Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thoughts On a Visit to a Hospice

'In random thoughts on religion', the columnist in the Peace Weekly, writes about a woman who helped him in his work both materially and spiritually. She was told by her doctor she had about 15 days of life remaining. This news upset her greatly. She was far from her seventies; the news left her in shock. She attended Mass and went directly to the hospital.She never lost her dignity. She prayed earnestly for a cure and dreamed of returning to her former ways.

He heard that she was in hospice-care and went for a visit. "I don't want to die", "I want to live" were her words, said with very little strength. He visited her a number of times but all he could do was hold her hand and and say nothing. No words of consolation came from his lips. Our Lord hearing of the death of Lazarus and meeting Martha and Mary he cried. Because of the human condition and original sin we will all die. However, with the Resurrection of Jesus we have hope. Leaving the woman for the last time in hospice, he had the consolation she was going to a better life.  

Just recently he had two other friends who were  recently given a death sentence. He was at one time very close to them and both of them, not even in their 60s, were now in hospice care. The columnist  was overcome with a feeling of ingratitude towards one of them, and the other he grew apart because of his friend's uncontrolled temper. Hearing that they were in hospice-care he quickly went to visit them.  

In these times when we talk about people living to their hundreds it is a sad sight to see these men who where until recently men with great presence and   vigor who were haggard images of themselves. Seeing them in this condition brought tears to his eyes.

He wanted to bring them to a knowledge of faith and give them a reason to hope. In his own life the faith he had was a great consolation in facing death, and he wanted to bring up the issue but they were  in  pain and he felt it better to leave the job to their wives.  

He leaves us with the words of a Germain psycho physicist Gustave Fetcher: Man lives on earth three time,the first state is continual sleep in the womb. Second stage is the present where we sleep and awake in turns. The third stage is always awake. In the first state one is prepared with the organs of speech, sight, smell and hearing which will be used in the second stage. In the second stage preparation is made for the last stage. When the baby leaves the womb the transition is like a death to a new environment and new life. It begins with a cry and a whole new environment with laughter and joy. The third state is one we don't know much about,  full of peace and liberty.We see the last stage as one with a very narrow door and dark, but it is the way to eternal life.                                              

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