Only once have I truly believed I was within minutes of facing death. During those brief moments, I experienced a sort of peace and clarity unlike any I have known. And since that time, I have gained interest in the thoughts and words of others who believe they stand on the edge of eternity.
What does a person say when she knows she will soon see the face of God? Those words, in my opinion, are golden–having passed through the sieve of life experience, all trite details and petty grievances washed away.
I grew up with Julie Herbster. Several years her junior, I mainly observed her from a distance, taking careful note of what she did or said or wore. I have clear memories of spending time under Julie’s care at junior camp and laughing with her in the hallway of an old high school building when she was my intramural basketball coach. She was small, personable, and warm–making her an easy friend magnet for younger girls like me. For 10 years she was a familiar and dependable personality in my life.
On Monday, March 25, 2013, 39-year-old Julie met her Savior after being diagnosed with colon cancer 10 months earlier. Her obituary described her as “a humble and kind homemaker who always had serving others as her goal.”
As someone whose life largely consists of attempting humble homemaking, I listened carefully to what she had to say in her final days.
A weakened Julie addressed friends and family with these words within days of her death. I pray it will touch your heart as it did mine.
*Shared with permission from Matt Herbster, Julie’s husband of 17 years.
**A CD of music Julie took comfort in during her battle with cancer can be found and purchased here.