Our next door neighbor has chosen today to die. He is using assisted suicide, I’m sure to make it easier on his wife as she navigates the difficulties and grief of caring for him at home, during his final stage of ALS.Last week, I thought to visit, thinking it was the day he chose to pass. Someone had misinformed me. It was the day he chose to die…10 days later. So I got to see him, touch his shoulder, talk to him and ask him questions. And listen to his responses come out of a speaker across the room. I watched his eyes focus on letters on a screen attached to his wheelchair, and slowly make words. Half of which he did not intend to make. But the ones he did intend were, “i’m ok”, “Julie is nice to me”, and “no pain”.
As I took the hint that it was time for me to leave, knowing that they were against “religion” and prayer of any kind, I had to ask him, “would you like me to pray for you?” I would have quoted from memory as best I could, Romans 10:9, and thanked our God for his immense love for this man. But as soon as “…pray for you?” came out of my mouth, his head shook, no. I looked up, to see his wife’s head already shaking no, as if to imply, “don’t even try. It’s useless”.
My prayer would have to be spoken in my spirit.
It was an awkward walk back to the front door. But we hugged, and she did thank me.
I’m learning…It is an especially sad thing to experience someone’s outright rejection of God… Utter disbelief in his love, in their final days of life.
My only prayer, borrowed from a close friend,would be for an angel of God to visit him in his last day – his last moments here on earth. And in those moments, his heart would become soft and humble and he would believe.