Grief, Part 4

Grief, Part 4  When the terminally ill patient can no longer deny his illness, when he is forced to undergo more surgery or hospitalization, when he begins to have more symptoms or becomes weaker and thinner, he cannot smile it off anymore. His numbness or stoicism, his anger and rage will soon be replaced with … Continue reading Grief, Part 4

Grief, Part 3

Grief, Part 3  “When the first stage of denial cannot be maintained any longer, it is replaced by feelings of anger, rage, envy, and resentment.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, MD[1] According to Swiss-American psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the initial stage of dying is denial and isolation, which I reflected upon in last week’s Life Note. The next stage, … Continue reading Grief, Part 3

Grief, Part 2

Grief, Part 2  “Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of … Continue reading Grief, Part 2

Dying Before We Die, Part 3

Dying Before We Die, Part 3  No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins. Mark 2:22 As I close this trail of thoughts about dying-before-we-die, I wish to focus on … Continue reading Dying Before We Die, Part 3

Dying Before We Die, Part 2

Dying Before We Die, Part 2  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life…nor things present, nor things to come…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8::38-39 Admittedly, the concept of dying-before-we-die is not easily grasped. It might better be titled consciously-letting-go-before-we-must. Done right, … Continue reading Dying Before We Die, Part 2

Dying Before We Die

Dying Before We Die  Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12::24 The concept of dying before we die has nothing to do with unreasonably hastening our physical death. Rather, it … Continue reading Dying Before We Die

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 4

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 4  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 I write this in the midst of Holy Week – the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. In the Christian story, Jesus enters Jerusalem as a hero, only to be mocked, beaten, … Continue reading Cultural Fear of Death, Part 4

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 3

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 3  …it is appointed for mortals to die once... Hebrews 9:27 Last week I reflected on the financial and emotional costs of dying. My conclusions were that (1) dying is expensive, (2) dying is emotionally trying, and (3) dying is even more expensive when death is prolonged for reasons other … Continue reading Cultural Fear of Death, Part 3

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 2

Cultural Fear of Death, Part 2  For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Philippians 1:21 Last week I referred in passing to the high cost of dying. The costs can be financial, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual. Those costs go up when death is needlessly delayed in ways that are based more on … Continue reading Cultural Fear of Death, Part 2