Excited to Die

Mom passed away yesterday, almost exactly a year after she was first diagnosed with cancer of the gallbladder, a nasty disease. In many obituaries, you read about an individual succumbing to cancer after a “courageous battle” or “brave struggle.” Not so with Mom. There is no very effective treatment for gallbladder cancer if it can’t be cured surgically as Mom’s tumor could not, and so she elected to trust God and have palliative care only.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. At the beginning she struggled emotionally and spiritually, but God granted her peace as I wrote about back then. Shortly thereafter she began to develop abdominal pain, which was her greatest worry, but God again intervened. Without going into details, Mom had a supernatural dream involving Jesus, my late father, the most beautiful place she had ever seen, and an invitation to a party. She awoke with a feeling of such joy that she could not fully describe it, and her pain had been completely relieved.

At the time, she was amazed and awestruck. She told me, “Peter, I’ve never felt like this before! I don’t know what to make of it. I don’t ‘do’ joy.” She went on to describe a physical sensation of joy in her abdomen at the location of the cancer, where she had been experiencing the pain. She likened this to the feeling of dread or foreboding that we all have probably experienced in our stomachs from time to time; only saying that this sensation was “the opposite of that.”

After the dream, she was not only pain-free but truly asymptomatic for about seven months. And it was a great seven months. She continued to be at peace, enjoyed life in abundance, and began to refer to death as “going to the party.”

Two months ago she felt some “queasiness” in her belly, not quite pain and not quite nausea, and became jaundiced within a day or two. She didn’t appreciate turning yellow, but we told her it accentuated her smile (which it did). This initiated a short phase of progressive jaundice, anorexia, weight loss and weakness.

A few days ago when she became too weak to walk, she and I shared an intimate moment. “Mom, this is it,” I said and she replied, “I’m ready.” Then, after a brief pause, she turned to me, smiled and said, “No… I’m excited!”

Enjoy the party Mom.



  1. Condolences, Pete. May your mom’s soul rest in peace.

  2. What a great testimony to God’s grace and your mom’s faith! I can’t wait to meet her one day.

  3. What a beautiful message. This morning she is walking in a new light.

  4. Lisay Gillespie says:

    Dear Pete
    So glad to hear your Mom passed with excitement and the joy that only the Lord can give. She is at that party with Jesus and your Dad! One day we will join them but now we can rejoice in the hope we have of eternal life. Praying for you and your family to rest in God’s peace and comfort.
    Lisay and Jim Gillespie

  5. Jeff Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing these intimate and inspiring comments about your mom and how she, by God’s amazing grace, lived out her last days here. I imagine she will be the first to welcome you home again someday.

  6. Cristy Mathews says:

    This is a beautiful testimony. I know you will miss her but I also feel your confidence above and know that this is a statement of truth!

  7. Amy White says:

    Pete – what a blessing for all of you and a testimony for the rest of us. Your mother was a beautiful woman in many ways. Bill and I send our sympathy to you and your family. Blessings.

  8. Joan Truchelut says:

    Pete, I was so moved and inspired by your Mom’s story. Thank you for sharing it so eloquently. Her smiling face will stay in my mind’s eye.

  9. Todd Way says:

    Thanks for sharing, Peter. You and your mom are such an inspiration! I’ve told the story of the garden gnome and your mom’s move many times. God holds us all in His hand.

  10. Jim Gillespie says:

    Thanks for sharing Pete, it is a blessing to see your strong faith and witness through a difficult time. We’re praying for peace and comfort for you and your family, as well as an awareness of God’s presence and the hope that Christ brings as illustrated in your Mother’s dream – sorry for your loss.

    • Peter Weiss says:

      Hi Jim. Our family is at peace, in large part due to the peace that Mom had.

  11. Dayna (Grinstead) Cooper says:

    Pete, I adored your mother. She taught me so much about being a compassionate caregiver. What an amazing woman. To know she approached her death in this way is not surprising since this is how she lived her life- walking with Jesus. I am excited that she made it to the party. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

    • Peter Weiss says:

      Thank you Dayna. Sometimes it’s hard for us kids to understand that Mom had a life beyond just being our mother. Many people have reminded us that she did!

  12. Ann Lynch says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Pete. My mom passed almost a year ago, while she did not relate that she was excited as your mom was, she had a different path. She was the last surviving of 7 siblings, an LPN, and helped each when their time came. She was happy when her time came that her work here was completed. A good and faithful servant. Of course I miss her so. My heart is sad but I feel her often and she is full of humor. I had almost forgotten what a cut up she was before age and illness made her hurt so much. I’ll be thinking of you and Sharon, praying and sending good thoughts. I know you won’t worry, you know your mom is having a ball at the party! Best wishes, Ann

    • Peter Weiss says:

      Thank you Ann. I’m sorry for your loss. It will be an adjustment for us too.

  13. Teresa Kusmierczyk says:

    Our lives are better because Carrie was in them. We will join her in the party some day.

  14. Patricia Kraay says:

    My husband and I are friends of Catherine’s from her college years in NC. We had the privilege of meeting your mom and dad once when we were in Florida. Such delightful people! Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring testimony to your mom’s faith and to the Lord Jesus she couldn’t wait to meet in Heaven. Our prayers are with you and your family.

    • Peter Weiss says:

      Hi Patricia. You’re welcome for the post, and thank you for your prayers and the kind words about Mom and Dad!

  15. lynn coppola says:

    Pete your story brought tears to my eyes. I am glad i got to meet her precious soul. Try to remember her laugh forever and it will bring a smile to to you . peace be with you. Lynn