The sister-in-law of a very good friend is dying. She has fought a lengthy battle with cancer, but the vicious disease has now taken the lead. She was able to spend Thanksgiving with family, but she and everyone else were aware that it was very likely to be her last. Just recently, within this same family, a new baby was born. How amazing that one life will soon be lost just as another has recently begun!
I’m thinking today of the men and women in prison who are dying, without family or friends nearby. There are very few prison hospices, but how I wish there were more! I would hold a hand or empty a bedpan just to be able to be with someone imprisoned, without any chance of release, who is dying alone.
When I think about these things, I have to force myself to find the positive. For dying prisoners, there is hope that they are going to a better life. There is prayer that they have learned from their experience, that they are sorry for their deeds and/or that they have learned to live with a fate that seems unjustified. Yes, when these lives are lost, I believe they will begin anew.
Today I pray for those who are dying. I ask that they will be able to remain strong as they bridge the final rapids of life. I also honor those who care for the dying as they offer gentle care to the lonely, the frightened, the sad, and the struggling. May peace arrive as earthly struggles end, and may those who wait with the dying be blessed.