Preparing for death

We buried my wife’s aunt on Saturday. And found out her brother-in-law has lung cancer, but not how serious. I put that in because, in my experience, when my wife had lung cancer, she survived. It was very early stage, she didn’t need chemo, and she didn’t need radiation. By looking at her, you wouldn’t know she was ever sick.

This isn’t to be so, for our brother-in-law. Today, we found out it was stage 4, not operable. They will give him chemo treatments to try to control it. He’s going to die soon. He took this news, and then went back to work. I don’t get it, but this is how he deals with things. He works.

The guy is a work-aholic. Even when he’s not working for his living, he’s working on something. He doesn’t sit down. Always doing something. They both had jobs with the US Government, now he is a contractor, because the government wouldn’t let him work past age 65. Every time he threatens to retire, they give him a raise, and he stays. At least his family will be well provided for.

My wife and I are well-prepared for death. It’s simple, really. All her children are in good shape, don’t need financial aide from our estate. So except for her family jewels, everything will go to charity. Our desire is for immediate cremation, and surviving spouse will accompany the other to the Philippines for interment.

Why no ceremony, other than Mass for the Dead? Because we truly believe that, if you aren’t cherished in life, why bother at death? We’ve seen too many funerals where people go on about how good so-and-so was, practically nominating said person to sainthood, when the truth was far from that. In fact, we’ve seen a case where it was better for the family that the person die, but the family, in the public eulogies, needs to go to confession for the lies that were told about the person in life.

The other experience is the priest’s homily at the funeral Mass. Can I be honest? Most of us will go to purgatory before ariving at our final rest. Why? Because we’re all materialistic in some way. But nobody wants to hear the priest raise questions about our dear departed. The priest says, while not saying, that he knows the person is with God. This can only be said if the person was prepared. Anointing, Reconciliation, and Viaticum.

We’ve seen so many tears in the days since Tia Amalia’s death. Those tears are sorrow for the living, should not be for the dying. The dying need our prayers to help shorten their time in purgation. I guess, if tears are prayers, then lots of people get out of purgatory…But no, I try to offer a Mass once a month for the souls in purgatory. Won’t you join with me?


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