February 28, 2022,
“Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Luke 22:37-38
After a very rapid decline, my sister Carol is in the final lap of her journey home. Hospice care started on Friday, and I find myself keeping watch while sitting by her bed.
In spite of the contemplative that resides in the deeper part of my being, I am a doer, and more so, under stress.
There are so many things I want to get done “before the time comes.” I contacted a funeral home, compiled information for an obituary, scurried around to find some colorful tropical pictures to tape to the wall next to her bed and on the ceiling so she sees her favorite vacation sites, purchased a small radio so she has soothing background music, and found a copy of the King James Version of the Bible so I can read to her the beloved words of her heart. I went so far as to work on her taxes last night. Frankly, most of these activities don’t matter in light of what is unfolding in the bed that has become Carol’s world.
I am reminded of Jesus’ request to His inner circle of three in the Garden of Gethsemane as he faced his betrayal, trial and execution. “Stay here and keep watch.” It’s an invitation to witness and open myself to the overwhelming sorrow that resides in the valley of the shadow of death with a loved one. It is there that God is with us today. It that isn’t the end, for we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Lord, shepherd us ~ Anne