Sadness Met Me at the Edge of Life and Death

Carl Lansdale Edwards
1942-2020

“Sadness Met Me the Edge of Life and Death” by Joan Y. Edwards

Sadness met me at the edge of life and death. My husband, Carl Lansdale Edwards’ heart stopped beating and God took him to be with him on Monday, August 31, 2020  at 7:21 a.m. 

Thank you, God, for Carl.

Carl carried a Gratitude Rock in his pocket. When he touched it, he would say, “Thank you, God” and name someone or something he was grateful for. He was especially thankful for his family and friends.

***

Carl’s obituary is on HankinsandWhittington.com. 

***

On Tuesday, September 8, 2020 we had visitation and rosary at Hankins and Whittington, followed  by a funeral Mass at St. Peter’s Church, and we buried him at Evergreen Cemetery in Charlotte, NC.

Deacon Jim Bozik, a longtime friend of Carl’s and mine gave a wonderful homily sharing stories about Carl during the Funeral Mass. Carl’s friend shared the story of how he saved Carl’s life in high school. Here’s a link to watch and listen on Facebook. You don’t have to have a Facebook account to view it. I put it on public. Anyone can view it. If for some reason, you can’t get it to work, let me know.

https://www.facebook.com/joanyedwards1/videos/10224009854217914

***

Please pray for those who are taking care of others. When we get close to the edge of life and death, it is a powerless feeling. At that time we realize that God created us to be here on earth for a special reason. He knows when he creates us what day he is going to take us away. The thing is we don’t know when that day is.

Doctors get frustrated because they can’t figure out what’s going wrong and fix it.

Patients get frustrated because the can’t be independent and do what they used to be able to do. They are afraid that death is around the corner. They get angry about the situation they are in. They are hurting so much that on the one hand; they want death and on the other hand they are afraid of dying.

Perhaps people who are sick forget their good qualities. It helped Carl to write good things about himself on 3×5 cards and keep in a basket and on separate cards to write his complaints or fears and put them in a different basket. It’s important for people to realize other people think good things about them. HOWEVER, the most powerful words that reach the inner self are the words you say to yourself. All I know is that it helped Carl love himself a little more and be more relaxed before he went to the hospital the last time.

Loved ones have mixed emotions; fear that death is coming; sadness and grief that what they’ve tried to do to help hasn’t seemed to help keep death away.

The spiritual area is where we can reach them. Through God’s help, our words and actions may help them.

***

Carl gave people he met in stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices, and hospitals a ball point pen with this message inscribed: “Do Something Good for Yourself; You Deserve It.” 

Here’s how he explained it on Thursday, August 24, 2020.

“I give you this pen. That makes me happy.
You receive this pen. That makes you happy.
You read the message. That makes you happy.
Each time you read the message or think about the message, it makes you happy. You think of me and that makes you happy. NOW that makes me happy.”

***

Sunday afternoon, August 30th, I went to visit Carl. I took his pens with me. I gave one to the nurses in the ICU unit. A nurse came to check his blood sugar. I told her that Carl would like for her to have this pen. She said, “Oh my goodness! My husband and I were having a tiff about this very thing this morning. He said, “You need to take more time for yourself. I screamed at him, “I don’t have time to take time for myself.” She asked me why she had screamed at him.
I told her she had mixed emotions. On the one hand she loved being a nurse and helping others; on the other hand, working 12 hour shifts didn’t actually leave her any time for herself. I suggested she take just 5 minutes to do something that made her smile that day.

She turned to Carl and said, “Thank you for this pen, Carl. I am going to do something good for myself today. I do deserve it.” 

Carl nodded his head, “Yes.” This was a big sign that he was still alive.

How great that his last encounter with giving one of his pens was so meaningful! Thank you, Lord.

***

Carl was talking with his daughter on Saturday, August 29th before he died on Monday morning. He said, “You know. I always thought I would take the A-Train. But I think I’ll climb the Golden Stairway.”

Stairway to Heaven

Song Sung by Ralph Stanley https://youtu.be/nQZpehrQmPg

Lyrics https://www.classic-country-song-lyrics.com/stairwaytoheavenlyricschords.html

Stairway To Heaven
Recorded by the Stanley Brothers
written by Bill J. Grant and Ralph Stanley
                                 
1. 
Have you dreamed of a stairway to heaven
A home just beyond the blue
A stairway of gold to God's heavenly fold
A stairway that's waiting for you
                                   
Chorus
There's a stairway (golden stairway) stairway to heaven   
That leads to a home bright and fair
Step by step I'll climb till His hand touches mine
Then I'll rest at the top of the stairs
                                
2.There's a stairway that leads up to heaven
That others before us have crossed.
They've gone to a place that Jesus prepared
At the foot of the throne of God.

Chorus
There's a stairway (golden stairway) stairway to heaven 
That leads to a home bright and fair.
Step by step I'll climb till His hand touches mine
Then I'll rest at the top of the stairs.

3. There's a place at the top of the stairway
Where we'll rest when we're all safely there.
And friends that we leave someday we will meet
In our home at the top of the stairs.

Chorus
There's a stairway (golden stairway) stairway to heaven 
That leads to a home bright and fair.
Step by step I'll climb till His hand touches mine
Then I'll rest at the top of the stairs.

Here are four hymns that Carl and I liked. They played all of them at the Visitation and three of them at the church. I hope they bring you solace and help you realize how much our creator loves you.

  1. 10,000 Reasons

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E
Lyrics: http://myktis.com/songs/10000-reasons/

By Matt Redman

10,000 REASONS LYRICS Matt Redman

Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

You’re rich in love
And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find

And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years
And then forevermore

 2. It Is Well with My Soul (Wintley Phipps)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXbM8rgiIM4
Lyrics: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/It_Is_Well_with_My_Soul/

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
  1. Amazing Grace

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3XdXEJEI4E&feature=youtu.be

Amazing grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

  1. Thank you, Lord.  Lyrics by Don Moen.
    Song: https://youtu.be/1UwBdCMcYVALyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/donmoen/thankyoulord.html

I come before you today
And there’s just one thing
That I want to say
Thank You Lord, thank You Lord,

For all you’ve given to me
For all the blessings that I
cannot see
Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless your name.

Thank you, Lord.
I just want to thank you, Lord.
Thank you, Lord.
I just want to thank you, Lord.
Thank you, Lord.

For all you’ve done in my life
You took my darkness
And gave me your light.
Thank You Lord, thank You Lord.

You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain.
Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord.

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless your name.

  1. Thank you, Lord.
    I just want to thank you, Lord.
  2. Thank you, Lord.
    I just want to thank you, Lord.
  3. Thank you, Lord.
    I just want to thank you, Lord.
  4. Thank you, Lord.
    I just want to thank you, Lord.

Thank you, Lord.

Another song they played at the Visitation that went along with the Mountain theme of the program was:

Go Rest High on That Mountain

By Vince Gill

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain.
You weren’t afraid to face the devil,
You were no stranger to the rain.

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done.
Go to heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the Father and the Son.

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve.
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing.

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done.
Go to heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the Father and the Son.

Source: LyricFind

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2020 Joan Y. Edwards

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22 thoughts on “Sadness Met Me at the Edge of Life and Death”

  1. Words can’t really express how your wonderful tribute to Carl and to our Lord, Jesus touched me, Joan.

    Carl’s attitude of gratitude is something we should all aspire to be like! Amazing pen idea too.

    10,000 Reasons is one of my favs.

    Blessings, Love, & Prayers
    Tracy.

  2. My dear, 78 is a good span. I am happy to die any moment, and happy to live on for a while.
    And it’s not how long you live, but how well. From what you have said, he did well.
    All that matters is what we take with us when we go, and what we live behind in the hearts of others. Everything else is Monopoly money.

    1. Dear Bob,
      Thanks for writing.Yes, Carl lived a good life and he left many good memories behind. Carl loved to play Monopoly and capture as much money as he could!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  3. Joan, you have written a beautiful testament of Carl’s positive outlook on life. Thank you for sharing in your time of grief.

    1. Dear Gretchen,
      Thank you for writing. I appreciate that you thought it was a good statement of Carl’s positive outlook on life. I hope by sharing that it might help others in their time of need. Thanks for traveling with me on this journey of life.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Melanie,
      Thank you for writing. Thanks for your kind words about my words about Carl. Thank you for being on this life’s journey with me. You make it easier to take the next step.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Pat,
      Thank you for writing Carl and I decided our mission together was to make everyone we met feel a little better about themselves than when we met them. It helped give him purpose after he retired from work. He was in it all the way! Thanks for being on this journey with me and helping me take the next step.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  4. Yes, it is very hard for all of us to be or see someone at the brink of death. We are helpless. God is not. I realized this when my first husband died. “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Luke 22:42. Jesus said that before He died. Certainly, He knew what it meant to rely on God the Father.

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing that you also felt helpless at the brink of death. You’re right. God is not helpless. He knows when and how to take his loved one into his open arms and say, “Well done., my faithful servant. Well-done. Thank you for being on this journey with me. You are helping me take the next step. Your prayers and the prayers of those in your circle helped cover Carl with love and support that he needed. When y’all prayed for him, he didn’t feel alone. A wonderful feeling to know others are with you on your journey.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  5. Dear Joan,
    I am sorry for your loss and how difficult it was at the end. Great post about a wonderful, positive person your husband. Try to remember during this time how blessed you were to have him in your life. Not all of us are so fortunate to have such wonderful husbands. Amazing Grace is a favorite hymn of mine.

    take care of yourself,

  6. Good morning Joan,

    What a wonderful tribute to your dearly departed husband. While you mourn his absence, rest assured that he has gone to his heavenly reward and is resting peacefully in the arms of our Lord and Saviour, whom he loved and served so well.

    Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy

    1. Dear Ken,
      Thank you for writing! I am comforted knowing God is holding Carl close to his side in heaven. I am doing my best to keep safe and well.
      I hope you and your family are well and happy!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  7. Your Carl sounds like a gentle-man. How precious his message with the pens. What a blessing he was to you and folks who knew him and to the strangers who received that special pen. Truly he was a great example of a man living his faith. I happened to come across the song, Go Rest High Up on the Mountain, on Facebook after attending my brother’s funeral 2 years ago. I believe it was a God-wink. The lyrics and melody gave me peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing all the hymns that have such a message of peace for all and for letting us know about your sweetheart.

    1. Dear JQ,
      Thank you for writing. Carl was indeed a gentle man. He did live his faith. I’m glad you liked the song, “Go Rest High Up on the Mountain.” I love the words and the program has the mountains and the words from the song on it at the funeral home. I had never heard it before. It is pretty. I like your term, God-wink. May you have many more God-winks during your life time. You are a blessing to me.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

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