Last night was a good night. His hospital room was full of family and friends. He referred to the gathering as a party and he was in true form, witty, pastoral, and hope-filled. He was still working, caring and thinking about the Youthfront donors that he ministered to. He was talking about his grand-kids and plans for the future. In more quiet moments he worried about slowing the family down because “You all have so much to do.” He wondered what he needed to do to get better. He flirted with my mom. He was happy to see the Royals win their 4th game in a row. He wanted to talk about plans for Youthfront’s future. He expressed gratitude for how his family and friends had faithfully walked with him through these seven weeks. It was a good, good night.
At 4:00am we gathered around his lifeless body, wept and wrestled with the idea of his death. At 6:00am, we circled his bed, read a Psalm, and prayed this prayer, "May Dave, our father, husband, grandfather, friend and man of God rest in peace where sorrow and pain are banished, and may the everlasting light of your merciful love shine upon him; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Give us grace so to follow his good example, that with him we may be partakers of your heavenly kingdom. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
We ended with a tearful Amazing Grace.
We know that death is our enemy. There is nothing romantic about it. Death is a tragedy. I Corinthians 15:26 declares “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” How fitting that this verse is nestled in a chapter about resurrection. Jesus Christ arose from the dead. Resurrection is our hope. “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” I Corinthians 15:20.
My father, consistent with his good life, gave us the gift of a good death.