Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Terminal Again

on January 23, 2014

This time it’s real. This time we have been instructed to choose a time and a place before Agnes chooses it for us. This time the treatments they try don’t work. This time her condition declines and never fully recovers, so she loses something each time.

The doctor told us she talked with all the other ICU attendings over the last 48 hours, and they all agree there is nothing more they can do. The doctor told us we are talking in terms of hours or days Agnes has left. The doctor told us the several episodes of Agnes declining are her body telling us she is done.

Agnes is done.


Now it’s up to us to let her go. We can try to plan for it by preparing a specific time with the pain-killer medicines needed, all the people who we want to be around, for us to be ready and present and not in the bathroom or down in the cafeteria when Agnes leaves this earth. The longer we wait, the likelier it is Agnes will choose her time, and we might not be there, or our priest might not be able to make it in time, or Agnes might suffer more because the medicine she needs to be comfortable won’t be at her bedside.


How do I announce the death of my child before it happens? Doesn’t that seem weird to anyone else? All I can say is, she will probably go before the weekend is over. We tried to explain to Stephen that the angels were coming to take Agnes to live with Mary and Jesus in heaven, but I’m not sure how much he absorbed. We’ll try again. It was good for us to think about the angels, too. Agnes has one foot out the door, and we’ll stay with her and watch until she leaves with the angels.

22 responses to “Terminal Again

  1. Lauren says:

    Loving you. Praying for you. Thinking of you. Loving you. Agnes is so blessed to have you as parents. You love her well. You always will.

    May you be surrounded by those angels in these hours, days, months ahead.

  2. Lorraine Nielsen says:

    Judy and Jeremy, I am so sorry to hear this. May our Lord comfort you and wrap his loving arms around you and your family. God will welcome little Agnes as she enters his kingdom.

    Lorraine Nielsen

  3. ella says:

    I am so, so sorry…

  4. Amy Seymour says:

    I’m in prayer for you. Remember, it’s not over until the angels actually come to take her to be with the Lord, so there’s still time for a full-blown miracle if God so ordains. I’m praying that God be glorified by such a miracle! But regardless, I’m praying for all of you. I can’t imagine what you are going through.

  5. Penny says:

    I think in our hearts we knew this would come sooner or later but it still fills my eyes with tears. She has been here for exactly the number of days He planned for her and in that time we have all bowed to your courage and strength. For all her illnesses and challenges, it will still be so so hard to say farewell to that little pink face in the pictures you have posted. I would have liked to have met her. Thank you again for sharing and baring this to all of us. We will hold all of you close in heart and prayer ………….until those angels come, until you can heal.

  6. JeneaSwainston says:

    Love you all…I’m so glad this is in God’s hands. you are all in my heart and prayers…Love, Aunt Jenea

  7. Sheila Malone says:

    Praying for you in a very special way.

  8. Jamey and Jennie says:

    We are very sorry to hear this sad sad news. We will continue to pray for you all. May God bless you and may he send an Angel down to hold your hand while he brings Agnes home. We love you.

  9. Carole says:

    Sending you strength, courage and more strength when it’s all too much to bare.

  10. Pete & Norma says:

    Dear Judy, Jeremy and Stephen,

    All of us at Holy Ghost Parish are praying that the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, will inspire everyone involved with little Agnes (and this includes her patron saint whose feast day we recently celebrated and all our guardian angels) to be especially close to you in these bittersweet hours. You have a great “cloud of witnesses” all around you.

    Pete & Norma

  11. Sarah and Zoe Friez says:

    Judy we think of you with great fondness and are so sorry to hear of Agnes’ struggle. We will pray for your family in a special way every day.

  12. Martin says:

    My condolences for your loss, as a parent I can’t imagine how rough this is for you.

  13. Jim says:

    As a forty-something year old who lost a six-month old little sister to congenital heart defects when I was three years old, I will keep you and Stephen in my prayers. Pull your family close, and know that you have friends that you have never met.

  14. Marc van den Boogaard says:

    My prayers and tears are all I can offer you.

  15. macnylleth says:

    I cannot imagine. Tearing up and praying for all of you. May God give you strength.

  16. Agnes–what a beautiful name….she is truly a “lamb of God.” Blessings and prayers.

  17. Travis says:

    Jeremy, I can’t imagine the pain you and Judy must be feeling. I’m very sorry for your loss. I can only offer this: God takes us into His kingdom when He’s ready; and the sweetest children He loves the most are the ones He can’t bear to be without for long. God’s taking Agnes back to Himself because He must need her back.
    -Travis & Kari Kale

  18. Berthe says:

    Agnes will be always with you and your Family, from the peaceful and Blessed Kingdom of above.
    Many prayers

  19. Sachiko says:

    My son died as a preemie in my arms, thirteen years ago. I have more children now, who are wonderful, but I will always miss my little boy. May God comfort you and surround you with the ministering of angels, Love and prayers to you.

  20. Dick Schenk says:

    Just becoming aware of your baby and family thanks to a Rod Dreher post. Through the intercession of Father Solanus Casey and St. Jude, I ask that God’s will be done for your baby and family. May you all feel the embrace of Jesus and his mother Mary on this special weekend.

  21. Karen says:

    I too was sent here from Rod Dreher’s blog…Judy and Jeremy, I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl Agnes. Since our son was born with a disability 6 months ago, I have come to believe that God so dearly loves these little ones. I pray that Agnes is resting peacefully in the arms of her heavenly Father, and I pray for peace that passes understanding for your family. I will keep you all in my prayers in the days to come.

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