THIS sunny afternoon in February, a crazy crowd filled the small church in our village. At least one person from each house came to pay their last respects to my father to celebrate his entry into the light of God. He was going to be 99 years old. A few days earlier, he had finally dared to cross the door to the beyond, after quite a journey, for him as for me.
His beautiful life as a believer exuded the simplicity of the Gospel; yet, the doubt about the afterlife worried him. He had seen his parents suffer greatly before taking their last breath. As he senses the end coming, he repeats to my brother, my sister and me: “Pray for me. » The department in which he is located does not live up to the expected care. In addition, a request for transfer to palliative care was refused to us, for no understandable reason. For me, who accompanied my parents as a caregiver for eight years, standing by their side to help them get through the process has become my battle. We talk easily about death, I sing to soothe him, I suggest he let go.
One day when he was feeling very bad, I called a priest. He administers the anointing of the sick to him. After having been inert all afternoon, Dad opens his eyes, manifests an intense presence, and commits his will with his “amen”. But it’s still too early. A little later, we finally accepted our request for transfer to palliative care. Here he is in good hands, I told myself. He too seems transformed. His face relaxes, he smiles again. The very attentive nursing staff call him “Sir”, followed by his last name. Seeing him like this, my heart quivered with joy: he is freed, he can leave in peace. In fact, surrounded by attention, Dad finally let go. He died peacefully in his sleep. He consented. As he had often done in his life in situations he could not control. What a relief to see him confidently leaving for the afterlife! This peaceful ending allowed me to grieve peacefully.
Today, I feel carried by him and sometimes I ask him: “Help me to welcome daily events more. »