Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Snippets and Sound Bites - Dying

Sometimes the melancholy moments of life make me pause and consider.

Today is one such day. If you’re looking for a laugh – you probably won’t find it here unless you’re one sick puppy.

A friend of a friend lies dying. One of those long drawn-out, pain-infused deaths. Adding to the angst is the huge hole she’ll leave behind in the lives that will continue beyond her passing, two children who’ve barely reached adulthood, a grandchild, a husband and countless friends and family members.

Why am I haunted by the fact that hospice is delivering a bigger bed so that her husband can sleep with her? Tears scald my eyes when my friend describes the tender actions of the seventeen-year-old son who realizes that he will graduate, and marry, and raise his children – without his mom. Her bravery in calling friends and relatives inviting them to come and say good-bye leaves me with a lump in my throat that no amount of swallowing minimizes.

Wars, tragedies, disease – this is so not what life is supposed to be.

We’ve been praying for this family even though that seems so cheap and easy. After all, I’m not holding her head while she vomits or watching the rise and fall of her chest, waiting for it to cease. This dying woman who is reaching out to loved ones has asked my friend to come. My friend wants to make sure that this dear woman who faces eternity within hours, knows where she’s going to spend it, and that she’s not only leaving a place where she is loved, but could choose to go to a place where she is loved.

Last month, a delightful friend of my family died. She was talented and beautiful, exotic and intelligent. She, too, fought cancer and lost. Death claims us all, doesn’t it?

I shared my testimony of faith with her, as did my parents, and aunts and uncle. My family is unable to spend much time together without talking about what God has done in our lives. Of course, we also get a little goofy -- we’re great that way – zooming from profound depth to the depths of poor taste -- but I digress. Several family members get together and pray regularly, and tears fall as our hearts and concerns are taken to the throne of the Creator of the Universe. This woman spent many months in our prayers.

She said she could not believe in a God as close minded as ours.

I wonder if my pain and my sorrow are just a hint of what God must feel when someone enters eternity without entering into Jesus.