My friend’s husband died in the very early hours of this morning, while it was still dark. He had prostate cancer that spread to his bones and to his liver. He was a good man, lived a good life, as we say, loving his family, serving his community, sharing the Good News as a deacon, and ministering to those in prison. A man of great faith, he had lived fully and well and was ready for what comes next. As often happens, his body seemed less ready than his soul, as bodily death did not come suddenly but, rather, by suffering, slowly breaking down, groaning in the pains that is the dying process. But peace was in his heart and his loved ones by his side. When I heard of his passing, these words of It Came upon a Midnight Clear came to my mind:
“And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
Look, now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing!
O rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing.”
I don't call myself a poet — but the beating of my heart is poetry. I don't call myself a theologian — but the light of my mind seeks the Divine. Who I am is a Child of God, a Divine Creation, a person devoted to being fully human, fully alive.