Ritva was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2020. After cytostatic treatment, the cancer was successfully operated in the fall, but after the turn of the year, the cancer had spread again. Ritva was moved soon to the Koivikkokoti in Hämeenlinna for convalescent care, where Kimmo took her on January 25th.
The next day, Kimmo had a brainstem infarction and was hospitalized. He was still talking in the evening, but the next morning he was already unconscious. Kimmo's last words were "No worries" when wishing a good night. What a comforting message, Kimmo had nothing to worry about in the middle of it all.
Kimmo was soon transferred to the same nursing home with Ritva, where he literally slept away surrounded by Ritva and other loved ones on January 30th. Kimmo and Ritva had common prayer to reach eternity together at the same time and it came true in a way that no one could guess or expect. We had sorrow, joy, and relief all at the same time.
Kimmo used to have morning devotion, whether he was alone or with others. In the last morning devotion with the family on January 24th, he read from the Bible 2 Cor. 5. As he read it, he stopped a few times to wonder aloud how well the place of the Bible suited Ritva's situation. Unknowingly, he also read that passage from the Bible to himself.
Ritva managed for another two weeks after Kimmo's departure. Hes condition deteriorated steadily so that finally she could no longer speak for the last two days. However, contact with children and nurses remained until the end and in the morning of February 13th, she was able to see the face of her latest grandchild via video call. Aarne and Tanja had got a healthy baby boy few hours earlier in the mid night.
Ritva passed away a few hours after seeing the little one. The baton of life changed hands.
The Last Days
1 We know that if the earthly tent we live in is torn down, we have a building in heaven that comes from God, an eternal house not built by human hands.
2 For in this one we sigh, since we long to put on our heavenly dwelling.
3 Of course, if we do put it on, we will not be found without a body.
4 So while we are still in this tent, we sigh under our burdens, because we do not want to put it off but to put it on, so that our dying bodies may be swallowed up by life.
5 God has prepared us for this and has given us his Spirit as a guarantee.
6 Therefore, we are always confident, and we know that as long as we are at home in this body we are away from the Lord.
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from this body and to live with the Lord.
9 So whether we are at home or away from home, our goal is to be pleasing to him.
10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what he deserves for what he has done in his body, whether good or worthless.
11 Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people. We ourselves are perfectly known to God. I hope we are also really known to your consciences.
12 We are not recommending ourselves to you again but are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so that you can answer those who are proud of outward things rather than inward character.
13 So if we were crazy, it was for God; if we are sane, it is for you.
14 The love of Christ controls us, for we are convinced of this: that one person died for all people; therefore, all people have died.
15 He died for all people, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the one who died and rose for them.
16 So then, from now on we do not think of anyone from a human point of view. Even if we did think of Christ from a human point of view, [Lit. according to the flesh] we don't think of him that way any more.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and—look!—all things have become new!
18 All of this comes from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
19 For in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself by not counting their sins against them, and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are Christ's representatives, as though God were pleading through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: “Be reconciled to God!”
21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become God's righteousness in him.
2 Corinthians 5
"We know that if the earthly tent we live in is torn down, we have a building in heaven that comes from God, an eternal house not built by human hands."
2 Corinthians 5:1