From the Rector:
Dear All Saints:
Late last week when it was announced that former First Lady Barbara Bush had decided, at the age of 92, to refuse further medical care and to simply be kept comfortable at home, I was struck at how euphemistically all of the press coverage treated the subject of dying. We all knew what this announcement meant, but no one seemed to want to say it.
This week, I flew down to Chapel Hill, NC, for a couple of days to be with my mother who was dying at the age of 88. Yes, she was being kept comfortable, and she had medical directives in place about how she wanted to die. Because she had mostly stopped eating, her body was gradually unable to sustain life. We thought it might take days or perhaps a couple of weeks, but mercifully, she died peacefully in the early hours of Thursday morning.
In the light of the resurrection, this is not bad news. Yes, it is sad, and my five siblings and I, along with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will grieve for her. Yet, if Christ has been raised from the dead, we do not grieve, in the words of St. Paul, as “those who have no hope” (1Thessalonians 4:13). We need not fear death and dying as anything other than a part of this life we have been given.
Let us all pray for the repose of the soul of Barbara Bush and for my mother, Diane Osborne Ellis. May they both hear the words of the Good Shepherd, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into my joy” (Matthew 25:23).
Eastertide blessings to you and yours,