Monday afternoon we arrived at my parents house for a visit with my parents and grandmother after Christmas. We were planning to travel home Wednesday afternoon to prepare to host a new year’s party at our house. Tuesday, Grandma stopped eating and drinking and when she went to bed that evening my dad and I had our final conversation with her. Wednesday she spoke her final words in the morning to my kids and she passed away Friday night. While it was a surprise how quickly it went, she was on hospice and it was expected to happen sometime. It just seemed to go quickly at the end.
Death has a way of helping us take time to reflect and give careful thought to our values. As I sat at my grandmother’s bedside I thought about how I wished I had spent more time with her when she was younger. I also thought about how honored I felt that I had the chance to spend more time with her in the last few years and that I got to share the gospel with my grandma and see her respond a few years earlier. I thought about how grateful I was for my dad whom she had raised.
Events like this also help us to think about what we want to do in the future. In the last two years I have watched two college students pass away due to cancer. They were both involved with InterVarsity and it played a significant role in the development of their faith. As Sandi and I have reflected on our work with InterVarsity and we have realized that we don’t just prepare students for life, we prepare them for death. We get to prepare them to meet their maker. I hope that I can spend the rest of my life investing in people and inviting them to experience the transformation of God in their life and prepare them for death, just like my Grandma and the two students.
How do you want to prepare for death?