Heather Blackwell and her husband Ken are long time supporters of our work.  Here’s a story she sent us (it’ll be in our next Pilgrims’ Magazine) about  God speaking to her father, even in days of dark depression.  Heather writes:

‘My father spent fifteen months at Shottermill House, in Haslemere, before his death. My mother survived him by 5 years and passed away there too.  Dad had been a pastor and a very active practical man.   In his last months he rarely spoke and showed symptoms of dementia alongside prostate cancer.  He was morose and obstinate mostly, to mum’s distress. Three weeks before he died my husband and I visited him, for the last time.

‘It was nine o’clock at night when we eventually got there, and dad was in bed.  He was suddenly himself, pleased to see us with flashes of humour. Ken asked him if he would like a cup of tea and while he was away, dad and I chatted.

‘He told me he had dreamed of Jerusalem ‘my heavenly home’ He went on to say that in the last months, while he had been silent, God had been speaking to him.  I was eager to know!  Dad said the Lord had reminded him that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand,’ (Psalm 37: 23, 24, KJV).

‘This brought such comfort to me as I realised that dad had reached some place of acceptance of his losses.  We read Psalm 121 and prayed together. In the morning, dad dressed in his suit with a carefully pressed hanky in his top pocket. With mum, we played scrabble and as usual, he won, convincingly. The news went around that Jabez was smiling.  Different staff came by to see this rarity!

‘This is my last happy memory of my father and I am so grateful. A day or two later he regressed and didn’t leave his bed again. We were so grateful to know that in that dark time of depression God had been speaking.


Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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