When Death comes for our Loved ones
By Rita Davidson
Life goes swiftly. As we get older, life seems to go faster and faster. Who doesn’t notice ‘it’s Christmas already?’ again? Didn’t we just pack up those decorations in the summer?
Of course ‘time’ doesn’t change, but our perspective of it does. If we could only see our ‘time’; with God’s eyes.
Sooner or later, death comes to our door. I was reminded of this recently on my Facebook page, when a woman wrote, about her dad dying.
All of us, will face that day. I remember when death first became real for me. I was 26 years old and had a TIA stroke, that left me paralyzed on my left side, with a crooked face, and couldn’t talk. I still can get panic attacks today, thinking of it. (Thank you Peace and Calming!) You can imagine I don’t talk about this often.
Peering from inside my eyes that day, I felt I was dying. After 3 hours (Ironically, yes, 3 hours, I have a lot of ‘3’s in my life) the symptoms subsided and I rested under Our Lady of Guadalupe, praying for my life. I wrote letters to our daughters as if it was my last day on earth. (Yes, I just realized as I wrote this they are lost in our fire now). 🙁
Years later, I thank God every day I am alive. I vowed then to devote my life to Our Lady that day, if she would let me live and I always say, she keeps me alive as long as I’m ‘good’. 🙂
Later, when my dad died, it was fast, and it was difficult to keep my head clear. Liver cancer. I remember the day he fell into a coma, holding my hand tightly, and looking deeply into my eyes. Only later did I realize that was the last time before he closed his eyes for good. Two weeks later he passed away. At the time we had a brown scapular around his neck. The local priest came and we ‘think’ gave him some kind of last rites or whatever it’s called now. Your emotions are so overwhelmed with the situation it takes all your power to do the right thing. By the time he died we were so exhausted from caring for him at home, life was a blur. God rest your soul, Dad.
Years later when my aunt was dying, I felt this dread again. That dread thinking of those fights at the end of a life; I nearly have a panic attack! I mean it’s their LAST CHANCE! Hello! IS anybody paying attention here?! The last moment they will have on this earth? Literally, entering eternity and their last judgement is at hand?!
Who of us can be assured where we are going? It is doubly difficult when priests are unwilling to give last rites, or come for confession because they think its not needed. A dear friend of mine once told me of priests refusing to bring her Holy Communion when ill. Can you imagine?!
We often find ourselves with a loved one who has been away from the Church for many years and fighting against family who are no longer Catholic. If we have managed to keep our faith and try to do something for them, we run the risk of arguments and sacramental’s being removed, if we are not careful. Some Priests believe everyone goes to heaven and your left feeling like you’re the crazy one.
Unless it’s a husband, or really close loved one, there is only so much you can do. Heaven help us; never let self-respect keep us from doing what is right! But, each situation is so delicate that it takes a lot of prayer to know when to step back, or to approach with caution.
We can feel so utterly helpless. I felt this way when my aunt passed away. Everyone was laughing around her bed and joking. My whole family is one big ‘fallen away Catholic’ of some sort or another. 🙁
It was too surreal. Here was this Catholic woman, who was leaving this life, and no one had a rosary, or a prayer to say. It was so disheartening and I felt like I never did enough for her that day.
But, God takes everything into consideration and our intentions mean everything. We must NEVER give up hope on anyone! For every moment they are still with us, there is a chance for grace to work.
So what do we do?
1. Our Lady has given us her promise if someone dies wearing the brown scapular, she will save them, so do all you can to have them put on a brown scapular. Then leave it in Our Lady’s hands. Surely your prayers, and a scapular will be all she needs to save them.
2. Be sure to plant a green scapular with your loved ones. In their clothes or bedding and pray the powerful prayer on that.
3. If you must, take a photo of them and put a green scapular behind or beside it. If you have alot of hope, (and you should!) drape a brown scapular over it! Yes it might be stretching it, but who is God to laugh at our simple faith! Do you trust God enough? Be sure to watch for sparks and have a priest ready as the graces open up their soul one last time! God willing.
4. Have Masses said for them now, before they pass on.
Stay strong, and fight for them as long as they are with you. God will not abandon us and will not abandon any fervent prayers. He is more merciful than we know and His mercy can cover a multitude of sins. You can be sure there is nothing that would surprise Him.
Start planning for your final exit today. So you too are not caught unawares. May God bless you and grant you a holy death.
Rita Xo 🙂
©Copyright 2014 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife, and mother of seven, with three autistic boys. Currently a writer, & published author, she is a former hairdresser, professional make up artist with a degree in Natural Health. She is founder of Little Flowers Family and now a happy Young Living Distributor. After overcoming a stroke, disabilities, and more, they recently lost everything in a devastating house fire that made them homeless for six months. She is determined to lead souls back to Christ by carrying their crosses with Joy!