Waiting with Death

Robert Redford as Death
Gladys Cooper as Wanda Dunn
Twilight Zone “Nothing in the Dark” 1962

 

 

So I’m sitting here at another hospice death, waiting. Waiting for the nurse to pronounce, the sheriff to investigate, the social worker to guide, and the funeral home to transport.

I’m waiting in an adult foster care home talking to a man whose roommate (another of my patients) just died. He cried when I told him how proud I was of him and how well he represented the presence of Christ. I’m sitting in a home with an owner who claims to care but is so indifferent to the people for whom she cares.

Both the man and the owner bring tears to my eyes but for different reasons.

That’s my day. Visiting the dying, comforting the mourning, and waiting for the next time Death and I will cross paths.

For the record, Death can seem like a jerk. Death is unpredictable as to when and where he will strike. It is only hindsight that gives the illusion that we can know when, where, or how Death will arrive. Because of that, Death can be scary. Death takes time to get to know.

That’s how I spend the other part of my day; helping people make peace with Death. That doesn’t make Death less of a jerk. However, it does make it easier for people to leave with him.

That’s my day.

Waiting.

Waiting in the presence of death.

Waiting with the Presence of Christ.