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Posts Tagged ‘End of Life’

Normally, when I feature a guest post I spend more time introducing it than it’s content lasts.

Today is different.

I will only say that when I started reading I had not noticed who wrote it. All I knew was that I was captivated by this post … and thought that you might be too:

““I don’t have much time left, really.”

My father’s voice on the other end of the line reminds me of my grandfather’s.

It’s been nearly ten years since I heard that voice. I’m making beds. I can see Dad at his breakfast table.

“At best, maybe fifteen years. I’m on my last chapter.” He pauses and I let the empty space beckon answers.

Grandpa died at eighty. Dad will turn sixty-three this coming year.

“I need a plan. I don’t think I’ve had one.”

I pull the sheets up, smooth out the bed’s coverlet in coming light, then wait, listening to Dad think.

I’m hesitant to say anything. Best he find the way.

But I’m still, just standing here, knowing that we are moving out into hallowed ground. I wait. Then venture into the space with only a question.

“Well, how do you want that last chapter to read, Dad?”

“I want to end happy.”

I sit on the edge of the bed, sunlight warm on my back, and ask slowly, “And what do you think brings happiness?””

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As I read the email my hubby forwarded, the words restricted access popped from the computer screen. Written by the gentle, kind-hearted wife of a man lying in a hospital bed. His not long enough earthly life now down to days. And access to his hospital room has now been restricted to family only.

At the end of life, the most important in life rise to the surface. It is the most important people in life who, ideally, we would choose to pass from this life close by our side.

“Meaningless, meaningless … ” I have been hearing this a significant amount as I have sat in a grade eleven Bible class (I work in a Christian school), who has been studying the book of Ecclesiastes. “Everything is meaningless … ” Throughout the first part of this book, everything is meaningless; work, study, pleasures, power, riches.

And, the family who is gathered around the husband and father of the man in the restricted access hospital room would say, ‘amen!’

When our earthly life comes to it’s end, the things that occupied much of our life and source of existence fade away, they become as dust or smoke. Something that fades from our minds faster than life itself. Ecclesiastes 1:3 states, “what’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?” Once you are passing from this life to the next, what we have accomplished on this earth becomes … meaningless.

And what becomes meaningful?

I cannot answer that for another person. I do know that I have never heard of someone’s boss, or banker, or realtor being at their bedside as they take their last breath. They are restricted from access. Who are there, are the ones who made life … meaningful.

“Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.”

Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

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