written for a friend

In the time of a loved one’s passing, there are no words that can separate us from the pain or loss. Sadly, death is very much a part of living. And though my words are only an effort, I offer them to you with hopes that they may bring comfort in your time of mourning.

I was in my 20’s when my cousin Robbie died. He was on the tough end of liver cancer and passed away in the hospital.
Like any family, mine gathers in times like this. We visited with Robbie and tried to keep him comfortable. We tried to keep his spirits up, but this was complicated.
Robbie could not sleep. His body was uncomfortable and his relationship with the doctors was not as he wanted.

I sat with him and we talked. We talked about my Old Man and Robbie reminisced about the days when he was younger.
“You’re Old Man was something else,” Robbie said. “They don’t make’em like him anymore.”
Robbie’s father was my uncle. Uncle Alan was kindhearted. He was quiet and kept away from confrontation. But his heart was full and always there.
Whenever Robbie argued with the doctors, Uncle Alan tried to calm him down.

“Keep cool,” said my Uncle.
His voice was so soft and warm.
“But I’m sick, Pop,”
“I know you are, son.”

After a hard day, Robbie became restless. He was too uncomfortable to sit still and too sick to move.
But this time, my Aunt Sondra was in the room. She had a warm voice too. Aunt Sondra was also a hypnotherapist.
She taught Robbie how to relax, at least for the moment, and the hospital did their share by putting Robbie on a morphine drip to ease his pain.

The next morning, I went back to the hospital. Robbie seemed better and he was able to sleep.
He told me, “I had the craziest dream last night.”
I asked him, “About what?”
“I dreamt about your father,” he said.
“I dreamt that he came to see me on a big bus. He was with Gram and Gramp. Uncle Moey was there too, and they were all happy. “
Robbie explained, “Your father told me, ‘Don’t worry. You’re gonna be okay.’ He told me, ‘When you’re ready, we’re gonna come get you and you can ride back with us.’ Then they all got back on the bus and your father drove away.”

Uncle Alan came in the room and Robbie repeated the story about his dream.
Later on, Robbie spoke to his father. He said, “I don’t feel good, Pop.”
“I know,” said his father.
“Maybe I should just get on the bus….but don’t worry about me, Pop. Uncle Ronnie said I’ll be okay.”

Robbie passed later that night.

I believe in that bus. I believe there is one for all of us.
We may not always expect it, and we may not want it to come, but at least I am comforted that when the time is at hand, that bus will come for me as well.
I cannot say whether it is better to know, or it is better to be sudden, but in the beginning it is written; who shall lie down and who shall rise up, who shall live and who shall pass.

It is written who shall be born into this world, and it is written who shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
But keep this in mind; the eyes of Heaven never blink. They do not need to. The way those that pass see us is not something we can comprehend, but it is something we can feel.
Please accept my prayers to you and your family

“Verily I say onto you; today, you shall be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
This is the word of The Lord.

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