On Facing a Glimpse of Death and Affirming the Promise of Hope

a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

I have just been out from the intensive unit where my sister-in-law is admitted under a respirator. She is in deep coma and what aids her to breathe are various machines and tubes in her nose, mouth and arms. She is critically ill, we have been told and it is a matter of hours or days when her life should end or be given a chance by the heavenly touch. Her liver is failing to function.

Her eyes are closed. I can only hear her loud breathing, aided by the machine. But I managed to speak to her ears, got the Bible and read some verses, assuring God's word of hope and promise for eternal life. Her mother joined and sang lines from the famous song, Nearer to God, or the song, "What A Friend We Have in Jesus" and I could not hold back my tears, asking God to give her a chance in life or else it is God's will that reigns, praying for courage that we can accept if death should take her away from us.

Out of the intensive unit,there is this waiting room and I find this computer to write my thoughts. Our life is very fragile and we cannot choose in what way we should die or leave this world. I can hear the sobbing of the mother of my sister-in-law and some members in the family join in the chorus of expressing the pain and sorrow upon seeing a loved one seemingly under the grip of death. But so long she breathes, I would like us to keep that hope in the Lord who is the author of life and the taker of life.

Dear friends of the voicesnet.com and facebook, this is not a nice way of greeting you after a series of summer camps I have been to. But life is a continuous struggle of joy and pain and the need for faith,courage, hope and love. Kindly say a prayer for Betty.

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August 8, 2010, Vejle Hospital, Denmark

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