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Monday, July 10, 2017

Faith Makes It Easier To Die

I'm sorry if I offend people who don't believe, but it is my belief, based on my observations as a respiratory therapist who gets to know many people near the ends of their lives, that Faith makes it easier to die. Faith makes the transition from life to death easier.

When I first started out as a respiratory therapist, I remember seeing people in the end stages of their diseases reading books. I see them watching the news. I'd see them worrying about paying bills or fixing a computer at home. I just couldn't fathom why they would be trying to educate themselves, or why they'd spend time worrying about trivial things when they knew they were going to die. How could they do that? Why would they do that?

There was one lady I remember in particular. She was told she had basically no heart left. She had an ejection fraction of 20% or something like that. She was essentially told she was going to die, and might not even make it out of the hospital. And she didn't.

But when I visited her she was more interested in me than she was herself. She was asking me about my life and my kids. She wanted to learn as much as she could about me. And I told her about me and my family. I showed her pictures, at her request, of course. And she smiled and was happy to see my kids and hear about them.

This is something I see a lot. And in nearly all of these situations, I see a Bible on the bedside table. Or, at least, I'd see some sort of emblem of Christianity. I'd see a cross, a note on the piece of paper from a grandchild saying, "God bless you, Grandma." Or sometimes they would just bring up God or the Bible in the process of whatever discussion ensued.

It was this lady, however, who gave me the idea that God needs people who are wise. When a carpenter dies, for instance, it's because God wanted a carpenter in Heaven. When a Grandma dies, it's because God needed another Grandma in Heaven. She said that we all have a gift to offer, and it's our duty to continue offering this gift all the way to the end -- which is not really the end, but the beginning.

I think it is this type of Faith that makes living easier when the end is near. I have no proof of this but based on my own observations, and the observations of my friends, you would have a tough time convincing me otherwise. What do you think?

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