Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Barbara Lee Jones-Reitzloff, August 30, 1957 – March 5, 2008


Barbara with Daniel, Madison, & Elizabeth

For a Christian end to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful, and for a good account at the dread judgment-seat of Christ, let us ask the Lord.

This is a petition we pray at every Orthodox service, and it was granted to Barbara today. She died with her characteristic dignity and grace, alert and smiling until the last two hours, and mercifully unconscious the last hour.

About half an hour before her final struggle, she said, “I want my doctor,” nodding toward Demetrios. Demetrios, with his broken foot, hopped up to her side and they had a big hug and kisses and she smiled a lot.

Then she began gasping, and when the Albuterol didn’t help, we telephoned Daniel. Although she had had a burning fever all day, she was now growing cold and her color changed.

I said to her, “I think you are very near your victory now. Keep saying your Jesus Prayer, cling to Him all the way through and you’ll awake in His arms.” She nodded vigorously. Then I added, “For all you are going through, I’m jealous of your situation, because you already have one foot in heaven, and your crown is within reach now.” She nodded again and smiled.

Mom took her hand and began singing to her, that beautiful old Welsh lullabye, “All Through the Night.” How many people get to die with their mothers singing them to sleep?

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.
Softly now the hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber steeping,
I my loving watch am keeping,
All through the night.


Shortly after that, some morphine having been administered, she grew sleepy. Demetrios says she would have lost consciousness even without the morphine, because of not enough oxygen.

Daniel arrived, and we left him alone with her for half an hour or so before we went back in.

Barbara was making little, shallow, vocal gasping breaths. Then the breaths became silent, little gasps. The last several gasps came 15 seconds apart, and then came one last, stronger and again vocal breath. We waited a full minute, but no more breaths came, so we hugged each other and cried. The nurses, who had told us she was a favorite with all of them, cried, too.

Fr. Gregory arrived 10 minutes after her repose and prayed with us.

O Christ, rest the souls of all Thy servants who have reposed this day, and especially Thy servant Barbara, among the saints, where there is no pain nor sorrow nor sighing, but life unending.

Thanks to so many of you for your outpouring of prayers these last three months, and your kind words, and your great love, which overwhelms me.

.

13 comments:

Ezekiel said...

Among the spirits of the righteous perfected in faith, give rest, O Savior, to the soul of Your servant. Bestow upon it the blessed life which is from You, O loving Lord.

Within Your peace, O Lord, where all Your Saints repose, give rest also to the soul of Your servant, for You alone are Immortal.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

O Savior, You are our God who descended into Hades and delivered from suffering those who were bound there. Grant rest also to the soul of Your servant.

Now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Most pure and spotless Virgin, who ineffably gave birth to God, intercede with Him for the salvation of the soul of your servant.

++++++

Memory Eternal!

Katherine and I are with you in prayer, and in spirit-- commending you and yours to our blessed and ever-present God.

Elizabeth said...

Memory Eternal to your beloved sister Barbara.....

my sincere condolences, hugs and prayers to all of you who grieve her passing.

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

Dear Anastasia,

Barbara fell asleep in Christ the same day we buried my dad. You have our deepest sympathy. May her memory be eternal!

Pascha, this year, will have a special sweetness and joy.

DebD said...

My love to everyone.

May Barbara's memory be eternal!

Christopher D. Hall said...

Memory eternal! I didn't know her, and you only from online, but my tears overwhelm me.

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

Peace to you all.

orrologion said...

Memory eternal to your sister, Barbara. Your love and kindness, your care and ease with others will be a testament on her behalf.

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Rev. 21:3-4

Thank you for sharing, Anastasia. My condolences to you and yours.

Dan

Randy Asburry said...

"Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:54-56).

I pray God's peace, comfort, and joy in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for you and yours!

Anonymous said...

+
krolechka

Weekend Fisher said...

Memory eternal.

Anonymous said...

Daniel called me today--he did not have my contact information until now. I was thankful to read your posting, to feel a little closer to Barbara through her final struggle. Barbara and I met at GMU and applied to vet school together. We met the night before our vet school interviews and shared an evening of nervous anticipation. We called each other the day we got our acceptance and spent 4 great years at VMRCVM to become vets. Barbara was always dedicated in that pursuit. We were compadres, sharing the same birth year, and as such much older than most of our classmates. She was a special person and I am so saddened to learn of her death. May she rest in peace, and may all of her family find comfort in the wonderful life she led. Love, Ellen Holguin Stork

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