Thursday, May 9

The End (and a new Beginning)

Ben passed away at 2:30am on May 9th.  He died peacefully at the hospital.  I already miss him terribly, but am so glad that he isn't hurting and suffering anymore, and even more that he is with Jesus now - "to live is Christ, to die is gain."

Ben's Memorial Service will be on June 1st at 2:30pm, at Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue, Washington.
Instead of flowers, consider making a gift in his memory to One Challenge International, the mission organization Ben worked for the last several years.  They supported him through thick and thin, and his heart was with them and their mission.

Starting Sunday night, breathing became extremely hard for Ben, even with all the help we could give him at home.  He seemed to improve on Tuesday - and I thought that he would stabilize for a time.  But on Wednesday morning his doctor said "You don't have long left now," and he was right.  The difficulty breathing began to make Ben anxious, and he started to act somewhat irrationally - trying to pull off his breathing mask and get up to walk around.
As his distress increased, I read Psalms to him, including some of his favorites, Psalm 20 and 40.  At one point a verse said "God is our rescue," and Ben looked directly at me in a moment of clarity and coherence and said "I need to be rescued!"  It was then I called the hospice center again, and this led to Ben's admission to Overlake Hospital.

At the hospital, Ben (if he had been more aware) would have been so impressed with the team we had.  Both an exceptional ER doctor and Inpatient doctor, who were very present, positively communicative, and interested in giving Ben the treatment he wished.  As a hospital visitor veteran, I can say that I knew Ben was so well-cared for, as were my parents and I as we stayed with Ben.

I knew from conversations we had previously that Ben didn't want any invasive measures taken to prolong his life, and just to be as free of pain and anxiety as possible.  In his stage of disease, artificial respiration and such doesn't save lives, but mostly causes discomfort to the patient while possibly prolonging their life for just a short time.  The doctors helped Ben to lay quietly, sedated enough that his failing breath from his fluid-filled lungs didn't distress him.
My parents and I stood over Ben for his hours in the hospital, praying over him and singing hymns about our hope in Christ.  I hope that as he heard us, he was encouraged in his final hours. 

I'm so grateful that we had a special time together at Lake Crescent; and that he got to see so many people who were important to him this week and in the past few weeks in Seattle.  Many more of you didn't have a chance to say goodbye as you would have liked - including Ben's parents.  Please know that Ben treasured and appreciated his relationships on this earth - you were his motivation!

Ben is done with his broken body and now has a new, amazing one.  He is with the One who loves Him more than anything and saved his soul.  And I personally believe that Ben's adventures have only just begun.  I look forward to celebrating with him someday!  Everyone who has Christ as savior is forgiven through his sacrifice, and will be with Him and with Ben when we all die.  God's gift to us, if we believe in Him and receive Him into our lives, is this eternal life.  I hope that anyone who wants to know more about this will talk to someone who knows Jesus - please email me at LMorrell17 @ gmail dot com if you want to know more. 

This sure did seem like a good time for an altar call.  It just remains, as Ben always did, to say thank you so much for your prayers and support of him and myself.  Our friends and family have always been God's hands and feet to us, and he has used you to show us some of his amazing love.
At this time when you pray for me, please also remember Ben's mother, father, brother, sister and sister-in-law.


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