My dad died at one p.m. yesterday afternoon, the 30th December 2015.
My sister and I were sitting on either side of his bed holding his hands as he took his last breath. It was incredibly peaceful.
At the end of July my dad flew from Cape Town to Durban to spend some time with my sister Mary Ann, her husband Stephen, and their family. In mid-September we received a phone call to say that my dad had collapsed and had been admitted into hospital for observation. We were advised to fly up to Durban to say goodbye to him.
They discovered that my dad’s heart was only functioning at 20%. Stephen and Mary Ann brought my dad home and Mary Ann took a leave of absence from her work in order to nurse my dad. He was semi bed-ridden and on oxygen permanently from then onwards.
God’s timing is impeccable – Stephen is a doctor and Mary Ann is a nursing sister – and he was brought home to be loved and cared for. Had he still been in Cape Town we would not have been able to nurse him and care for him as they did and he would have spent his remaining weeks in a sick bay.
We flew up to Durban and spent a wonderful long weekend with him.
We promised to go back and spend Christmas with them all and after we left he told his doctor that she had to keep him alive till after Christmas because he was going to spend it with his family!
We arrived in Durban on Christmas Eve. My dad had been totally bedridden for a few days prior to this but he recognized each one of us and greeted us by name. The majority of the time he slept but if he was awake his eyes would light up and he would smile whenever anyone came into his room.
He was so thankful for everything and he radiated gentleness and peace. A few weeks before my sister had sent me the following sms:
“Dad is so stoical and gracious and I am learning so much from him about acceptance and letting go and being grateful and trusting God”.
That night we held a carol service in his room and the next morning we held our Christmas service and opened presents around his bed.
Two days before he died, as three of us were sitting around his bed, he opened his eyes and said
“It’s time to say goodbye now. I am going to be with the Lord . The Lord is waiting for me”.
We called everyone into his room and as each grandchild hugged him, he told them that he loved them and gave them a blessing. As my husband bent to hug him my dad thanked him for being such a good son-in-law to him.
On the morning of his death he repeated a few times “I am going home” and then at one o’clock that afternoon he finally went home.
In memory of Edward Raymond Lutge
23/08/1929 – 30/12/2015
‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints’
Ah Noelene, our sincere condolences to you and your family. What a beautifully written tribute to your dad. Ash and I have just read it through together. Thank you for inspiring me throughout this year to life by faith. I have enjoyed every blog you have written and shared. Living a life for Christ is indeed exciting and the more I realise how much He loves us. Blessings to you and your family for 2016.
Thank you so much for those wonderful words of encouragement, Julie!!
As I grow older I am beginning to realise more and more just how much He loves us and how He longs for us
to realise that and for us to live in that love.
Blessings to you and Ashley as well. Lots of love xxx
Thinking of all of you at this time — what a privilege for you and the family to have been part of your dad’s last moments. Blessings!
Thank you, Renee xxx
Beautiful story Nolene. God is so Lovely!
That he is, Susan xxx
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Our deepest sympathies to the family on the passing of their father and grandfather. Ray was a wonderful man and a devoted Christian who was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was loved by all who knew him and he served the Methodist community in the Port Alfred area tirelessly and always willingly. I was proud to be called a friend by Ray, and will never forget how he gave classes to K lopper and I on how married couples should behave when we got married the second time around nearly 12 years ago ( at the ripe old ages of 60 and 75). Ray was very precious and will never be forgotten especially by the Clumber community.
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Dear Bernita, thank you so much for those beautiful words! The first marriage my dad ever took was my husband and mine twenty-three years ago!
His memorial service will be held at Settlers Park in Port Alfred on the 16th January @ 14h30.
Truly a beautiful testimony Noelene. Thanks for sharing xx. Sending you love and courage as you face the times ahead with the new reality of your dad being truly home. Love Susan xx
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Thank you, Susan, and thank you for all the prayers xxx
Dear Noelene and all the family
Thank-you for sharing this special story with all of us – and for the encouragement of your Dad’s life. I know you must miss him and it is wonderful that you got this last special time with all of you together.
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Thank you so much Susan! It was an amazing time of experiencing God’s love. The memorial service is in Port Alfred on Saturday. Blessings, Noel