2016, Death & Dying, Hospice, My Journey

Adele Said I Was Cute

I rang the doorbell and anxiously awaited. I was about to meet Adele for the first time. What would I say? What should I ask her? Should I say anything at all?

A family member greeted me at the door and ushered me into where Adele was. She was surrounded by her family. “Mom, this is Jeff.” Her daughter introduced me. “Hello, Ms. Adele,” I said. “It’s an honor to meet you.”

“He’s cute,” Adele responded, shooting a quick wink and smile toward her daughter. “You keep that up. Ms. Adele, and you’re gonna make me blush,” I responded. (Oh, great! That’s the best thing you could come up with, Jeff, to say to Adele!?)

Our conversation was brief. Adel shared what sounded to me like a pretty normal life; opportunity mixed with difficulty. It was what she said next that brought me to tears.

Am I going to die? … Yes, Ms. Adele, you are.

Am I going to go to Heaven? … I’m not God, but I do believe you are.

What’s going to happen to my family? … They are going to be just fine; I promise.

Will I ever see them again? … Yes, I believe you will, when it’s their time.

Will I see my Mom & Dad in Heaven? … Yes, I believe you will.

Will they know me? … Yes, I believe they will.

I’m afraid …There’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything is going to be ok. Rest!

I kissed her hand. Adele gently pulled my hand to her face and returned the kiss.

Adele died early yesterday morning.

So many questions, so little breath left. 

Life is for living. Death should be for dying.

It’s so hard to watch a person use their last breath to figure out why they ever took their first.

“I’m dying,” one 80-year old man told me with tears running down his cheeks, “and I never figured out why I was living.” 

Many of us never learn how to live, so how in the world could we know how to die?

I’ve discovered that the majority of what dying people are concerned about, they should never have to worry about at time of death.

Many dying people spend their last hours of life desperately trying to reconcile their entire lives. How do you reconcile eighty years of life in just a few minutes, or even in a few days?

“If I would have learned how to die long before I died, I would have lived a much better life,” another patient told me on his death bed.

Friend, why are you alive? Do you know?

If you died today, would you be fulfilled?

If Yes, why? If No, why?

I recommend not waiting until you are dying to figure out why you are living. Reconcile now.

Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Make amends. Love yourself!

Call that one you haven’t spoken to in years and burry the hatchet. Hold those closest to you, and love them.

Hold your face up to the sun. Take a deep breath, let it out, and whisper softly, thank you.

For every person I help die, as a Hospice Chaplain, I search for more who want to live; I mean really live.

Friend, what if you didn’t have to worry about what you are worrying about?

What if you didn’t have to carry what you are carrying?

What if life could be just that easy?

I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I do claim to want to help. If you are struggling with an area of life and could use someone to listen, or you know someone who is dying and you would like to know what to say to them, I’d be honored to help. Leave a comment below, or private message me at jeff@jeffcrume.com.

Here’s to life, and life more abundantly!


P.S. If you died today, would you be fulfilled? If Yes, why? If No, why? Leave me a comment, or private message me your answer.

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