn’t recognize it until it was over and I looked back.  What I thought was awful turned out to be wonderful!

God has a better plan

I wonder if that’s how God sees all of us at death’s door.  We wonder where God is in those moments, but His plan is so much better that we can ever imagine.  God is in control and encourages us to trust Him through this step that we must take in order to be with Him for eternity.

We won’t fully understand God’s better plan until after life is over.

And sometimes…. He makes it a little less painful for us at death’s door.


Laurie Driesen About Laurie Driesen

Laurie Driesen is a writer, entrepreneur and business owner. Her passion is to encourage and strengthen people's faith by sharing the truth of God's Word through her writing. In her recently published book, Beyond Regret - Living Your Life Purpose in Spite of Past Choices, Laurie shares how God uses our mistakes and detours to lead us into His will and accomplish His true purpose for our lives. Check out her website for more.


  1. Your story brought goosebumps. How beautiful to experience the peace and quiet of family and memories. To God be the Glory!

  2. Laurie Driesen says:

    God is amazing and I’m so grateful! It also taught me a lesson, one I thought I had learned already many times!

  3. I count it a blessing to be with or near a loved one in the last unforgettable hours as you were about to do. They are moments to cherish and yes, God does see and understand better than we do. I hope your Mama does all right.

  4. Laurie Driesen says:

    Thank you Jude, she is actually doing much better than I would have expected. She is very lonely though, Walt was everything to her. I am grateful for the special time we had with him that night.

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