Friday, September 3, 2010

A post about a San Diego experience

Today was a long day at work.

Made longest by a very difficult family meeting. A woman who is terminally ill, who has cancer in every cell of her body, and bleeds in her brain. A fight, civil, but ready to explode between 2 players. A husband who wants to keep "fighting" the cancer (despite the fact that there is no treatment left), and refuses to see that she is dying. A sister who is tortured by her sister dying, but believes they cannot fight the inevitable, and that her sister wouldn't want this much medical care at this point - she would only want to be comfortable. I happen to agree with the sister, that we torture people too much at end of life, because we live under the illusion of invincibility, but that is besides the point here.

The sister's thoughts and actions were so full of grace and beauty that I was brought to tears and was thankful for a break of truth in my day. Despite her brother in law yelling at her in the meeting, saying she was killing her sister, that she was not respecting her wishes, she retained her composure, did not engage in argument, and kept her cool, although I could see behind her eyes the hurt and anger. When we finished the official part of the meeting, she told us that she didn't want her sister to die and leave her, but she felt they had done everything they could do, and now it was time to let her go. She said that her sister is a strong believer in Jesus, and she knew she would meet him soon. She said that she just wanted her sister to feel the love of their family in these last days of her life - that love was kind, and gentle, and that it drove out fear. And that she knew her sister already experienced this kind of love in Jesus. That in experiencing love, she would not fear death. It was so profound and wonderful.

I loved that in the middle of a difficult, chaotic day, where I doubted my own skills, my own leadership, where I doubted humanity, that God gave me a reminder of the beauty of who he is.