On Wednesday mornings, we go to Mass at St. Thomas Anglican Church. On the first Wednesday of the month, we have lunch together. We take turns making and bringing the soup, buns, and maybe some cookies.
There are between ten and fifteen of us, as a rule. Conversation tends to be rather lively. Or maybe that's not the right word for today's conversation which, for some reason or another, turned to the subject of death.
Yes, I know. You come here for all the fun topics, right? Like how much I love the season of Lent--all that self-sacrificing and penance.
I guess it started because the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. As all but two or three of us are up in our 70s and 80s, maybe we have a different take on the end of life on this earth. Anyway, the subject came up about the last moments on earth, especially last words. Here are some of the stories:
My own story was one about my grandmother. I wasn't there, so I can't swear to its accuracy, but this is how I remember it being told to me:
My grandmother, age 94 or 95, had been in and out of a sort of coma for some time. But every morning my uncle went into her room and opened the curtains. One morning, he was doing that when Grandma suddenly sat up. He said good morning and asked her how she was. She said she was fine, but then looked down at her nightie and seemed sad. "What's wrong?" my uncle asked.
"Nothing," she said, "but I see I'm wearing my pink nightie."
"Would you like to change?" he asked, and called in my aunt to help her.
When she had changed into her nice new white nightie and had her hair brushed, Grandma smiled and said,"Well, I'm sure God wouldn't mind my pink nightie, but I think he'll like my white one better." And with that she lay down and died.
I want to go like that!