Archive for April, 2009

Hello, All

I’ve just finished with a very intense few weeks. A few weeks ago, I found out my Uncle Dick was in the hospital to evaluate him for possible heart surgery. As time went on, it became evident to the doctors that he wasn’t going to be able to have the needed surgeries. Two weeks ago, my mom let me know that he would survive only a few more days, possibly a few more weeks. As the week progressed, it became clear that his death would come sooner rather than later, and he passed away last Tuesday.

It was such a different experience to be here as a family member is dying. First of all is the distance, but it is also the factors involved in deciding if I should try to see him before he died, or should I attend the funeral, if possible. I know lots of you have experienced the same struggles and it’s never an easy decision.

More significantly, the difference was being in community. To tell the other sisters what is going on and to know that these holy women are praying for your intentions. In particular, to pray for a loved on as they are dying. To give them the grace to make their peace with God and with their neighbor. To ask that a loved one experiences a peaceful transition from this life into the next. It is a true blessing to be able to prepare for your death, to be given time to deepen our relationship with Christ.

I think so many are afraid to talk about death. They have so much fear themselves about being ready to enter heaven and they fear that the person who is dying won’t be able to handle the truth. But, in reality, it is the kindest, most loving thing you can do for a loved one – to give them the opportunity to say the things they couldn’t say before. To express their love for their family and friends as fully as they are capable of showing it. The end of life can be a wonderful time of spiritual healing if we allow it to be.

I am so thankful I was able to return to Wichita and Hutchinson for the funeral. The same day that my uncle passed, my brother and his family were within a few hours of arriving in Alma for a visit. They arrived later that afternoon and were able to stay overnight before I rode back with them Wednesday morning. we drove to Columbia, MO to stop for the night. I stayed with my sister and her husband and drove to Wichita Thursday. We went to the wake Thursday evening and the funeral Friday afternoon – both in Hutchinson. I was thankfully able to maintain my scheduled prayers which helped considerably with the stress of the situation. I then flew back to Alma on Saturday.

It was a blessed trip to Wichita, despite the cirumstances. I ask you all to pray for my Aunt Karen as she grieves the loss of her husband. Pray for the entire Bridgewater family.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Love, Sister Shana


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