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Gayle found guidance with end-of-life questions

Nov 01, 2022

For nine years Gayle watched her mother struggle with the degenerative effects of dementia until finally going home to the Lord eight years ago. Ever since then, Gayle has wrestled with planning her own end-of-life decisions. Then she found Joni Eareckson Tada’s book When Is It Right to Die?

When Is It Right to Die? is an incredible book,” she explains. “It answered so many of my questions.” After her mother’s death, Gayle experienced burnout, as many caregivers do, and since dementia runs in her family, she started thinking about her own final years. 

However, when she started asking herself those larger questions about when and how to die, she couldn’t find guidance in the Christian community as end-of-life decisions are a difficult and uncomfortable topic.

“We don’t talk about it at our churches,” she adds. “We definitely get advice as we are going through something, like from our friends or nurses, but in the church, we don’t talk about that.” Additionally, the closure of many local Christian bookstores has made it difficult to access biblically based resources on this topic.

“When a Focus on the Family Canada flyer or email comes out to me, I look at it and say, ‘What impact do I have in my life? How do I want to deal with it?’” she explains. “That’s how I came across this book. No matter what I heard from friends or advice that was given to me, it did not impact me as much as this book did.”

Because Gayle understands how challenging it can be to discuss end-of-life decisions, she knows the deep value of biblical, practical resources for Christians. Thanks to the support of friends like you, people like Gayle are able to listen to the Focus on the Family Broadcast with guests like Joni Eareckson Tada. Our donors have also made it possible for us to curate biblically based articles and resources about end-of-life decisions. And when people need to explore questions around end of life and caring for those who can’t care for themselves, our care team is there to talk with them, pray with them, and have a free one-time phone consultation with one of our counsellors.

“As I was reading through [When Is It Right to Die?], I looked back over those nine years with Mom and realized the impact that we had in that care home for the Lord,” she recalls. “Also, every single Sunday, Dad would have Mom in her wheelchair at church, and it meant a lot to the church family to see us caring for Mom. There is joy in the testimony of Christian people loving on those who are disabled.”

Gayle also discovered guidance as a parent through resources like Adventures in Odyssey and books about biblical ways to raise your children, which she has passed on to her grandchildren as well. “My grandkids love listening to Odyssey. I bought the kids devotional books off your site.” Because of the impact Focus has had on Gayle and her family, she views her purchases as a way to help other families access the same resources for biblically based help. “With what little funds we have, it’s a way we can donate,” she explains. “We sure can help out because Focus has helped us out.”

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