Day’s Verse:
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Romans 8:28 (context)

If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought occasionally about how you’d like to die. It’s not that morbid; death and life go hand-in-hand, and we’ll all have to die some day. As a cyclist, I’ve thought perhaps a bit more than most people about dying, since I regularly thing I’m going to have a fatal encounter with a two-ton hunk of metal piloted by a distracted incompetent. Anyway, I think that in general we all want to die the same way: Asleep in our own beds. Who wouldn’t want to go to sleep and then simply never wake up? You might want to know ahead, so you could say goodbye to loved ones, but generally it’s about as easy of a way to go as you might hope for.

That’s just what happened with Grandma Sullivan. She seemed fine on Sunday, and then simply never woke up the next morning. We had to deal with the difficulty of what to do, but for her, it was about as peaceful and easy a way to go as you could hope for. No fear, no agonizing, no pain. I’m so glad that she didn’t have to suffer through intubation or any of those other undignified, painful life-prolonging medical procedures.

Being schizophrenic, Grandma Sullivan was never able to be a real grandma to us. She tried, though: She had Christmas presents for use every year through my childhood, even though she had very few resources to obtain gifts. She had an amazingly good attitude through all the miserable, disappointing things that happened in her life. She always seemed delighted to see us, and in February when she was sick, she made it clear that she was happy I was there. If I could have one wish, I’d wish that we’d been able to know her as she would have been without schizophrenia or the side effects of the psychiatric drugs.

My great comfort is that now she’s in heaven — she was a devout Catholic, and probably had greater and simpler faith than I’ll ever have — and is free of mental disorders, disease, suffering. She’s joined most of her family, which was always important to her (who did she “call” in her delusions? Her parents, her siblings, Grandpa Sullivan, and of course her sons). It encourages me to think of her finally getting to be free and healthy, the way God wants her to be.

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