This is NOT the end!

The last 10 days have been filled with a wide range of activities and a wide range of emotions. My dear husband, Carlton Hughes, has passed from this world into Heaven.

We have known this was coming for the last 23 years, and we have half-way expected it the last 5 years, but when death comes, it is still somewhat of a jolt! He was here on this earth for nearly 73 years, but in an instant, he was NOT!

It happened like this. He became weaker and weaker as Parkinson’s Disease caused his body to degenerate, until his systems shut down, and he left this earth. During his last 5 days he ate and drank nothing because he was in a coma-like state. We sat beside him, stroked his face and arms, prayed over him, cried over him, and we let him go. In many ways it seemed natural. It seemed like it was meant to be. There was no struggle, really. There was no trauma, really. And there was no pain, thankfully.

His breathing pattern changed twice during those days, and then it just stopped.

For the last 23 years I have prayed for 3 things, and God granted each one. I prayed that he would be able to stay here with us at home, I prayed that he would not have any pain, and I prayed that he would die peacefully. I am so thankful to God that He granted me those 3 requests.

As many of you will understand, caring for Carlton was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. There were many days I wanted to give up, but out of love for him and love for God, I kept on. As caregivers, that’s what we do!

Due to complicated family schedules with 2 graduations in different states, we had the funeral yesterday, just 3 days after he passed. It was quick, but it was truly a celebration of his life. It is available on our church website if you’d like to see it. We buried him yesterday afternoon as our family sat together in the cemetery sharing stories of our relationship with him. It was beautiful.

I am in awe of this quiet house as I write this, and I am feeling very light because no one is here to call my name to come and care for them. Over the next few weeks and months, I know that there will be many ups and downs, and my emotions are likely to swing from grief to joy and everything in between.

But today I am so happy for Carlton because I believe he is in Heaven and has a body with no limitations. He doesn’t have to depend on others to be able to move around! I am so thankful to God for that.

However, there is a hole in my life right now, and I need to just sit with it for a while as I decide what to do next.

Fellow caregivers, do not give up. You are doing good work. It is not going to last forever. Enjoy the good parts and overlook the difficult parts.

Have a great week ahead, and I will be back next Friday or Saturday.

Published by parkinsonscare

I'm a retired mathematics teacher, mother, and grandmother. I cared for my husband for 23 years, and now he is in Heaven. My new mission in life is to support and encourage caregivers like you!

26 thoughts on “This is NOT the end!

  1. A beautiful picture of the faithfulness of God! Things are not always the way we would choose but He is faithful to walk with us through them. I know this next chapter will be filled with more of His loving hand in your life!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheryl, I’ll be praying for peace and guidance as you depend on God! Your post was beautiful and what a positive outlook and heart you have! Your blogging will continue to encourage and bless others because of your commitment and experience with Carleton…what a legacy he leaves!🙌❤️

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    1. Thank you for being here, Ed. It was comforting and encouraging to have you here. Thank you for your visits and prayers with Carlton while he was alive. We both were encouraged every time you prayed with us.

      Like

  3. Sad and not sad to receive your message today. I’m so glad you got your 3 wishes, those were mine too and they were granted also. I remember those first few days as I adjusted to the load lifted from my shoulders. Take your time, enjoy everything you can. I’d love to get together for lunch sometime soon. Let me know a good time for you.
    Love
    Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a beautiful tribute to the man you clearly loved with all of your heart. I love that God heard your cries and granted your heart’s desire for his passing. I pray you find peace as you walk through this grief knowing you did all you could for him. What a blessing! I will also pray a hedge of protection around you as evil likes to attack when we are weak and vulnerable. Shield this woman, Lord, who was such a light for all of us. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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  5. My dear Cheryl, somehow I knew this had happened when you didn’t post a blog last week. I just knew. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit? So I’ve been praying for you, knowing that God knew the need. I’m so sorry for the pain of Carlton not being here now. Sorry for your grief. But your hope in God and in the reality of heaven shines bright. I have no doubt that your very encouraging writing will take a different turn now as you face a new chapter in your life. I look forward to what God shows you and what you will share with us. I am praying for your comfort and your adjustment in the days and months ahead. I love you, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. So very sorry to hear of your loss of your husband. I believe your body and soul may now take deserved time to rest and reflect on the sweeter days you both had. My husband is about 5 years into his diagnosis we know of. I am finding getting out with and without him difficult. Plus all the other things coming you write about. My sister just went through her husband of 49 years get COVID on ventilator then into icu almost 30 days with daily reports of hopefull recovery. That day didn’t come. We each deal with what life gives us, I try to be positive, for him also but it is hard.
    You now have time to heal from the stress, take care of yourself you have not found time to do, and let the tears flow. God Bless You

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I sit here and cry for the heartbreak and the happiness of his restored body in Heaven. May God send His angels to hold you and comfort you at this time. We have the same prayer requests … keep him at home, no pain, and Jesus will take him peacefully. I am thankful to have him still at home, and try to give him the peace that he still has worth everyday. God bless you and many hugs for comfort. Hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Godspeed, Cheryl. I feel that I have come to know you a little bit as we have exchanged comments on each other’s journey with Parkinson’s. I will keep you in my thoughts. Your prayer for your husband’s passing is much the same as mine for my wife. Her name is Cheryl also. Know that we grieve with you.
    God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

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