A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.
Thomas Mann, “The Magic Mountain”
There comes a time when all of us must face something that can be so painful to bear, it feels to us like our very heart has been snatched away, as if by some thief in the night. We look around, helpless, confused, not knowing which way it is we must turn. We ask of each other if there is something….anything….that we can do to change the current course of events, and when we realize the answer is NO, we are left feeling impotent and empty and sad. And when this confusion involves the life threatening illness of special people in our lives, it can be nearly impossible to accept that there are simply some things that happen that are completely beyond our capacity to fix and make better. Indeed, it is as instinctive for us to want to make it all better for those we love, as it is for us to draw breath. But like most things that come into our lives, the time we share with those we love so much is finite. And while in our lifetime, those milliseconds shared feel like an eternity, in the general course of what it is that measures time in the universe, the same experience is but a drop in the bucket.
Even for those of us who have devoted, what seems like a lifetime, of years working with people who are terminally ill, when the chicken comes home to roost, so to speak, all those years and years of education and training and saying just the right thing at the right time, seems to fly right out the window. And then we, like anyone else, stumble and stammer and cry our way through the same exact heart-break and grief the rest of the world experiences. I know. Having been there several times, myself, knowing what my head tells me and then feeling what it is that my heart feels, makes for a decision as fraught with confusion and angst as the one that necessitated King Solomon to judge and decree that the only solution for the two women each laying claim to the newborn babe, would be to cut the baby in half and give half of the child to each woman (1Kings 3: 16-28)! And just as it was that the true and rightful mother turned to King Solomon and renounced her claim to the child, so it is that we must renounce our claim to manage the life force of the one we love, and turn the matter back to the true Father….the only one who is in control of the true destiny of all of mankind. It is when we are able to do this that we really set free the spirit of those we love to seek out the path that they must follow. And sometimes that path leads to the light. And sometimes it doesn’t. But the course is no longer ours to determine. And this is as it should be!
written by: Amanda Pierce Bruscella
I lie in wait as gentle lips caress my feverish brow,
And lend their comfort to my soul that all is calm for now.
But I will trust my Lord and King with all that is within,
That He will keep me safe from harm as day time light grows dim.
And should my waking be no more, of that I will not fear
As I draw closely once again to one I love so dear,
Who seeks to wrap me in His arms and carry me to my home
He shares His glory with my soul while I sit by His throne.
So fear not, all who love me so, with hands clasped to my breast,
Because I know our time is borrowed and time flies by so fast!
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV
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