Sunday, March 31, 2013

"H" is for Heaven

Lynn's sister Carrie suggested this title to keep with my recurrent reliance on "H" words, and it is appropriate on this Easter day.  We mourn today for my best friend and wife who finally rested from her battle with cancer.  I see people often referring to death as "losing" a battle.  We didn't get the outcome for which we hoped, but there were many victories.  If you know Lynn, you know her competitive spirit.  She would never want me to concede defeat for her.  And though there is pain and loss against which we struggle, this is only a passing and not an end.  Lynn died from her cancer.  But it never beat her!

With the most recent diagnosis, I knew from the start that there are really no permanent cures.  And remissions are short-lived.  So while I hoped for miraculous healing along with everyone else, I vowed that I would do all within my power to safeguard Lynn's dignity as far as possible given the devastating effects to her brain.  With so much support from family, close friends and community, I feel like we succeeded.  She died in her home, surrounded by family and friends with overflowing love and respect.

I want to share a few stories associated with her last times and my experience with it:

Not to be confused with the last time I wrote about this, we have another story about Jeni's ice cream.  Last night, someone brought some home.  Lynn opened her mouth wider than she had for some time when offered some.  She had a smile on her face as she enjoyed a last taste of her favorite treat.  Before this, she was very unresponsive.  This was an awakening of monumental proportions at the time, barely half a day before her passing.  This experience touches me to the core as I reflect upon Lynn's great capacity to enjoy life.

The next is my experience.  This is a somewhat sacred experience that is only one among several that we have shared together.  Since it is mine, I feel entitled to share it with you.  It brings peace to my soul, and I hope that it does so for you too.  At 3:00 this morning, I woke from a deep sleep feeling like I was about to cry.  I have done my share of crying before and after Lynn's passing, but this would have been my first time to awaken and cry in the middle of the night.  However, just as soon as the feeling came, it was suddenly replaced by a feeling of peace.  I lay in bed for not more than a half minute before her mom knocked on the door to tell me that Lynn was declining.

This has been a trying day, and I want to express my heart-felt gratitude to the family and close friends who stood by Lynn and me through it.  Thank you also to so many of you who offered encouragement and shared memories.


We do not know definite times yet.  However, we intend to have opportunities for viewing on Wednesday at the Rutherford Funeral Home in Powell.  The funeral will follow the next day on Thursday at the Powell L.D.S. chapel on Liberty Rd.  We will communicate exact arrangements when they are known.

I know that some of you may wish to travel from afar to join us.  I wanted to provide dates so you can make plans.

In lieu of flowers, we would like to invite you to donate to an organization benefitting cancer research.  We are trying to locate one to address the complication that took Lynn's life.  I have learned that, as primary cancer treatments become more effective to control the initial disease, this leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is starting to become more common.  There are significant challenges to treat it, and many medical research papers state early on that current treatments are inadequate.  Having made good headway on other aspects of cancer treatment, we would like to see headway made to deal with this complication.


  1. My heart is heavy for your loss. Yet, on the Easter day it makes me smile to know that Dale is with the Savior and she is at peace and not suffering any longer. We will continue to pray for you and the hard days ahead. Please know of the love we all share for her and your family.

  2. Sending my love and smiling through tears at the sweet experiences you've shared here. You did good by a great woman...even in the telling of her story.

  3. I grew up with Lynn and her wonderful family in the Medina Ward. We love the Peyton's and add our testimony that our Heavenly Father is mindful of our trials in this life. He loves us like our earthly parents love us and like we love our children. I am humbled by the accounts of her faith and strength. God be with you, til we meet again! Makeli Scholer

  4. I never had the blessing of meeting this beautiful lady, but I can understand the loss. My son Sammy passed away at the tender age of 15 from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). It was and still is a huge loss for us, but our LDS faith embraces us for this moment and knowing that the sealing power that we recieve in the temple can unite us once forever...this is our greatest hope and joy, knowing that no other power can seperate us. You will see her again and joy will continue between the both of you...God Bless.
    BTW, I am a good friend of Jocelyn Hatch Christensen.

  5. Dear Joe,

    I have sat down to write you a few times and stopped. I know it has been quite a few years (a youth dance we were all chaperoning I believe) Kyle and I last saw you and Lynn. Kyle and I send our love for you and your family. I know the sacredness of being with a loved one as they pass this life and onto our Heavenly Father and family and friends already there. I also know the deep sadness that comes. How grateful I am for the Savior and for the plan of Salvation. These words in Isaiah bring great peace amoungst the sadness. Isaiah 25:8 " He will swallow up death in victory and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces...."

    Love Kyle and Marci