Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dying Well

When Susan and I were young pastors, 30 years ago, we tended to attract 20 and 30 year old people to our church. As I have aged, (Susan hasn't) I've noticed that we have many more 50 plus members at Northside. Thankfully our church is still weighted toward youth and young adults because of some excellant younger leaders, but I am delighted with the growth in wisdom of the white (or would be white) haired generation.

The other side of aging is that we experience death more regularly. For the first 10 years, I never officiated at a funeral of anyone from our church family. Now there is hardly a week that goes by that I don't talk to one or two people, who either have lost a parent to death, or is gravely ill themselves. This morning I met with one lady whose mom just died, and talked with another whose dad is near death's ominous door, and it's only 10 o'clock. More and more, I've felt the urgency of our thinking about death. My friend, the man who is in pallitive care right now, came and talked with me months ago about his impending death. We talked about his spiritual state, he wrote out his life story, and we even planned his wishes at his funeral service. It may seem morose to some, but I and he considered it to be wisdom. Now he's fully ready to die and greet his dear wife once again in heaven.

I'm heartily recommending to our church that everyone, young and old, read my book, Dying Well, and prepare themselves for the inevitable. Then after their loved one dies, they should read my book, Good Mourning. Both books were written from my many experiences of counselling grieving and dying people.

Well that's enough news to brighten up your day. I'll get back to work now!

No comments: