Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Dignity in death

God calls us to some wonderful work, and I am currently working hard on the bereavement part of the project that I have been employed in connection with, even though I haven't said a lot about it lately.

Today I have had the privilege to take our minister to meet with a village lady who is terminally ill, and she knows it. She is well past 80 and has ovarian cancer: she has had a lot of treatment and it has been harrowing for her, but it has been called to a halt now as the tumour has not reacted well enough to the chemotherapy in order for it to be removed.  Whatever the medical teams have thrown at her, the lovely lady has dealt with it all with enormous courage.

The minister and I spent a blessed hour with her this afternoon, and her remembrances of her life as well as her joy in living at this time, right now, are evident. She's able to get out and about, share times of happiness with her friends, come to the knitting group at the chapel occasionally, and enjoy her three cats!  She is aware that she is dying, but she is doing it so well that she is really inspirational. Her attitude is what makes the difference, and the peace which she exudes is not given to everyone in her situation. She is very matter-of-fact about it, and remarked today that she is only doing what thousands of people do every day.   It was a blessing to spend time with her, and to learn from her, to be inspired by her courage, grace and dignity.


Jackie said...

I work in a christian care home, and I know what you mean about being blessed by the grace and courage of the dying.
We had one lady, who used to greet her carer every morning with a smile and say: "He hasn't called me home yet. Maybe it will be today?"
There again, we have friends whose 21 year old daughter was terminally ill with a brain tumour, and they all three handled it with such grace, long-suffering, and dignity, they inspired us all. And then out of a blue (or I suppose dark) sky - God healed her!

Bridget said...

I don't think any of us know how we would be in this situation. When you meet somebody like this I think it makes it a lot easier for those around you. My Dad knew he was dying and for quite a while didn't accept which made it a lot harder for us. I'm not sure if it's better to know and be able to say goodbye but be living in a time bomb or to just go. Bless this lady x I hope this lady's passing is as serene and calm as she seems to be.

Fat Dormouse said...

This sounds like my very good friend Paul, who lived with lung cancer (never smoked in his life) for 7 years that I knew him. He lived and died with dignity, courage and great faith. An inspiration indeed.