Published November 29, 2016

Shelia Shares
"A Peaceful Passing"

In the assisted living unit where she lived, it was breakfast time. She ate, although her appetite hadn't been big for the last number of years. She had blood drawn and joked with the attendants. Then she decided to rest.

It was Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

She went to her room, laid down, closed her eyes and folded her arms. I might imagine that she talked with her friend that she had known for years.

The staff checked in on her several times, but didn't want to disturb her peaceful sleep. But when they did try to wake her, they realized it was the truly peaceful sleep of death.

There was no struggle. She simply took a final breath here and her next breath was in the presence of the Lord.

When Paul and I got the call, it was totally unexpected. On the Sunday before when we had visited her, as we did most Sundays, she had been her usual self. She had always told us, "If I have to be in a place like this, I'm glad I'm here. I like the food. The people are nice. I feel good."

Paul's mother still sang and it was mainly the hymns. At the age of 97, she had a remarkable voice. One of her favorite songs was "He Touched Me." She knew this God and she knew that someday she would be with Him for eternity. She did not fear death, because she was prepared.

We arrived at the home on Wednesday before the undertaker did. She was on her bed and there was not a sign of pain or struggle on her face. It was a look I won't ever forget. It was a look of pure peace. I almost expected her to open her eyes and make some funny remark, as she had been prone to do. She will be greatly missed but her legacy will live on in her family.

We are thankful to know where Virginia Heil is and that she did not suffer. What a blessing!

As II Corinthians 5:8 says, "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

The Life Celebration for Virginia Heil will be Wednesday, November 30, 2016. The visitation will be at 10 a.m. and the funeral at 11 a.m. at Groff Funeral Home, 528 W. Orange Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The burial will follow at Conestoga Memorial Gardens.

Thanks for your prayers as we make plans, handle details and say our earthly goodbyes.

Life for the Heil family has changed.

Life is full of the unexpected. Be sure you are ready for the unexpected in your life.

- Shelia

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