The hardest journey

I know this will be your hardest journey but remember; God will never leave you nor forsake you.

Bible and noteThese are my husband’s words in a letter to me that I found in his Bible, after his death. I remember them every time I have a ‘teary day’, or fall down a hole. But recently I ‘connected some dots’, as the saying goes.

Please let me explain.

Geoff, using the oxymiser,
From the viewing room, overlooking Freshman Bay

I was hunting through the many photograph files on my computer, looking for one I took of Geoff in the ‘viewing room’ of the hospice. No, the ‘viewing room’ was not for the body… it was a room with a magnificent view out over Freshman Bay.

The reason I wanted to find it, was to move it to recent photos of Geoff. That was the last time he was out of his room. But I could not find it. I checked my camera, in case I had not taken it off.  (I was not thinking too well at that time.)

As I examined so many pictures, I found a different one,  one that was taken the day before my surgery in September 2012. I looked at the photo, and cried. The look in his eyes held such pain. It haunted me.

When my daughter visited, I showed her the picture, still upset about the look in his eyes.

“Given the circumstances, what would you expect Mum?” she asked.

The circumstances? The  day after taking the photo, I was going into hospital to have a graft inserted into most of my aorta. It was a risky procedure. But we had talked about it, prayed about it, counselled about it, and looked at the alternative. The alternative was that Geoff continue to live as he had for the previous nine months… fearing the aneurysm would burst. (Three surgeons had told me that I was a time-bomb waiting to go off.)

Geoff, Aquarium
Photo credit – John Reiss


Yes, my precious husband, whose thoughts were for me as he faced his own death, had some knowledge of ‘the hardest journey’.


He had lived with the anxiety of my painful death and his own helplessness, during the long months leading up to the surgery. (He had shared that with me.) He had looked at the possibility of life without me. So when he said in another letter I found, “I put myself in your shoes and it hurts…” he had some experience of what those shoes would feel like.

I am sure he also knew that I would take the pain and the tears to God. He did remind me in those last letters he wrote while in the hospice… “remember; God will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Oh… the connection. I was combing my hair up into a ‘bun’ the other day, and saw my eyes. The same look was there.

As all who have lost husbands, or wives, know… great love = great loss, but then there is the hope of the reunion.



2 thoughts on “The hardest journey

  1. Barbara Keegan

    Dear precious Susan,
    Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and the loving article. What an amazing love story and encouraging words. We love you and thank God for you. Barbara.


    • Hold the Faith

      Thank you Barbara. I was awed by the fact that, when facing a very horrible death, his thoughts were of how I would cope. He cared enough to write three loving letters that told me of the ways he appreciated me. I often thought in those first couple of weeks, ‘I know why God took him first’. As I reflected on his life, I saw he had a ‘servant-heart’.
      And by the way, I thank God for the support and encouragement. Susan


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