When someone we know is nearing death, how do we help them die with dignity? How do we help the family navigate the medical desire to preserve life at all cost? How can we prepare to die with dignity?
I have learned from being with people as they die that what they fear most is not death itself. They fear two primary things: being in pain and being alone. Death is a haven to the weary and a relief to the sorely afflicted. A St. Jude child in my congregation who died peacefully taught me that by taking care of these two things – alleviating pain and surrounding that precious soul with love – he was able to leave this world with dignity and in peace. Faith teaches that whenever the time comes for our bodies to let go, God holds on.