When a lost person dies

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Sep 30, 2017
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#1
Hello, right now, my daughter's father's grandmother is dying. Her kidneys have stopped and she is unconscious and being given morphine. It's only a waiting game now. That whole side of the family is lost. I want to be encouraging and sympathetic but I don't really know what to say other than my thoughts are with them and I said a prayer for the grandmother. I don't feel I can be honestly comforting when I'm pretty sure I know where she is going. (I won't say for certain because I'm not God, but I could assume going by what I know of her and that side of the family.) I prayed for God to change her heart before she died, but I'm not confident that prayer did anything.

What would you do in that situation?

I've tried talking to my ex about Jesus in the past and he reacted very defensive and hostile towards the idea. He's a very negative person and full of hurt and anger, depression. He always talks about wanting to die or not caring if he died. (one of the main reasons we are not together.) He's a good loving father though. But he is very lost.
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#2
What do I do in that situation? Love the people who are living through it. I don't think death is a good time to tell someone, "Oh, by the way. Your grandmother is going to hell." But it is a very good time to love your daughter.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
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#3
The best thing to do is to pray for the soul of the grandmother and to be as comforting as you can. Allow God to speak words of comforrt and encouragement through you.
 

Dan58

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2013
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#4
I'm sure your former mother-in-law has heard the story of Christ during her life time, so you never know where a persons heart will turn at the end (death bed conversion). Even atheist in foxholes pray when they're convinced death is near :). People convince themselves there is no God during their lifetime, but when push comes to shove, they will reach out in the end, because there is no hope in or from anywhere else. Hopefully, God heard your prayer and softened her heart where she prayed to Him herself, before going unconscious and getting the morphine. Not much else you can do, salvation is an individual choice.
 

OneFaith

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
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#5
The safe thing to say, if asked, is “God is Judge”. But even in this situation never lie. If she passes and people say “Well at least she went to heaven.” Do not nod your head in agreement, rather say “I hope to see her there someday.” Or if they back you into a corner and ask if you think she went to heaven, say “From what I’ve read in the Bible, it’s hard to conclude that, but I’m not God, and I don’t know everything about her situation, or the thoughts in her mind, so I truly can’t say. All we can do is our best to follow the Bible and hope to see our loved ones there.” They are still here, so leave room for their doubts about their own salvation so that they will study and obey, cause you want them to make it There whether their loved one did or not.
 

girljoe

Junior Member
Feb 28, 2017
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#6
Unfortunately I have been in similar situations with two family members so I deeply feel your pain and confusion about what to do. Having both situations in my rear view, I'll share my perspective and I hope it is helpful for you.

Here's the foundation of my philosophy on how to behave. We are not responsible for another person's salvation. (Decades ago my mom heard Chuck Swindall say that on the radio and she has repeated it to me so many times.) God knows their hearts, where we are only aware of what we see on the outside. Continue to pray vigilantly based on the needs that you observe and leave the rest to God. Because you leave it to God, the burden is His and He will reveal to you any task He has for you in regards to witnessing. In addition, since the burden is His you are free to comfort the grieving with compassion. That doesn't mean you say things like "she's going to a better place" but you can say things like "I know how this hurts you, lets grieve together" and then offer hugs and be silent. They will speak if they need to. Physical proximity and touch is as comforting as words.

He might be lost, but you are not. Quietly shine your light and God will use you as He sees fit.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
62,986
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#7
Don't ever assume that you know where a person is headed to after they die. God alone knows the condition of this woman's heart, and will judge her accordingly..
 
Sep 30, 2017
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#8
they have said, "She just wants to go be with Grampa now". I don't know them that well so can't with a clear conscience agree with them that that is where she is now. (she passed away last night) I won't confirm to them that is where she is since she may not have been saved. I don't want to enable/encourage false hope/belief that everyone goes to Heaven just because you loved them. That helps no one. But I won't just outright tell them she went to hell either. (I agree, I'm not God so I don't know for sure) And that would only push them away from God and now is not the appropriate time. We can only assume going by what we see. So I won't be saying things like "Yeah, she's with Grampa now. In a better place." Who knows, He may be in heaven or hell, and she may have gone to the opposite place. I feel like the best I can do is just hug them and say my thoughts are with them.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
62,986
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#9
Like others have said, we don't know what conversations she may have had with Jesus in her last days or moments.. So yes, just giving your condolences and saying your thoughts are with them is sufficient. :)
 

girljoe

Junior Member
Feb 28, 2017
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#10
I agree, the best you can do is hug them and say your thoughts are with them. I do understand your position. My husband lost a good friend and in his grief he verbalized that she must have gone to heaven because she was such a good person. And she was. I didn't point out that he knows the only way to heaven is through salvation, even though I felt compelled to speak the truth. I just said I understood how he felt.

It might help you to have a go-to phrase for when you're with the family. Something noncommittal like, "I understand," or "do you need to talk about that?" and then just let them talk. I definitely think you're wise in not sharing your belief regarding her place in eternity. If specifically asked I would take that as a witnessing opportunity from God and proceed with, "I can't know first hand about Grandma's relationship with God but I do know how to obtain salvation" and hope the person inquires about salvation and what that means. If you use that line, by all means come up with a better word than 'obtain.' That sounded like some book-learning from the 1950's but it's all I've got.

God puts us where He can use us. He may intend to use you in this situation. If that is the case, the devil is aware of your potential too. Guard against hasty words and listen for God's voice. I mention the 'hasty words' because I myself am prone to speaking before I stop to listen to what God has for me to say. I am praying for guidance for you. I also offer my sincerest condolences to you and her family.

they have said, "She just wants to go be with Grampa now". I don't know them that well so can't with a clear conscience agree with them that that is where she is now. (she passed away last night) I won't confirm to them that is where she is since she may not have been saved. I don't want to enable/encourage false hope/belief that everyone goes to Heaven just because you loved them. That helps no one. But I won't just outright tell them she went to hell either. (I agree, I'm not God so I don't know for sure) And that would only push them away from God and now is not the appropriate time. We can only assume going by what we see. So I won't be saying things like "Yeah, she's with Grampa now. In a better place." Who knows, He may be in heaven or hell, and she may have gone to the opposite place. I feel like the best I can do is just hug them and say my thoughts are with them.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,865
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#11
I've seen it several times and it's never a comforting experience. I believe you can know with a great deal of certainty if a person who has rejected Christ dies he or she is not going to be with Jesus. The RC part of the family is really difficult to talk to about this stuff but when they die no one is certain where they have gone.

I know what the bible teaches and I know that without Christ they departed into everlasting fire and condemnation.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 

kvolm2016

Junior Member
Feb 16, 2017
14
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#12
they have said, "She just wants to go be with Grampa now". I don't know them that well so can't with a clear conscience agree with them that that is where she is now. (she passed away last night) I won't confirm to them that is where she is since she may not have been saved. I don't want to enable/encourage false hope/belief that everyone goes to Heaven just because you loved them. That helps no one. But I won't just outright tell them she went to hell either. (I agree, I'm not God so I don't know for sure) And that would only push them away from God and now is not the appropriate time. We can only assume going by what we see. So I won't be saying things like "Yeah, she's with Grampa now. In a better place." Who knows, He may be in heaven or hell, and she may have gone to the opposite place. I feel like the best I can do is just hug them and say my thoughts are with them.

Agreed! Those of us who are in a relationship with God/Jesus are comforted by the knowledge that when we die we will be with them in heaven. Those who are not in this relationship don't have God, Jesus, heaven or hell in their line of thinking so to talk with them about those things in this moment is not being sensitive to their need. I think expressing your sincere sorrow at the pain they are feeling in the loss of their loved one is what they will remember about how you cared for them in their time of sorrow. And God may use that as a stepping stone to more of a relationship with the family so that you could have an opportunity in the future to share your faith.
 

Kaylyn

Junior Member
Jan 3, 2018
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#13
I was at a Women of Faith conference once and had the blessing of listening to Barbra Johnson speak. When parents of people who had committed suicide asked her if they went to Heaven she told them these words of truth and hope: We have a loving and just God. And that is comforting. Another thing is, because of who God is and what He can do, I believe He has communication with a persons' heart and soul as they are leaving their body. I have no Scripture to back that up other than what the Bible tells us about who God is and that He has no limitations on Him.
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
12,205
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#14
I was at a Women of Faith conference once and had the blessing of listening to Barbra Johnson speak. When parents of people who had committed suicide asked her if they went to Heaven she told them these words of truth and hope: We have a loving and just God. And that is comforting. Another thing is, because of who God is and what He can do, I believe He has communication with a persons' heart and soul as they are leaving their body. I have no Scripture to back that up other than what the Bible tells us about who God is and that He has no limitations on Him.
Id agree up to the part of the soul leaving the body.Then it is too late.I don't believe everyone who commits suicide goes to hell,I do think God has mercy. But it is a serious thing to do,to take ones own life. And so we should never let a person feel God is fine with suicide.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,865
625
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#15
I was at a Women of Faith conference once and had the blessing of listening to Barbra Johnson speak. When parents of people who had committed suicide asked her if they went to Heaven she told them these words of truth and hope: We have a loving and just God. And that is comforting. Another thing is, because of who God is and what He can do, I believe He has communication with a persons' heart and soul as they are leaving their body. I have no Scripture to back that up other than what the Bible tells us about who God is and that He has no limitations on Him.
She did not have a scripture for her position either. Some comfort themselves by changing the truth of Gods word. I would not teach what contradicts Gods word since the living still need to hear and respond to Gods word rightly divided.

It is not good to lull people into believing that God saves those who have not received Christ as Savior.

Suicide has been discussed at length here on the forums.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
Jan 12, 2018
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#16
Hello, right now, my daughter's father's grandmother is dying. Her kidneys have stopped and she is unconscious and being given morphine. It's only a waiting game now. That whole side of the family is lost. I want to be encouraging and sympathetic but I don't really know what to say other than my thoughts are with them and I said a prayer for the grandmother. I don't feel I can be honestly comforting when I'm pretty sure I know where she is going. (I won't say for certain because I'm not God, but I could assume going by what I know of her and that side of the family.) I prayed for God to change her heart before she died, but I'm not confident that prayer did anything.

What would you do in that situation?

I've tried talking to my ex about Jesus in the past and he reacted very defensive and hostile towards the idea. He's a very negative person and full of hurt and anger, depression. He always talks about wanting to die or not caring if he died. (one of the main reasons we are not together.) He's a good loving father though. But he is very lost.
If you don't know what God will do, then don't say.
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
5,944
191
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#17
The dead know nothing (universal Alzheimer's) the former things of this world like a lost love ones will not be remembered or ever come to mind .The dead will never rise to new spirit life.

If it was the other way around and when a person dies we that are still here alive lost our memory of them. How would we know who we are having no history? Loosing ones memory shows God is a God of mercy in that way.
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#18
The dead know nothing (universal Alzheimer's) the former things of this world like a lost love ones will not be remembered or ever come to mind .The dead will never rise to new spirit life.

If it was the other way around and when a person dies we that are still here alive lost our memory of them. How would we know who we are having no history? Loosing ones memory shows God is a God of mercy in that way.
Not related to the post at all, just a request.

Don't call it universal Alzheimers. People with Alzheimer's do know things. Dad's going to Stage 3 now. Not good. BUT, he still knows an amazing amount of things. What he does not remember, his body still does. His emotions still do. There's a whole lot of knowing left after memories disappear.
 

Kaylyn

Junior Member
Jan 3, 2018
17
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#19
Id agree up to the part of the soul leaving the body.Then it is too late.I don't believe everyone who commits suicide goes to hell,I do think God has mercy. But it is a serious thing to do,to take ones own life. And so we should never let a person feel God is fine with suicide.
I wholeheartedly agree.
 

Kaylyn

Junior Member
Jan 3, 2018
17
0
0
#20
Not related to the post at all, just a request.

Don't call it universal Alzheimers. People with Alzheimer's do know things. Dad's going to Stage 3 now. Not good. BUT, he still knows an amazing amount of things. What he does not remember, his body still does. His emotions still do. There's a whole lot of knowing left after memories disappear.
My father has Alzheimer's as does his younger sister. In addition I have 30 years as a nurse with a focus on Dementia diseases and caregiver consultation. Knowing what I do and watching my father go through this tears my heart out. We are extremely close. Of all my years in caring for those with every stage of a dementia disease I can tell you that the person is still inside. Alzheimer's doesn't change a person's soul or their heart. There are still good feelings to be had, love to be expressed, music to enjoy, etc. I have cared for farmers to retired CIA. From NASA to homemaker. Dementia diseases are the great equalizer in disease process and abilities but it can't touch the soul and heart.