Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Vigil

At anniversary time, we often recall the details of that day. For example, the oncology nurses who brought us trays of food. On the day that Dad died, we were sitting in his room at the hospital. We weren't leaving. The nurses would come in and check, "How are you doing? Do you need anything? Is there anything I can do for Hank or for you?" Nope. We were okay. But we didn't leave the room to go to the cafeteria. The nurses noticed. After a while, one of those sweet women came in with a tray of tea, water, cookies, and fresh fruit. Later in the afternoon, seeing that we still weren't leaving Dad's bedside, they came back with another tray containing light lunch foods.

On that last day, I remember thinking that I would not be able to explain to someone who asked, "WHY do you sit there? What sense does it make? What does it accomplish?" And yet, there was nothing else to do. Something deep inside us compelled us to be there, even if human reason said it was pointless.

Yesterday we attended Betty's funeral. In the sermon, Pastor mentioned how the family had lovingly and tenderly cared for Betty during those last days when her health took such a turn for the worse, how they had been with her at the end. He spoke of how it is a Christian thing to keep vigil at the bedside of a dying loved one. He spoke of the women at the foot of Jesus' cross. He spoke of standing beside those who suffer to share in their sufferings and to support them in the small way that we can. But mostly he spoke of a Savior who shared in our sufferings and stood beside us, taking our punishment upon Himself.

Oh. So that explains the compulsion to be there with your loved one. Oh.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I felt that same compulsion when my dad and my grandma were dying. It's powerful.