Death Watch

Submitted by frlarry on

This is a meditation on the spiritual and emotional challenges of watching someone you care about as they near death, One of the biggest challenges is the trade-off between easing pain and not hastening death.

Hi. I thought I'd drop in.
How's he doing?
His breathing seems very labored.

He's o.k., for now.
He's been trying to get up.

Hello, Sir! I'm back. How are you.

I don't think he recognizes you.
The brain cancer is pretty advanced.
I don't think he knows what's going on.

What's he saying?
What's that he's pointing at?

I want... I want...

I don't know. It could be anything.
We gave him some Adevan,
but he's still edgy.
Hell, I'm edgy!
They call it "terminal anxiety."
We found him wandering in the hallway earlier.

I think I'd be pretty anxious,
if I found it this hard to breath.

That's the dilemma.
We can't give him more medication.
He'll just stop breathing.
We can't give him less.
His anxiety will lead him to something dangerous.


Mother of God!
What must it have been like for you?
The waiting. The torment.
Jesus gasping, lifting himself up, crying out in pain.
Slumping down again, exhausted, dazed,
his body crying out for relief.
His soul crying out for mercy.
For us!
Knowing the centuries of our flirtation with,

And, you!
You have been here so long.
Running a spiritual marathon,
without food or drink.
Where have you found the strength?
For we did not yet have the Spirit
of Consolation!

His breathing seems to have quieted.
Thank God!
Maybe now he can sleep.

Thank you, Mother!


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