A Holy Death...

It used to be that all my friends were young and healthy, and sickness and dying was for those “older” people.  Everyone once in awhile tragedy would strike; but for the most part, it was not on my radar.  That was something for the very distant future.  


Times have definitely changed.  I have reached the “older” person label.  Now, I am all too aware at how fragile life is.  Far from being a depressing thought, it has taught me to appreciate all my blessings that much more.  Thinking about my existence beyond this world, has changed how I live my daily life for the better.


The idea of death used to be terrifying.  Whenever I heard of someone’s passing I could only think of all they had left behind, I never considered where they were going.  Now seeing death first hand, both of those who lived a holy life, and those who have not, has changed my perspective drastically.  How we die so often is a direct reflection of how we lived.  


Many of you knew  Polly Sandman.  She was a mother of five beautiful children, a devoted wife of 30 years to her husband, beloved sister, aunt and friend.  She lived her life in service to God, her family, and others.  She worked as a client advocate at Pregnancy Center East.  She helped at school and church.  She was a faithful Christian friend and prayer partner to her Christ Renews group.  Though I did not have the privilege of knowing her well, I knew her well enough to see what mattered in her life.  Without a doubt, she lived a holy life.  It is only fitting that she had a very holy death.  She received Last Rites and was surrounded by her children, husband and family as she went to her eternal reward.  I can only hope and pray that I am blessed with a death such as Polly’s.


The loss of Polly leaves a hole in the heart of all who knew her.  However, they have the peace of knowing that if they live their life in union with the will of God, they will be with her forever in heaven too.  Far too many who lose someone they love do not have this consolation.  Death for them is filled with uncertainty and despair.  David Bowie, who also died last week, comes to mind.  The life he lived,  at least in the eyes of the public, was far from holy.  I pray and hope that he came to a conversion before his end.  


Polly left a great gift to her children and family.  She left the powerful example of her life’s work.  She showed them the way to follow her.  Though she has left them earlier than any would have wished, this lasting testament is beyond value.


Polly serves as a shining example of what I want to be for my children.  When I reach my end, will I be able to say that I showed them the way to the Father?  I pray and hope with all that I am that I can say without doubt that I did.  


For now, my work is before me.  I am called to be a charitable and patient mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.  I am called to lay down my life as Christ did.  I am called to do this without counting the cost.  In striving each day to live a holy life, it is my prayer that I will also have a holy death.


May Polly Sandman rest in peace in the light of the Lord.  I know she is praying for her family without ceasing.    The loss of someone you love so dearly is too painful for words.  It can only be endured with a faith that reminds us that this is not the end.  Polly’s story is not over, in reality it is just beginning.   JMJ