The Last Breath

The Last Breath

It has been three years since Em, my Mom, left this Earth physically.  I created today’s writing about a year after her passing.  When a person has so much influence on your life, it is hard to let go.  I will never forget the doctor saying we have worked all we can and we cannot do anything else.  I also will never forget my response.  I said, “But you don’t understand I have had her for only 55 years.  I don’t want to let go.”  And that was so very true, see it was all about me not Em.  I was being selfish which I know is human nature, but I needed to let Em complete her living.  See Em did not just give me life, she taught me how to really live life.

She loved a party or celebration!  We always had great meals and decorations for all holidays and special occasions.  She showed me the world filled with all the arts.  From the Parthenon, the only museum we had at the time, to the Ryman filled with music.  She exposed me to all types of literature, especially prose.  She taught me to appreciate the Earth and all it can produce, especially the flowers of the fields!  She showed me how to pray and set with someone waiting to be healed.  She demonstrated sympathy to those who lost loved ones and comforted those left behind with love.  I watched as she worshiped God, and even though we were not wealthy I watched her provide and give to others.  She taught me how to be independent and free as a woman.  She showed me how to care for people physically by taking care of my most important gifts on this Earth, my children.  And even in her last weeks as she was in pain we did not know about due to the Alzheimer’s, she showed me how a mother always protects her offspring.  But the most important lesson she gave me was on how to die.  She showed me how to have dignity and accept God’s hand into heaven with comfort and peace.

All of this to say, if  you, family, or friends are having to face or have had to face death recently, remember it is about that person and not about you.  It is about what they have given to you, and what God now wants them to give in heaven.  It is not about the past, but about how God purposefully used them to influence you. And how you use that influence to fulfill your living.  Our experience was a simple breath.  It was not angels swooping down or doves floating near her or clouds and lights.  She simply experienced a peaceful breath.  No matter how that experience happens, and even though it is the hardest thing to do, when you are allowed to experience it with them you are being given a glimpse into glory!  Embrace it and live it!  Not for you, but for them!

The Last Breath

It seems as real today as it was yesterday.

So vivid—so clear.

We really never know when someone will take their last breath.

No one really expects it.


We know it has to happen in order to pass into heaven.

But we are really never ready.

Never ready for the absence of that beloved person.

Never ready to let go of that physical love.


Breath signifies so much in life.

It is movement which means presence.

It is filling because it provides life.

It is warmth.


In the realm that awaits us I really believe it will be so much more.

It will connect us to God’s filling.

It will praise God with all the saints.

It will give peace to our soul.


The last breath here on earth is hard to watch.

The absence of that spirit leaves an emptiness.

Our new breath there will be such a great celebration.

It will signify that life eternally is calm, slow, and rich in grace.


The last breath is the first breath of peace.

This breath allows the spirit to release itself.

Those of us who witness the last breath on earth are blessed.

We are honored to see that loved one’s first breath in heaven.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thanks for your patience in such a lengthy reading this week.  This is just not any quick and easy subject.  I thank you for sharing my journey with me.  And I pray for you and yours that when you experience death, that you can reflect upon this and peace be brought to you.  Thank you again!  Death is not the ending, it is the beginning of the continued journey ahead—-Embrace it!

Alizheimers is a disease that damages the person and their families extensively.  You actually lose your loved one minute by minute and day to day.  This is usually over an extended period of time with your loved one developing intense mental issues as well as physical issues.  The American Alizheimer’s Association is researching and working hard to seek treatments and cures.  To donate or help, contact them at





Family and Tradition


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