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God's infinite mercy

If you went to a Catholic school in the early 1960s, you probably  heard the story:  The wicked man dies, and no trick of the undertaker's art can erase the expression of horror from  his face; the good man dies, and carries with him a smile that no trick of that same art can duplicate.  Well, tonight, for the third time in my life, I have seen the truth of at least half that story.

Tonight we lost my roommate's mother.  She was ninety-six and had been fully independent until only three years ago; she was in an assisted living facility since that time.  She had been terminally ill for three weeks, so we knew this was coming; when we went to view the body for the last time after we were notified that she had passed, none of the staff at the facility could believe the look on her face.  Alive, even drugged to the gills on morphine, she had been in pain, and it had shown on her sleeping face.  In death, however, there was the biggest smile anyone had ever seen on her face.  There is no question in anyone's mind where she is now.

The other two occasions were this same woman's husband three years ago, and my own father a little over twenty years ago now.  Far from grieving her loss, my roommate and I toasted her when we got home.  We will celebrate her passing instead of mourning it.  The Irish have the right idea.  ;D

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I've been meaning to comment on this beautiful post. It is sad, very sad, but in the final analysis, it is very uplifting. Her death brought her peace and relief. I know she is in God's vast memory. I find that having a good humor and focusing on the person's life is one of the good ways to cope with the death of a loved one. The grief and pain may always be there, but it doesn't have to envelop you.

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