20090321

Most Often There's Very Little Dignity in Dying

Of late, talk of giving the terminally ill the right to choose their date with death has been in the news again. Considering that everday, somewhere in the world a woman schedules an appointment to induce labor, one might think penciling in the when and how one chooses to die might be humane. I sincerely believe in Divine Timing. And as with birth, so with death, I do not believe one should determine the entry or exit date and hour. I believe that to the last second of life's breath, one's life has purpose; if not for themselves, for those beings a part of their existence. I realize that when looking at Death's door the pain that often accompanies the parting of this life to the next can be excruciating to the degree that rushing the inevitable can be tempting. Unfortunately, just as with suicide, I don't think you can show up early and expect to alter God's Divine timeclock. So a doctor says you have only six months to live; and, you take into your own hands when your end is. It's your last effort to take life into your own hands and experience a final empowerment over what has brought you to this point. I've known excruciating pain. And I know how peaceful relief from that pain can be. And I do believe that death, as the Word of God promises, is a relief from that pain. But I still have that nagging question of what happens when we take the reins of Life into our own hands, with little or no regard for the plans our Creator has for our final days. I think that being given a general timeframe of when you're leaving this planet, in the fleshly form, is a gift of the oddest kind in that you're given an opportunity to tie up loose ends, heal rifts, make peace with those who may be waiting on the other side to greet you. As is my rule; I may comment; but, I do not judge people and the decisions they make. My mother once told me to not judge her until I'd walked a mile in her shoes. And now that I am a mother of grown children I most clearly know what she meant. There comes a time in most mother-daughter relationships that they become BFF's of the keenest sense. It usually comes after the daughter has married and had children of her own that the wisdom of a mother becomes priceless. Over a decade ago my mother crossed over to the other side. The doctors initially gave her a brief time to live. In a sense they were accurate; in that 40 more years would have been brevity of life to me; but, after 18 months she lapsed into a coma, and on into eternity. After all this time I don't think I will ever completely have peace about her last few days being spent in a hospice instead of the home she so painstakingly made for our family. But, I'm amiss, as I don't think one should look back with any dread or regret for things they really have little control over. Again, one cannot say what they'll do when that final hour is imminent. It's perhaps one of the most personal decisions one can make. But if God is the true Determiner of Life's journey I hope in my last moments I have the strength of the Holy- Ghost kind to wait on His final call; and not be so presumptious as to show up at Death's door realizing that His date of my homegoing was far beyond the doctor's prediction. Sarah didn't think she'd conceive in her old age, but she did. Cures happen every day. Somehow the "Death With Dignity Act" is letting go of our most precious hope: Faith that God Can and if He desires, will lift us up and onward from our sick bed. And if He chooses to take us heavenward then I think the greatest peace, and clearest conscience comes with letting Him decide that final hour of how and when.