Saying goodbye to a loved one

July 26, 2022

By Jeff Becraft


When Corrie Ten Boom was growing up as a child, she became anxious about death and other things of life. (It has been years since I read this story so I am going by memory.)

Her father, Casper, said to her, “Corrie, when we take the train, when do I give you your ticket?”

“Right before we get on the train,” she responded.

“It is the same with God,” responded her wise father. “He will give you the grace you need at the time you need it.”

Little did either of them know the grace they would need in future years. It was Casper’s and his family’s heart that led them to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War II.  (You can read about it in the book, The Hiding Place.)

The Ten Booms were caught and Casper, Corrie, and her sister, Betsy, were arrested by the Nazis. Casper and Betsy died from the extreme cruelty and Corrie was miraculously released from the death camp one week before her number was exterminated.  Our oldest daughter is named after Corrie Ten Boom.

My Mom has battled Alzheimer’s for 14 years. For over the last two years, my Mom has had to live in a small nursing home that gives a higher level of care called An An II. The head nurse, Ping, and Lin and Dr. Lu, have given Mom a phenomenal level of care.

On Tuesday, we needed to also call in hospice.

My Mom is now with Jesus. By the grace of God. She is more alive now than she has ever been in her life.

On Wednesday, we got to spend time with Mom. When I first got there, it was somewhat overwhelming. Now, I have seen my Mom in a difficult state for a long, long time. I knew this day was coming. But now, the starkness of it all… that is my Mom lying there… overwhelming is the best word I can come up with.

After saying a few things to Mom, I had to step out of the room. And while I was talking with Ping and the hospice nurse, I was also talking with God.  “God… I need Your grace and help right now.”  And He handed His grace to me… at the time of need.  And I walked back into the room and I had an extremely special time with Mom.

Our family shared a very special and significant day with Mom that day. The extraordinary life of my Mom as a person… and the love between my Mom and Dad… is worth several emails all by themselves. And that will probably start next week.

I have said to more than one group of people, “You can believe whatever you want. I will treat you with the same love and respect as I would with anyone.” But I am so glad and so thankful that my Mom knew Jesus and is in the arms of Jesus.  An expression I often use in life is “by the grace of God.”

I am so thankful that I, our family, and especially our Mom, does not have to step on to the train by ourselves.


Jeff Becraft is the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].