you are not fotgotten Mrs, Jane
What it’s like to die of AIDS – Jane’s story
Kari Miller is a friend who has developed a deep sense of community with a group of widows in Uganda. One of her best friends from that group, a widow named Jane, has battled AIDS. She has been brave right up to the end. Kari tells her story here.
Last Wednesday night, I got a call from widow Joyce. Her voice sounded weary. She told me that Jane, my dear sweet widow friend, was “badly off.” She encouraged me to come and see her the next day, as she was sure God could take her home at any moment.
Ida took the Aunty outside to comfort her as I leaned towards Jane’s face and greeted her…very softly, tenderly I said, “Jane…Do you remember who I am?”
Very weakly, she turned her eyes toward me and said, “Aunt Kari.”
“Yes, that’s right. I wanted to come and tell you that I love you and that God loves you very much. How are you feeling today?” I asked.
“I don’t know…breathing is hard, but God is with me. He is here with me.” At that point, she had the most peaceful look on her face…even amidst all the pain, all the diarrhea, all the vomiting…God was there…seated next to her, holding her. It was then that I thought AIDS will destroy the body, but never, never the soul. She was becoming tired so I asked if I could pray for her. I wasn’t sure if I could hold it together long enough to pray for her, but suddenly I felt a courage and strength I didn’t even know I had. I asked God to continue to sit with her, to hold her, to comfort her. I asked him to lead her home…to release her from her suffering. As I prayed, I sensed that God was getting ready to lead her home…that she would be leaving us soon.
The children had not eaten at all, so I called widow Ruth and asked her to bring some food for the children to eat. As Ruth set out the food, Jane suddenly became full of energy and began to talk. She asked each of her children to come sit next to her and then showed her love for them. She pleaded with Kathy to keep studying well and to be the woman God had created her to be. Then she smiled at her daughter. She continued to tell them that God was here with her and that she was okay. It was then that I realized that she was saying goodbye.
Joyce stayed up all night with Jane…talking with her, remembering the laughter and the sorrows they had shared over the years. Joyce did most of the talking, but it felt good to be with her one last time. At 2:00 am Joyce bathed her friend one last time, she didn’t want her to die with vomit or diarrhea on her. Finally at 3:45 in the morning she breathed her last breath and followed Jesus to the House of the Lord.
I heard the news of her death at 5:00am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I laid in bed thinking about all the special times we had spent together, the times we had wasted whole afternoons laughing and trading stories. I felt a deep sadness enter my soul, not despair, but just a sadness in losing someone you love…knowing it will be a long time until you see them again. But, strangely enough, I also felt a strong sense of peace in knowing that she wasn’t suffering anymore…that she was not in pain and never would be again.
So now my dear sweet friend is in the arms of the savior…laughing, loving and free…free of pain, free of suffering, free of AIDS…just free. She is dancing in her beautiful dress and praising the God who rescued her from her body of death. Oh, how sweet it will be to join you in that party someday….
In Loving Memory of Jane Francis Adakini
oh my goodness. I am sobbing. The women of Africa just rip my heart out – they are so strong, struggle against so much. Bless Jane – she is free now. May her children find peace and comfort in the arms of our Lord… bless Kari too and all the caregivers… let them not get weary in doing good…
thank you S much for sharing this story
Beautiful and sad story. Brought tears to my eyes