February 19th 1999
My Dearest Paul.
It has been over a week since I told you goodbye–it seems like a bad dream that I am struggling to awake from. I have to be realistic and recognize and admit you are gone and that I won’t see you again in this life.
It has been a hard week–yet a peaceful week with the assurance that it was your time to go on to the presence of Heavenly Father.
Little did I know on that Friday evening at Hobble Creek, when I called 911 that I wouldn’t have you much longer.
We have shared a wonderful life. We have a wonderful family who has surrounded me with love and care. How blessed I am, how blessed we have been.
Paul, as I stayed at the hospital with you and saw your suffering, my heart went out to you – I recognized even more than ever before the extent of my love for you. I have always loved you with all my heart–you were my true love.
How grateful I am to know that you loved me with this complete love – also.
I think I found out how much I loved you when I had to make decisions as to your life–to choose to let you go – or to choose to keep you here under circumstances that would be so difficult for you–but you would be alive.
I’m so glad we had made a living will – requesting that we did want to be put on life support. I chose to let you die with dignity, To go now when the Lord wanted to take you home. I’m so grateful for the family for they didn’t want to hold you here and put you through all it would entail – life support – Rest Homes and then no promise that you would ever be well again.
I loved you – I didn’t want to extend your suffering – I knew your wishes. That you would go when you were called home. The children all agreed and wouldn’t submit you to all the procedures to which the medical professions would be required to do. I feel the Doctor was telling us that unless we let him do all these procedures that you would die within 36 hours.
As I could see that you couldn’t be well again, you wouldn’t the same Paul, and, you were in such pain, I wouldn’t let them do any more tests on you. My feelings were – why inflict any more pain on you. Then as a few hours went by I began to worry that I was causing your death. I called Bishop Clark and he came right to the hospital. He helped me make decisions that had to be made as you continued to be under such distress, pain and difficulty breathing. They kept giving you pain medication to make you as comfortable as possible.
The Doctor in the ICU stayed right with us and helped you over these last hours. When they wanted to do something else he would ask me if he could. I would look at Bishop Clark, who is also a Doctor, and he would nod his head ‘yes’ or shake it ‘no’. As hard as it was for all of us to tell you goodbye, we all let you know that it was alright for you to go.
I felt like I was the one holding you back and when I whispered to you my love for you and that it was alright for you to leave – you slipped away.
It was a beautiful experience for each of the family members as we surrounded your bed with such a great love for you. Each praying that you could be released and be free of pain. We watched you struggle for each breath – my anguish was great – as I saw you suffer. After your last breath there came a peace to us and we knew that you had gone to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
They asked us to leave and told us we could come back in a few minutes. We all – your wife, our children and some of your grandchildren were there surrounding you with love. We met in a room and had a prayer to Heavenly Father to thank Him for releasing you and taking you home to him. A few minutes passed and we were invited to come back to your room. The strain and struggle was gone, We saw you lying peacefully on your bed looking like you were asleep. How handsome you looked – still warm and looked so alive. We all kissed you goodbye, expressing our love for you. It was a sweet peaceful experience as we felt your spirit there with us, and your love surrounding us.
The next morning Jessie and I were in your office; she was sitting at your desk and I was watching the video of you speaking at BYU Hawaii Devotional. As you began talking about the gift of the Holy Ghost I had an experience that I consider a personal revelation.
I asked Jessie to turn off the TV and stated with reverence: “I’ve had a revelation, the words came to my mind, not a voice but almost as clear as my senses heard: ‘You know while he was laying there and couldn’t talk and being in so much pain, he was praying for you and your family to have a peace and comforting wrapping like influence and would know it was his time to go.”
I have been at peace all through this your last illness and now understand and know why. I should have known the reason for the peace I felt, was because of your prayers.
I love you, I love you, and I will always love you and treasure the time we had together. I look forward to the time I can be with you.
All my love,