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The Death Bed Experience


Margee
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I am at the age where friends and relatives are dying one by one......I accept this.

 

Today, I received a call that a very dear 'born again' friend who I lived next door to since I was seventeen, could possibly be in the last stage of her disease. Pneumonia has set in and it doesn't look good. She is 12 years older than me and has been part of our family for a very long time. One thing I always loved about this lady is she hated churches - she had been hurt by one a long time ago and decided that she would have a relationship with the lord and 'praise god' all by herself. She has read her bible soooo much that it is 'swelled' four times it's original size. It's like it's been dropped in many puddles over the years.....

 

So off I go to the hospital late this afternoon and spent 2 hours with her, remembering all the good times and fun we used to have. Meanwhile, next door, behind the curtain were 6 Baptist ladies giving a sermon to their loved one who is ready to die. We could not help but overhear the whole conversation. We had to stop talking because one girl was just a preachin' up a storm - so we listened.......:shrug:

 

Here's a few things I heard, and my friend bobbed her head up and down in a yes manner, to let me know that she agreed.

 

Quote: ''Sister, your time might be up - do not be afraid of what god has in store for you'' .......''Rest in the lord tonight and praise him for your sickness - god will release you from this pain''...........''You fall asleep tonight, praising the sweet name of jesus''.... You're trials on earth all almost finished..... and my friend was completely at peace and agreeing to all of this.

 

She looked up at me and said:''Margee, I am ready to go home and meet my maker soon. I can't wait to see his face. I have followed him my whole life and I know I've done the right things.....

 

These two sets of people were completely at peace with the whole thing...ready to go and meet jesus. They almost convinced me again!! They are all ready to go to the afterlife. Before I left, my friend looked at me and said; ''I want you to continue to serve the lord so you can get your reward in heaven and besides, I can't wait till we are all there together again........ Promise me, you will continue the 'walk'? I nodded.

I COULD NOT tell her...........;)

 

As I drove home - I got really sad...sad because I don't have this faith anymore.

 

How will I feel on my death bed, knowing that - this is it??

Here I go... nowhere.. but back to the earth. Sometimes, I really wish I hadn't of lost my faith.......I feel a little sad tonight...... .

 

I'm not really expecting replies to this - I just wanted to tell you that I had a 'setback''.............

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I have never believed that "this is it". I tend to favor reincarnation.

 

I think it was a great thing you did to go visit the dying friend. It is understandable under the circumstances that you are reminiscing about being a believer, but remember how far you have gone.

 

These are unusual circumstances. The feelings will pass. You don't need Jesus to believe in an afterlife.

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Margee - if you could just turn belief on and off, you never would have left. You know the truth now, and it's hard sometimes, but if you tried to fit yourself back into that lie, it would only cause you misery.

 

I'm sorry your friend is passing.

 

I know you no longer believe anything happens after this life, but the cool thing about that stance, is if you are wrong, you'll be pleasantly surprised. I also think you are incredibly kind for not challenging your friend's belief or telling her anything about your own current path.

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Margee, your post brought back a lot of memories to me.

 

It made me think of the death of my step-dad about 15 years ago when I was a fervent Christian. He spent his final days at home and I stayed there until he finally succumbed. During his last hours, he was surrounded by his family (his step-family and his own children). At the very end he was unconscious and would take these very deep breaths, hold it for what seemed interminable at the time, then finally exhale. Between those breaths, I prayed to god either to perform a miracle now or take him to stop his suffering.

 

All the while my mother recited the following verses to him from memory:

 

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

 

John 14:2

 

I don't believe my step-father actually heard my mom, but reciting that verse gave her great solace.

 

After he died and we were all sitting around in the shock of the death of a loved one, my sister was crying. I told her not to be sad because he is still alive and in a better place. And I really meant what I said to her because believing that provided me with the same solace that my mother got from reciting the verse to him.

 

Like you, I will readily admit that leaving Christianity took that away from me. The most I can say now is that I don't know what will happen to us after death, though I strongly suspect we will simply cease to exist. That is a tough blow because it is the one thing that the belief in Christianity offers the dying and the believing loved ones of the dying believer. Now that is gone.

 

But on the whole after four years now of leaving Christianity behind, I would not return to belief again. The thing about seeking the truth is that we must be willing to accept it. And the truth can be and often is a difficult task master. The truth does not promise us joy. Its only promise is just that - the truth. And we are left to reconcile ourselves to the truth. And often that is no easy task.

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Even though I do not believe, I don't have a problem sitting and holding someone's hand and reading whatever bible passage they want when they are a few hours or days from death. People meet death with whatever resolve they have when it is a matter of hours. There are no arguments. It's their last hour/

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Yep, Margee - we're at that age alright! It's the only part of getting older that I don't really care for.

 

Personally, I am okay with mortality, but whatever helps one through the death experience is okay in my book. Just because I think it's hokum doesn't mean that beliefs in the supernatural can't provide real comfort to those who are able to believe.

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Yep, Margee - we're at that age alright! It's the only part of getting older that I don't really care for.

 

Personally, I am okay with mortality, but whatever helps one through the death experience is okay in my book. Just because I think it's hokum doesn't mean that beliefs in the supernatural can't provide real comfort to those who are able to believe.

 

+1

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The truth is no-one knows what happens to you when you die. It'll be sad to have to die, but it'll be fun to see what happens. No one knows so there's no point worrying about it.

 

Instead of wasting time sitting at home praising gods people should go out and help people if they think they're religious. I don't envy ultra-religious people who just read the bible and praise god all day long, it seems like a waste.

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Hi, Margee. My mom was a Christian her whole life - she accepted Christ as a child. She got cancer and on the last Sunday that she was able to attend church, nine days before she died, she went forward because she wanted to make sure everything was alright. What she was thinking in the few days and hours before her death, we will never know because she wasn't conscious or at least able to interact with us. My take on what you saw is that things aren't always as they seem. At any rate, please accept my condolences.

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Hi, Margee. My mom was a Christian her whole life - she accepted Christ as a child. She got cancer and on the last Sunday that she was able to attend church, nine days before she died, she went forward because she wanted to make sure everything was alright. What she was thinking in the few days and hours before her death, we will never know because she wasn't conscious or at least able to interact with us. My take on what you saw is that things aren't always as they seem. At any rate, please accept my condolences.

 

thank you Eugene - That's very interesting about your dear mom?? Maybe we're never sure if we're saved or not........

 

I am really sad about this lady......... another good friend........... shit!

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While I don't believe in any particular religion or named deity, I frankly don't know if there is an afterlife. All I'm reasonably sure of is that there is no hell. But I look at it this way: if there is no afterlife, I'll never know it. So as far as I'm concerned, I'll never know anything BUT life.

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I am really sad about this lady......... another good friend........... shit!

I'm so sorry, Margee. After losing your close friend just recently, this is another harsh blow for you. I agree with bits and pieces of what everyone else has said. The path to death is something we all must walk in our own way, and if Christianity is the way for some, I have no issue with it. The fact that you were there to comfort her is all that matters. You cannot live your life the way she wants you to and that is something she should not have asked of you, despite her good intentions, but there was no point in hashing that out at such a delicate time. You did the right thing. Just as she felt the need to live and die the way she did, you must also follow what is right for you and always be true to yourself. She did not understand what she was asking you to promise, and you should not feel bad that you cannot fulfill it.

 

I understand what you're going through. Losing hope and faith that our souls will carry on in a better place is a devastating experience. I only know that I don't want to have faith in something that is not real just to console myself, falsely. I would rather that it is real if I'm going to hold out hope in it. There is a part of me that still wishes for it to be possible.

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I am really sad about this lady......... another good friend........... shit!

I'm so sorry, Margee. After losing your close friend just recently, this is another harsh blow for you. I agree with bits and pieces of what everyone else has said. The path to death is something we all must walk in our own way, and if Christianity is the way for some, I have no issue with it. The fact that you were there to comfort her is all that matters. You cannot live your life the way she wants you to and that is something she should not have asked of you, despite her good intentions, but there was no point in hashing that out at such a delicate time. You did the right thing. Just as she felt the need to live and die the way she did, you must also follow what is right for you and always be true to yourself. She did not understand what she was asking you to promise, and you should not feel bad that you cannot fulfill it.

 

I understand what you're going through. Losing hope and faith that our souls will carry on in a better place is a devastating experience. I only know that I don't want to have faith in something that is not real just to console myself, falsely. I would rather that it is real if I'm going to hold out hope in it. There is a part of me that still wishes for it to be possible.

 

Thank you FirstinTheDance and lynx. I truly aprreciate.... I love this lady like a second mother..I am still grieving my best friend who died the end of Jan. and now another...... And I have learned to accept this part of life,although I do not like it. She was crying tonight and i asked her:What do you want? Name it - I'll get it for you.............

 

 

She said she would love to listen to all her Jimmy Swarggart tapes, but she has no 'walkman' ,and I said ,I've got the best walk-man in the world. So off to get new batteries to play Jimmy Swaggart!! Then she told me she would like to have a butterscotch sundae from McDonald's everyday!! (She can't eat now) And then requested that I read scripture to her........... So, off I go later tomorrow to makes all her dreams come true!!

 

If it's scripture reading she wants - I'll do it!! (because I love her) And you guys have helped me with this - thank you all! :kiss:

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Although I've heard many say that they would not want to live forever, in my mind, the suckiest part of losing the faith is realizing that we'll die, and cease to exist.

 

You are a good friend, Margee. This woman is on her death bed. The nod, the walkman, the scripture reading... You are extending a kindness to her in her last days. I am so sorry to hear about your friend.

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She said she would love to listen to all her Jimmy Swarggart tapes, but she has no 'walkman' ,and I said ,I've got the best walk-man in the world. So off to get new batteries to play Jimmy Swaggart!! Then she told me she would like to have a butterscotch sundae from McDonald's everyday!! (She can't eat now) And then requested that I read scripture to her........... So, off I go later tomorrow to makes all her dreams come true!!

 

If it's scripture reading she wants - I'll do it!! (because I love her) And you guys have helped me with this - thank you all! :kiss:

 

You're a cool person, Margee, Jimmy Swaggart and all!!! ;)

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It's all just a bit crap, don't have much else I can say. so sorry that you're losing another friend. I don't look forward to when mine start to go :(

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Margee - don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't have morals. You are the epitome of what Christians strive for, and your friend is really lucky to have you.

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Margee - don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't have morals. You are the epitome of what Christians strive for, and your friend is really lucky to have you.

 

 

Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments Shackled, Overcame, dichotomy and Scifi. Much appreciated.

 

I just got back from a 2 hour visit and we had so much fun. She is so stoned on morphine so I teased her tonight about being an addict and all she did was laugh!They have her on a slow morphine drip to make the transition easy.............. All she wanted me to do was sing, 'Amazing Grace' to her............ It really wasn't all that bad.

 

we got her all lined up with about 20 'jimmy swaggarts' CD'S! She made me listen........... you know - he does have an awesome voice! I used to love listening to him!

 

Bless her heart - she can't wait to see jesus's face. thanks for your support... sincerely.......

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Margee - don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't have morals. You are the epitome of what Christians strive for, and your friend is really lucky to have you.

 

 

Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments Shackled, Overcame, dichotomy and Scifi. Much appreciated.

 

I just got back from a 2 hour visit and we had so much fun. She is so stoned on morphine so I teased her tonight about being an addict and all she did was laugh!They have her on a slow morphine drip to make the transition easy.............. All she wanted me to do was sing, 'Amazing Grace' to her............ It really wasn't all that bad.

 

we got her all lined up with about 20 'jimmy swaggarts' CD'S! She made me listen........... you know - he does have an awesome voice! I used to love listening to him!

 

Bless her heart - she can't wait to see jesus's face. thanks for your support... sincerely.......

 

A shining example to be emulated.

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well generaly i think the whole "seeing jesus" or "heavan is real" stuff is part of the tramatasey of death. becuase of those christian influences on their life in the tramatic state of death they would feel their religion in need of security in the face of the ultimate unknown of death.

 

the good thing about being a atheist (at least my atheism) is that you are allowed to belive in the infinante posobility. is it posible there is some greater meaning to us as humans? yes it is, is it posible there is no meaning? yes it is. certian inturpretations of this such as christianity are humanised belieif structures of the absolute in the sea of the unknown.

 

and sorry about your friend must be pretty hard.

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Was reading this tonight in Andre Comte-Sponville's "The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality":

 

Remember the Good Samaritan. He was neither Jewish or Christian. We have no idea what his faith was or what he thought about death. All we know is that he showed compassion and charity. And Jesus explicitly told us to imitate him, not a priest or Levite.
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Was reading this tonight in Andre Comte-Sponville's "The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality":

 

Remember the Good Samaritan. He was neither Jewish or Christian. We have no idea what his faith was or what he thought about death. All we know is that he showed compassion and charity. And Jesus explicitly told us to imitate him, not a priest or Levite.

 

 

Such a good point Eugene -I would have NEVER thought of that!!

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well generaly i think the whole "seeing jesus" or "heavan is real" stuff is part of the tramatasey of death. becuase of those christian influences on their life in the tramatic state of death they would feel their religion in need of security in the face of the ultimate unknown of death.

 

the good thing about being a atheist (at least my atheism) is that you are allowed to belive in the infinante posobility. is it posible there is some greater meaning to us as humans? yes it is, is it posible there is no meaning? yes it is. certian inturpretations of this such as christianity are humanised belieif structures of the absolute in the sea of the unknown.

 

and sorry about your friend must be pretty hard.

 

Thank you Kaiser!

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As I drove home - I got really sad...sad because I don't have this faith anymore.

 

How will I feel on my death bed, knowing that - this is it??

Here I go... nowhere.. but back to the earth. Sometimes, I really wish I hadn't of lost my faith.......I feel a little sad tonight...... .

For what it's worth, my major experience of aging is that the older I get, the tireder I get. When my time comes, I will be relieved that it's over. That is what I still look forward to.

 

One of my favorite works of fiction is Neil Gaiman's novel, American Gods. His protagonist dies, crosses the river Styx, has his good works weighed on a scale against a feather and is found worthy to enter the afterlife. He is offered two choices -- a stairway leading up to heaven, and a portal leading to oblivion. "I am weary of the ways of gods and of men", he says, and then walks triumphantly into oblivion. That's me, all the way.

 

Regrettably, some demigod later resurrects him against his will, but I still like the concept :-) Why not look forward to an end to the difficulties and vicissitudes of life? That is almost certainly what death entails -- I embrace it.

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