Weekly reflections for those who tend to the dying
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Grace before the Garden
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Imagine the Last Supper: friends are gathered, food and drink are served. If everything went right, and I suppose it did, that night the upper room rang with laughter and arguments, tears and sighs, the sounds any gathering of true friends and true family. As with any good gathering, there is that point, that golden moment, where you wish it would never end. I imagine it was at that moment, at that time, where all Jesus wanted to do was have one more glass of wine, one more laugh, one more embrace with his friends. It was at that moment he had to go to the garden. From that point on everything would be different, and I imagine he relished those final moments in that upper room with those he loved. Our lives are full of these final moments, most much more mundane than the Last Supper. The last drink at a party, the last day of a vacation, the last dance at a wedding. These final moments of joy are bittersweet; we savor the instant knowing that it is fleeting and hoping it or something like it will come again. There are final moments of gravity also: the last moment before a child gets on the school bus for the first time, the last class in an education, the last day of a long and meaningful career. These moments shake and form our lives, and among them is the last breath of a loved one’s life. Final moments come to us all. We may keep them at bay for as long as possible, but the night has to end, the career will see itself through, our lives cannot be lived for eternity. When we do our jobs right, when all things work together for the benefit of those in our care, we allow others to live these last moments. To suck the marrow from final moments, to see them in brilliant color, and hold those last instances forever. In that way, final moments can exist in beautiful stillness, forever.