Not too long ago I wrote a post about my friend Gerry. Today I got the call that he is nearing the time of his death and that he may not make it through the weekend, that he can't have much more than a few days of life left in him.
These are the kind of things that leave you speechless sometimes. I wanted to say something comforting to my friend Kathy who told me, Gerry is her step dad, she was hurting but I had nothing - and she understood and before I could even mumble she said, "You don't have to say anything, I just wanted to be sure you knew." This is some deep stuff - way deeper than the stuff we usually label deep - this is life and death, all at once, the circle and/or the cycle of life in real time.
It was hard to go to visit someone knowing it is likely the last time you will ever see them alive and the state they are in is one in which you will have a nearly impossible time communicating. I looked at him, and when Kathy and his wife told him I was there he mustered up the strength, seemingly all that he had, to make a sound that seemed to be "How ya doing?" I took his had and held it firmly in between both of mine and joked with him a bit and I told him that I loved him and then let him rest.
I spent a short amount of time after with Kathy, Sarah (her sister) and Joan (his wife) before leaving as the next visitor came over. A powerful experience, thought provoking, and difficult - but necessary.
Think good thoughts and ot pray for Gerry and his family.