Dying looks like that, not this


I left someone’s house yesterday. I gave her a hug and said good-bye.

They are celebrating their Christmas this morning because at 46, she is in her final days of cancer.

Lung cancer from smoking. Something she and I discussed in depth. She refused to entertain the notion that she should stop smoking.

I looked at her while we all talked. Little flickers of her still linger but the majority of her has been replaced by a body being called home.

She and I haven’t spoken much in years. She crossed some lines that I found unacceptable and that was it.

I thought when I saw her again that I would still be cold. I wasn’t.

In the end, her illness….her death doesn’t change the destruction she waged while living. But….

She’s dying and even though it doesn’t change what she did, it doesn’t matter anymore either.

It’s over. You can’t undo, you can’t alter or change.

My greatest hope is that she has sought God and made peace.

It’s not my place to judge.

As I move through my day and have reinvest of anxiety or fear of death, I remember what she looks like, how she is doing and I say, “YOU are not dying. SHE is dying and look how much her body has endured. You need to get back to living because she sure would if she could.”

As she moves through her final breaths, I pray for her. I pray for her sister and her children. I pray for her Grandchildren whom will only know her through pictures and stories.

In the depths of our panic we need to remember that death looks like that. Death isn’t like this.

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