I want to tell you a story and it is a true story of life and death and life again.
My father was 82 when he died his health had been declining over a number of years indeed he had a form of dementia and congestive cardiac failure. Many of us are frightened to talk about death but since it will come upon us all we might as well talk about it.
I received a telephone call from a relative to say that my father had been taken into hospital. I drove down the South Wales to the hospital where he had been admitted unfound that he was in a state of unconsciousness and suffering from a fluid overload.
The Hospital staff we’re doing all that they can to reduce the fluid. He was then taken to a ward and made comfortable on the Monday I was called into an office and the medical staff explained to me that there comes a point when active medication does more harm than good.
I understood that they were talking about end-of-life issues after all I had spent a number of years working in the clinical arena and was very familiar with the process of death. I had performed the last offices so I had no real fear of it after all the dead cannot hurt you. they said to me that they were going to withdraw active medication and treat him palliatively in order to eliminate any pain that he might be suffering.
It is a difficult thing to watch someone’s earthly life ebb away. He put up a fight as if he wasn’t ready to go quite yet but there was an inevitability of the outcome. 4 days had passed it was now Thursday and I vividly recall leaning over my father and whispering in his ear that if he had an appointment to keep it would be wise not to keep the good Lord waiting. With this a man who had been hitherto unconscious suddenly opened his eyes lifted his head off the pillow and kissed me on the cheek and then put his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes again. It was now just a matter of time and in the early hours of Good Friday 2 years ago I received the phone call from the hospital which under normal circumstance one would dread but because of what happened on the Thursday I was not dreading it indeed I went to the hospital and shortly after I had arrived there my father was promoted to glory. All the frailties of old age had dissipated and I had never seen him looking so young. I thought to myself what a wonderful day to go to the master on Good Friday of course I would have preferred it to be on Resurrection Sunday but you don’t always get what you want. In relation to the story I wanted to say than I do feel that God was intervening right throughout that week. And the event which I have spoken about that occurred on the Thursday was the work of God through the holy spirit as if to say you don’t need to worry your father’s going to a better place. Whilst I was sad at my father’s loss I was equally happy to know that he now rests in those mansions which Christ has promised to all those who believe in him. There is death in life but in death there is life.
May God bless you this Sunday evening