When It's Okay To Let Go
With hand on heart I can truly say I have never once heard Sarah complain about her cancer: in fact, quite the opposite! A few weeks ago, whilst she was still at home, Sarah's thoughts were on getting back into her garden, sorting through papers, and visiting friends.
I’ve been saddened to watch her deteriorate so rapidly. On Sunday, my thoughts were that she would most likely quietly slip into a coma overnight. But how wrong I was! On Monday, Sarah was bright and chipper. In fact, she asked me to bring her a ham sandwich and a few mandarins.
When Mary and I returned later that evening to bring her an assortment of goodies, Sarah’s conversation was again about getting rid of her ‘awful cough’ and the fluid in her lungs, and going ‘home.’ I was delighted and I truly hoped that she would indeed be returning home.
But yesterday Sarah was unable to speak. She had received a get-well card from a neighbour, but was too weak to hold it in her hands. Her face was contorted as agonising pain shot through her chest and back. And she looked at me with an imploring sense of helplessness. I spoke with the ward sister: Sarah had already received as much morphine as was safely possible. (an irony that could release an agonising rash of invectives from me!)
I know that Sarah is still trying to fight her battle. She told me she would never stop fighting it. When I suggested to her that it is also okay to accept. Sarah said that if she did that she wouldn’t be very proud of herself.
The elderly can teach us so much about our lives to come and we constantly learn from them. But we also need guidance in how to finish our mortal lives as well.
As the Apostle Paul put it, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day’
Funny, that’s just what Sarah says!