Dad passed away on Friday morning, March 10th, about 3:40 a.m. The Rehab Center called Spencer to tell him, and then Spencer called me. Spencer and I had stayed with Dad the night before (Thursday) until about 10:00 pm. I cried some on Thursday night as I sensed that the end was near. Then we went home. Spencer and Gentry cried a lot when we went back to the rehab center after they called us about his passing. Spencer and Gentry have really taken care of Dad this past month. I cried a lot more than I expected. We have really come full circle.
I believe that Grandpa Allred came and got Dad when it was time. One thing that was sweet--the nurse that found him, came and talked to us when we were there in his room after he passed. She told us that it was very peaceful in the room when she came to check on him. And then she said he was facing the window (he couldn't move much and so he head was always facing the side). But, when she found him, she noticed a tear going down his cheek. She said that she had never seen that before.
I've thought about that. I know that he loved the time he spent with his four children. And I believe that it was hard for him to move on, to go through the veil. It must have been bittersweet for him to leave earth life. But, it was time. Anyway, I have to believe that the tear on his cheek represents the deep love he had for his family, his children and the bittersweet feeling he had in leaving earth and at the same time crossing the veil into eternity.
Your dad suffered and struggled for most of his life. And I believe he finally, during these past few years, began to feel the love from his children that has always been there, but he was finally able to feel, as he started to come to know each of you. Keep those memories in your heart, my sweetie girl. Dad loved you.
Here is what Spencer posted on Friday:
"My dad passed away early this morning. He has been battling brain cancer for almost 18 months. Without going into detail, my dad taught me to come close to the Savior. My dad was not around for most of my growing up years. However when I was 20 years old and serving the Lord in Sacramento, I found it in my heart to forgive my father. I was able to feel the love our Jesus Christ and feel the anger I held onto for so many years leave. After a tumultuous and trial filled life, my father has left mortality. I know he rests without care or sorrow with his dad, my grandpa. I love my dad. I know that all things will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."
And here is what Gentry posted on Friday:
"early this morning my sweet father-in-law, john, passed away after battling brain cancer. nothing really prepared me for the pain and sadness spencer and i have felt today. john was not around much of spencer's young life, in fact, they didn't gain much of a relationship until a few years ago. i know that spencer was truly inspired to regain that relationship so that we could have the opportunity to care for john the last month of his life here on earth. my testimony of the atonement, forgiveness, and the plan of salvation are what are carrying me and lifting me up today! i know in heaven he will find the light he has been searching for, for so long. i love you dad."
I know that he is finally free from pain and suffering. I keep seeing him in a peaceful state, with his father, and he is learning so much already. I believe that he is also being healed of the many trials and challenges that fell on him throughout his life.
Someday, we will understand everything. For now, please know that we all love you. I am so grateful for my four children, and Dad is part of each of you. I believe that you received his best qualities, and you can move forward in your life, knowing that is what you got from him. And he does love you.
And I love you. I love you so much! Be strong and of a good courage, my beautiful girl! May the angels be round about you to bear you up.
I love you!
From Sister Allred:
I don't know how much I am willing to email this week. I hope everyone is okay. I'm so touched on what you shared with me. Thank you mom. I really do have an amazing family. I miss everyone so much and I'm never going to forget that time that we were able to spend with dad before I left. When I got the call from President Taylor I really never thought that I would get the news so soon. I sat on my bed and cried. As I did so I felt that dad was with me. I know he loves me and I will miss him so much. Later on that day I was pondering about dad and his situation. I felt so much peace. I imagine that Grandpa Allred came and got him as well and that he gave dad a big hug. I know dad has been forgiven. I have been praying for all of you constantly especially Spencer. I can't express how grateful I am for Spencer and his willingness to forgive. He set the example for all of us. And I'm so grateful for you mom and for how much you were willing to show love towards dad. I know it wasn't easy but with the Lord's help we can do hard things. I love my Savior. I know Christ will help us through this trial. I am so grateful for the atoning sacrifice that Christ was so willing to give us. I know my Savior lives. I know that we will see dad again and he will be perfected. Thank you for all of your prayers.
Also, remember that the veil is very thin between the spirit world and the Lord's missionaries. You are "now" one of the Lord's missionaries, and that means that Grandpa Allred, and Dad are looking after you. And Grandpa Larson also. You can know with absolute certainty that the Lord loves you, and that He cares for you and watches over you. He will guide you in all things. When things get overwhelming, we can call on the powers of heaven to lift us up, and strengthen us.
I know missions are supposed to be hard. Just like Elder Holland says that this work is hard because salvation is not a cheap experience. And that missions aren't easy because it was never easy for Him.