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Day #37 – Can I Lift Someone’s Load?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 1, 2015

God wrap Your arms around all those

Day #37 – Can I Lift Someone’s Load?

Am I getting to that age when I am more likely to hear about an acquaintance, or even a friend, who has recently died? Or, am I in a profession where that is more likely?

How about, both?

A good friend of mine died last week. She was in hospice for a severe illness. The illness had been in remission for several years, and when I saw her last fall, she seemed fit (if thinner) and upbeat. However, I found out recently that the illness had recurred, and I went to the hospice to visit. I hope I was a comfort to those who were there. And then, after the weekend, I found out about her death. God bless those who mourn her passing. She was a wonderful lady, and she will be greatly missed.

The spouse of a good friend of mine died yesterday. This dear one had beaten the odds by being stubborn and—gosh darn it!—remaining alive for about two years longer than the medical staff had predicted! My good friend, dear friend, has been faithfully at the spouse’s side at all times. Serving as patient advocate (very necessary!), spokesperson when needed, and generally keeping track of every little aspect of patient care.

As of yesterday, the hospice called and let my friend and family know that their dear one had died. Quietly.

Yes, I prayed. On a regular basis. Yes, I sent a number of emails over the many months, and even sent several cards by snail mail. Tomorrow, a condolence card will go into the mail. Snail mail. Several states away.

Heavy lifting, indeed.

I am accustomed to being with people in anxious times, even traumatic times. In this holiest of Holy Weeks, I stop and reflect on death. Especially on the death of our Lord Jesus. I find myself becoming quiet. Continuing to reflect. Ponder. Cry. Wish I could be there with my dear friend. And then, knowing that God is there, I think that is enough. It has to be.

God, be with my friend, the bereaved one. Be with all who mourn these dear ones’ passing. Please. Thank You for walking with them in their pain and mourning. Help them to reframe, gently. Gradually. In Jesus’ healing name I pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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