I lost my son – my best friend, on February 26, 2020. He died of alcoholism – his liver failed. He was a functioning alcoholic until he broke his ankle on Christmas night. Until that time he’d been abstaining from alcohol for eight hours before he got in a vehicle to drive, and for eight or more hours while he drove truck locally. He was always sober when he drove a vehicle.
Everything changed on Christmas night when he broke his ankle in three places. The paramedics came and took him to the hospital. It was Christmas week and the doctors here were off for the holidays. His surgery was scheduled in a week – after the holidays. They sent him home from the emergency room with a prescription for pain pills, but he preferred to kill the pain with alcohol. Because of three breaks in his ankle, he was in so much pain that he drank 24/7 – and his consumption tripled.
This was the beginning of the end for Shane. From Christmas night on, he never walked again nor drove again. And he used alcohol 24/7 to endure the pain. Shane asked me to get his alcohol for him, so he could fend off the horrible pain. He promised me he would go into detox at St. Lukes in Phoenix, where they would take his insurance. He insisted that he keep his commitment to me to help with puppies until the last one went to it’s new home. He also promised he would listen to the book, “God Guides.” It’s filled with short stories of people who asked God questions, then were still and waited for God to answer. God always answered by putting thoughts in their mind. Shane listened to the entire book, even requesting one evening, that we finish the last 5 chapters of the book. He had promised me he would listen to it read, and he kept his word and we finished the book just before he died.
I was doing a book report on “An Appeal to Heaven” by a prophet of God, Dutch Sheets. I asked Shane to time me so I could get the presentation down to 15 minutes. After he listened and timed me once, he offered every night to listen to the report and time me. Since Dutch Sheet is a prophet of God, what he wrote was from God. Shane heard what God was saying to His people about today. Shane even gave me advice for the presentation, “Tell about the book, don’t read anything.”
He had surgery and used a wheelchair to get around. After a month, when he had no more pain, he tried to cut back on his amount of alcohol, and how often he drank – to where he was before Christmas. He found it impossible to do because the addiction part of him wanted 24/7 drinking – and it wanted the triple amount that he had drunk to not feel the pain. He tried valiantly, but he was not able to drink less often or to cut back to less consumption.
Shane was always there for his Dad and me. When we moved to Arizona in 2001, he got time off from Airborne Express in Ohio, and he was there for us. He loaded the U-Hauls, supervised the caravan of trucks and trailers crossing the desert to Arizona, and he unloaded everything. Eventually he came to Arizona and worked from home as an Aeronautical Engineer to “be there” for his Dad and I, as we hit 80 and 90 years of age. He was staying with me, his Mom, to help me with a litter of AKC Purebred Golden Retriever Puppies, when he died.
The day before he died, he told me, “I wasn’t going to drink today, but I am going to have a drink.” I think his liver started to die with that drink, but I didn’t know what the symptoms were. He wanted to go to his Dad’s house, and I dropped him off. He wasn’t able to walk or drive, he used a wheelchair at my house, and scooted around on his Dad’s walker at his Dad’s house. At his Dad’s house he went straight to bed. His Dad, who is 93 hovered over him all day. This was a sweet gift to his Dad, to have Shane there. When I went to pick Shane up, he said he wasn’t ready to leave yet, and said that he would call me when he was ready. He never called. I think he became unable to operate his cell phone. At 6PM I decided to take clean clothes to him and blankets for another bed. When I got to his Dad’s house, he wanted to come home with me. He said his cell phone no longer worked, but now I realize he was no longer able to make his cell phone work.
When I got him home, he got out of the car into his wheel chair. Then he asked me where his wheel chair was. I said, “You are sitting in it.” I wrote a note that he was very impaired, but I didn’t know the symptoms, that his liver was shutting down. I put lotion on his feet and he went to bed. I may have heard him cough once during the night.
Shane promised me to go into detox at St. Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix as soon as the last puppy went to it’s new home. He wanted to keep his commitment to help me with puppies. I realized how much he was struggling, and every morning I offered to take him to Phoenix to St. Luke’ detox program. I assured him I could manage without his help. Every morning Shane said, “No!” He thought he was tougher than he was. His liver died, and then he died, before the last puppy was gone!
At 7AM, on February 26h, I knocked on his door and asked him if he wanted to help me with puppies. To care for, keep fed, clean, and weigh puppies every day is a two-person job. Shane didn’t respond to my knock, so I thought he was sleeping.
I knocked again at 9AM, and when he didn’t respond, I went in. Shane was laying across the bed, and both fists were clenched on his chest, as if he was trying to endure tremendous pain. He was making a lot of noise just to breath. He was unresponsive, so I called the paramedics. They came and transported him to the emergency room.
I picked up my husband, who is 93 and lives in Prescott Valley, and we went to the E.R. Shane’s eyes were open, and bulging, and he was making a terrible noise. The doctor came in and told us that Shane’s liver was gone, and his kidneys were gone, and that his organs were shutting down. He told us that Shane was dying, and that they had no bed for him at the hospital. The doctor said that Shane needed to be put on a ventilator and transferred to a hospice home in Prescott, because it would take 24 hours for Shane to die.
I could see that Shane would not recover. I said, Oh God, no! If he is dying, don’t let it take 24 hours for him to die! Let it be soon and right here! Oh God, we don’t want him on a ventilator or to be transported anywhere to die! Oh God, let it be soon and here!
Right then my husband said, “I want to go home!” I took Dick home, praying all the way that it would not take 24 hours for Shane to die! I returned to Shane, having been gone maybe half an hour. I talked to God and listened about what to do and say.
I felt led to smooth Shane’s hair and as I started, the Holy Spirit sang a little song in tongues over Shane. I opened my mouth and a little song came out in tongues! It was maybe 2 sentences long, and I don’t know what the Holy Spirit sang, but Shane quit the noise he was making, and I’m sure he heard everything I said from that point on.
The Bible tells us in Zephania 3, verses 16 and 17, that sometimes God sings over us. It wasn’t me who sang that little song over Shane! I didn’t feel like singing! Here is what Zephania 3:16 – 17 says, and I have inserted Shane’s name: “Do not fear Shane, the Lord God is with you. He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” I know that the Holy Spirit sang this Scripture in God’s heavenly language, to Shane because he quieted immediately and ceased the horrendous noise he’d been making. The verse said, “He will quiet you with His love,” and God did that, Shane quieted that noise!
I told Shane what had happened, just in case he didn’t know. “Shane, we ran out of time. Your liver failed, and then your kidneys. The Doctor wants to put you on a ventilator and transfer you to a hospice home. Shane, you don’t want to be put on a machine and transported somewhere! It’s better to just let go and go to Heaven! Let go Shane, and go to Heaven!”
I know 30 to 50 verses of Scripture by heart, but at that moment, I could remember only one. I took that as a sign that that was what God wanted Shane to hear. There is supernatural power in Jesus words, and Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” It’s from the book of John, chapter 14, verse 27. I said that verse over and over as I smoothed Shane’s hair. In between saying that verse, I told Shane anything God brought to my mind. I reminded him that he had asked Jesus to be his Savior as a little boy, and that Jesus said, “No one is able to take them out of my hand.” And I reminded him that he had wanted to be baptized by immersion at age 8. When he was baptized, (in a swim pool) he felt it was so wonderful that he wanted to do it again.
Shane was two-and-a-half when we returned from living in Japan for 2 years. Dick was a Flight Inspection Pilot for the U.S. Embassy, flight checking wherever needed in South East Asia. I was a new Christian, and I asked God to choose which church we went to. God led us to a Bible believing church that did things as they were done in the Bible. In the Bible baptisms were done by immersion, and only believers were baptized. In my church people had to take a class with the pastor to be sure they were believers, before he would baptize them. Shane requested to be baptized, and he was the only child in a class of adults. He was eight years old.
I started reading the Bible to Shane when he was three. Every morning before his sister left for school, we had “Morning prayer and Bible.” In addition, each of us had a separate time with God where we read the Bible and talked to God – but since Shane couldn’t read yet, I read the Bible to him at his bed time – and we talked to God together.
Here’s a funny story about Shane at bedtime. His sister, Susan, is six years older than Shane, and once she was babysitting him. She had so much homework that when Shane was ready for bed she told him she didn’t have time to read the Bible to him. Shane cried and carried on that he needed the Bible read to him, until she relented and read him the Bible as he got into bed. In those years, Shane heard God’s word every morning and every night. If God said it, he believed it! Since Shane liked me to read him the Bible, we kept on and somewhere in those years Shane and I read through the entire Bible, from Genesis to the end of Revelation. Finally, I told Shane he needed to do his quiet time alone with God, and I quit reading to him. I regret that because Shane didn’t do it alone. I should have continued as long as Shane was open to reading the Bible with me.
When Shane was 17 he got mad at God because God did not answer a prayer. He told me years later that he asked God for a girlfriend. He waited 2 years and God didn’t help him get a girlfriend. He heard his sister and me tell about all the prayers God answered for us – yet God didn’t answer Shane’s prayer. If I had known this, I would have prayed with Shane for God to reveal what was blocking Shane’s prayers. If there is sin in our lives, God is silent.
All these years later, Shane had never forgiven God. Now after hearing the Holy Spirit sing over him, and hearing, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” – now at the eleventh hour, Shane forgave God.
In the Emergency Room, I kept saying, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled Shane, neither let it be afraid Shane.” I reminded Shane of the story of the prodigal son, and that when the father saw him coming back, he ran to meet him. I told him God is running to meet you, just relax, let go and go to heaven! And I told him that somewhere in the Bible it says that I can forgive your sins, if you will then see the goodness of God, and take the Savior He sent. I reminded him that he already took the Savior as a child, and look and see – God is running to meet you! I told Shane, “Your sins are forgiven, Shane, look and see God’s goodness! “
And one eye closed. I kept on repeating Jesus’ words, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give onto you, let not your heart be troubled, Shane, neither let it be afraid. Just relax, Shane and let go and go to Heaven.” The other eye closed! His countenance changed as he let go and trusted God to take him to heaven.
The alarms in the emergency room started to ring. The doctor said it would take 24 hours, but he was dying sooner, just like I asked of God. At some point, I asked a nurse if Shane was gone, and she said, “Almost.” So, I smoothed his hair again and said Jesus words, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, let not your heart be troubled Shane, neither let it be afraid. Let go, Shane, and go to Heaven,” and he did. And the nurse told me, “He’s gone now.” And his countenance showed total peace.
God, I will never forget what you did for me! The doctor said it would take 24 hours for Shane to die, and I think it took 20 minutes once the Holy Spirit sang that song over him. Thank You, God! I will always be grateful!
Two of my friends, who didn’t know we were in the emergency room, felt an urge to pray for Shane and me. Each one was at home. They were not together. While they were praying for us, each one heard God say, “Shane is in Heaven.” They heard this before they heard he had died!
Jesus met Shane and healed him as he arrived in Heaven, after Jesus, I believe he was also met by two best friends, Darryl and Mike, at least two dogs and his old cat, Inky.
It is an incredible loss, but Shane made peace with God, after years of rejecting Him. He’s healed of addiction! He’s set free! He is healthy and surrounded by God’s love, and everything good! The deep sadness I feel is all about me – it isn’t about Shane. I won’t see Shane again on this earth. But he will meet me when I get to Heaven!
The Bible tells about what a wonderful, awesome place Heaven is. God is there and His love is everywhere! Perfect love! At the throne room I think Shane worships God along with other believers and thousands of angels! He can ride horseback with angels and other believers, practicing for the day that they will ride behind Jesus on white horses when he returns (Revelation 19:1-21). In Heaven we can do things that we loved to do on earth – explore trails in Can Ams (why not), swim with dolphins, join friends around campfires. I know that Shane is in Heaven and loving it!