Death's Door. ( A warm light )
Towards the end of dads stay at Vancouver General Hospital, an absurd little hospital chaplain arrived out of seemingly nowhere and much to my dad's chagrin. He was quite suddenly in the chair beside Dad's bed and Dad was visibly unimpressed. His lack of enthusiasm snowballed as the chaplain proceeded into his role of ' last minute counsel'. I watched dad endure the entirely canned spiel with his very familiar and very suppressed intolerance. I felt like interrupting and cutting the chaplain loose by letting him know that we already had this covered. The Higher Power that the chaplain loosely referred to, was no match for the Living God that dad was entirely prepared to meet. Dad bided his time without interrupting the secular philosophies of the candy-talking chaplain. As the intervener began to wind down from his utterly meaningless and entirely canned approach, dad would get the last word.The chaplain, in an attempt to assuage what he presumed might be the jitters of the terminally ill, explained that almost every single individual that he'd witnessed, passing from this life to the next, felt and saw a warm light. To which dad quickly responded : "Has it ever occurred to you that the warm light many of them see, is actually a flame ?" The Chaplain couldn't flee the room fast enough and for the next few minutes my sisters and I and my dad, despite the morose circumstances, couldn't stop laughing. It was a blessed moment of levity that we all truly needed, and likely much less humorous outside those specific circumstances.
Of all the things for which I miss my dad, his sense of humour is amongst the hardest to live without. God mercifully created humour and I'm certain that an integral part of eternity will find us all Divinely amused.
PS. I mean no disrespect to the well-meaning chaplain. But the reality is this : The last thing that any patient on the verge of death needs, is a false or empty doctrine. They need Christ and urgently so.