Rest in Peace

This is Samantha, Tommie’s daughter (otherwise known as DD on her blog posts). This is a post that I hoped would not have to be written for quite a while yet, but I’m sitting down today to share that my mom lost her battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis last night.

I know that this will be a shock to many of her readers, because she was an avid blogger and very active on Facebook right up until the middle of last week. Despite her exhaustion and Internet issues, she persisted at blogging because she wanted to make sure everyone, but mostly her family, were kept up to date, and because she wanted to keep a record of things so she’d remember what happened when. If someone ever asked her how something went or how she was doing, she’d say, “Well, have you read my blog?”

I think that this persistent desire to post gave many people the impression that things were not as bad as she tried to express, though. Online she was opinionated and quick-witted and verbose, but offline, her body was slowly and consistently declining. Earlier this year, I could read between the lines, and so I planned a trip and went to see her in late August. She looked frail and didn’t push herself very much, but she seemed to feel better temporarily after I shared that the doctor had said to me that she was strong-willed. My brothers and their families, other family members, and friends also realized that things were going downhill, so she had many visitors for the last couple of months of her life.

No one else did more for my mom, though, than the person she referred to as Cuz on here. She, her husband, and her family (and extended family) have bent over backwards for my mom for years, treating her as though she were her and their own mother instead of a distant cousin. I have never met anyone with as much motivation to help as Cuz, and I and my brothers (DS1 and DS2) and their families are forever grateful. She and her family treated our mom and her situation with respect and never did they once do anything without her consent. I sincerely believe that her life was extended because of their direct intervention and generosity.

At the moment, my family and I are still processing the news and trying to figure out next steps for the memorial. There are many other details to figure out, too, including this blog. She published nearly 2,800 blog posts since she started it in 2006, so I think that we’ll try to find a way to keep it online as a digital legacy. She enjoyed blogging no matter how she felt, so I know she’d be heartbroken if all of her writing were to disappear.

Thank you in advance for all your thoughts, prayers, and support during this difficult time.

18 Responses to Rest in Peace

  1. merry November 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    Dear Samantha,
    I’ve come to admire and respect Tommie, your mom.
    We’ve never met accept on the Upper Room devotional. And here on her blog.
    *
    I know at this time you’re overwhelmed but maybe you could continue blogging for your mom.
    My condolences to you, your brothers and Donna and John.
    *
    mary aaron

  2. Tony Burchard November 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Good job little sis! -DS1

  3. Pam November 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Very well said. And I too would like to say a huge thank you to ‘Cuz’ and her husband and extended family for all the kindness you showed Tommie and we are forever grateful for your dedication, respect and generosity of time and companionship you gave her. We are forever thankful!!

  4. Alice Fontana November 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Bless all of you……daughter , sons, cousins, and all of her apecial friends….

  5. Debbie November 7, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    I was aquainterd wth Tommie through the Upper Room. I always looked forward to her posts which were often a tribute to her faith. I also looked forward to hearing of her catz and her caregivers. She has blessed me. I know she is in her Glory now. PTL!

  6. merm November 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    I will miss her so much. 😢

  7. Candi November 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    Beautiful tribute Samantha.

    • peach November 8, 2016 at 12:07 am #

      Tommie had such a warm and kind heart, who else would start their own forum to bring people together. I have made a few wonderful friends all over the world from what Tommie put together.

      She is loved and will be greatly missed.

      Love and prayers go out for her and her family.

      • Shari November 9, 2016 at 9:42 am #

        I think we may have met Tommie at about the same time, during a program by Frederick Patenaude. Peach, I’m so glad you posted. I’ve been missing you. Please forgive this post here, but I was at a loss how to reconnect. Write me when you have time………shavig@comcast.net

        I think Tommie would laugh to know I am using her memorial page to trade information! Love you Tommie and thanks for understanding during our ups and downs.

        S

  8. Richard November 8, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    Tommie taught us much including how to face life, and also eternal transition, with resolute character and dignity. The Upper Room family misses her daily posts, great way to start our day. Samantha, Cuz, and Family, thank you, may you be granted peace. Richard of Marietta, GA.

  9. Rae November 8, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    My deepest sympathy to DD, DS1, DS2, Cuz, CIL and all members of Tommie’s family. I’ve been reading Tommie’s posts on Upper Room for years. Tommie has been a true example of facing life’s challenges with grace and a unique honesty. Remembering Tommie, I recall Philippians 2:16…Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the Day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
    Thank you Lord for the gift of Tommie’s life. Thank you, Tommie, for sharing your life with us.

  10. Cherie Stinson November 8, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    Samantha, thank you so much for letting the Upper Room family of Tommie’s passing. I loved to keep up with her each day as she was fighting to stay with us.

    I pray for you, Donna, John and all the relatives and friends who were lucky enough to know and love her.

    Love and Light
    Cherie

  11. peach November 10, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    Shari, I am sure Tommie would love to know that we can reconnect through her page. I tried to email you once on your old email address and I did ask Tommie if she had heard from you so she filled me in a little that she kept in touch on facebook. I will email when I get a chance.

    I really am missing read your blog posts Tommie, I am sure you are looking down smiling at us all.

  12. Kim Mullican November 13, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    We will miss her posts, updates, insights and prayers.
    Kim in Houston from Upper Room

  13. Les November 16, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    Hi Sam, DS1 (Tony), and DS2,
    I met your mother through the Upper Room and always looked forward to her posts. She and I emailed back and forth a few times this summer/fall and got to know each other more. I had such respect for her and how courageous she was, my Father died from COPD last November so I understood the struggle she had to breathe, yet she was still optimistic.

    And her Dear Cuz and Cuz-in-law are such wonderful examples, from what your mother said they were absolute saints.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and I will so miss her posts, but I’m so happy for her that her struggle is over. I pray God will give your family comfort, and that you will feel her love for you everyday. Love never ceases.

  14. Les November 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    I would be remiss if I didn’t say what a minister said at a funeral service I attended: Tommie did not leave the land of the living to go to the land of the dying…Tommie left the land of the dying to go to the land of the living.

    Rest in peace, my friend. I know you are happy and full of joy. God bless you for your love and encouragement to us all. You were, and continue to be, a great witness of God’s grace and love for us all.

  15. Inge Anderson November 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

    I’m getting to this kind of late, but I thank you, Samantha, for this post and also the email updates.

    Unfortunately I did not get to meet your mother face to face, but since she was such an articulate writer, I feel like I did get to know her a little bit. I should have pushed a little harder earlier to get her to write more blog posts for Sabbath School Net. As it is, you can find her four posts at this link: http://ssnet.org/blog/author/tommie-burchard/

    I’m glad to read that you are planning to keep her blog (and hopefully her recipes) online. 🙂

    She was such a great help on our Sabbath School Net team, and we miss her dearly. It may take several people to do the work she did so well – to make sure that the Sabbath School lessons we put up were letter-perfect. (The current batch probably isn’t.) I enjoyed her sense of humor in our personal exchanges.

    I look forward to meeting Tommie face to face in the resurrection.

  16. Janice November 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Hello Samantha,

    I became acquainted with your Mother Tommie, as I am a daily Upper Room Devotional online reader. I truly enjoyed reading Tommie’s daily comments on the Upper Room site. It was a joy hearing about her love for the catz, and her love for the Lord, life, family etc. Tommie is greatly missed!! She mentioned this site – her blog website – sometimes in her Upper Room comments. I have had the special privilege of reading some of her entries on this her blog site, and each entry is an enjoyable read! It would be a wonderful idea to keep Tommie’s blog entries online – as a special tribute and honor to her. Thank you DD, DS1, and DS2 for sharing your lovely Mother – Tommie with all of us. As I read my Upper Room devotionals each day, I still think of Miss Tommie, but I know that the Lord has her with Him. He will comfort us all. May the Lord bless each one of you!

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