And a Time to Die
We all know the words of Ecclesiastes 3 "...a time to be born and a time to die.” As we pass through the summer of our lives and move into autumn, death is the music that plays in the background of all our comings and goings.
As I write this blog in early June my wife has made an unexpected trip to Holland to be with my daughter and son-in-law. My son-in-law’s father, Mijndert Van Woudenberg, came home from the hospital on May 31 to die. He was in the hospital for a month and was not able to recover from a gastrointestinal problem that made it impossible to eat. After a family conference with the doctors, everyone agreed that it was “time” to give up on medical solutions. Mijndert, or “Opa” to everyone in the family, told me earlier in May that no one should have to go through what he had gone through. As is often the case, he was much readier to go “home” than his family to accede to his wishes.
Here’s a lovely prayer by: Teresa Hooley
How should I fear to die?
have I not seen
the color of a small butterfly,
the silver sheen
of breaking waves and a wood-dove’s wings?
Have I not marked the coat
of mouse and deer,
the shape of flowers, the thrush’s specked throat–
and shall I fear
to fall into the hands that made these things?