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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dying Eyes: Lessons from a Death Bed

Looking into the eyes of someone who is dying changes a person.

Last week, I visited a woman that I have known for years and love. I asked her if she was afraid to die. "No, not really... Is that weird? I feel like I have done everything I needed to do. I have two great kids. I had a husband who loved me. What else is there to do?"

She seemed a little worried. "Do you think that's normal? Do you think it's the drugs?" She is on a morphine drip to help with the pain.

I tried to reassure her. I told her about my grandmother who passed away a decade ago now. I still remember visiting her in the hospital after a heart attack scare. And, I was worried about her. I asked her if she was ready to die. (Mind you, this was a couple of years before she actually did.) I'll never forget her words.

"Oh, yeah. I don't want to die. But, I am ready. I enjoy each day I have. But, I am ready. I have this peace about it."

And, I could see it on her face. She wasn't scared. She was prepared.

I saw that same peace in this woman's eyes.

My grandma and this woman are comfortable with who they are. They know that God loves them, Jesus died for them, and that they had lived their lives giving and receiving love.

There was no hiding or pretending, no need for superficiality. Their life had been lived and there was no need for lies. The truth was enough. They were dying and the best they could hope for was to enjoy each moment they had left. And, then, trust God with the rest.

I guess we could all learn to do that.

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