He was dying and he knew it. Yet still he continued to read his history book. I entered his room, and he smiled at me. He told me stories of his past. He enlightened me about what he was reading about. He was a very smart man. He was a good man.
I got to know him quite well over the course of a few days. Then one day I sat down in a chair, and he said, "You know that I'm dying and it doesn't bother me. You want to know why?"
I nodded and watched as he picked up his Bible. "This is the reason I don't worry about death. I know that death is not the end but the beginning." He smiled.
I truly believe that people who believe in God die better than those who don't believe. Believers are happy all the way to the end because they know death is not the end. They know that what they learn in this life can be used in the next, and so they continue to produce and to show joy.
I used to wonder why it was that someone who knew he was going to die would be reading a book. What's the point? But the more I learn, the more I realize that most folks who know, and are reading, have a Bible on their side table.
I'm not saying that all people who know they are dying and don't believe are bad patients, nor that all believers are pleasant. Yet I am saying that, based on my own observations, that believers tend to be more pleasant.