My lovely 93-year-old friend Mona, one of the ladies I’ve been visiting with regularly for my Care Group at church, passed away Wednesday afternoon. I visited with Mona the Tuesday before, just a week after they brought in Hospice to care for her. She was very lucid and we talked for half an hour or so.
Mona was dying from her second bout of bladder cancer. During that visit I got brave enough to ask her how she felt about everything that was happening to her. I was so affected by her “lack of faith.” She was her usual bright self, though her light was growing dimmer. She said, “Well… I guess I can’t do anything about it, can I…” And the conversation immediately turned to other things.
You may think my comment about Mona’s theology somewhat disrespectful, but it’s not meant that way. You see, yesterday I was listening to one of Plato’s video’s he posts on his blog of his work with addicts at a spiritual-based rehab center (There is Always a Way) and he made a comment that really resonated with me. He said, “If I have to believe in something it’s because I don’t know it.” And though his comment was meant to be much broader than concerning just spiritual matters, it so described what I had felt sitting there holding Mona’s hand that last visit.
Mona didn’t have “faith” because she actually “knew” WHERE she was going and WHO she was going to see when she stepped through that next door. She KNEW Jesus personally. She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known when it comes to matters of the spirit. I’ve found that to be true of ALL my ladies I visit. And to be honest, it makes me ask myself what the blazes are we — this generation — missing in our spiritual lives? It’s a haunting question for me… But Mona always made me feel that I was doing exactly what I’d been called to do.
Mona’s death was a “good death.” She was in no pain and she was at peace. I should be glad about that, but I’m going to miss her something fierce. She was one of my favorites, and I want to be just like her when I grow up spiritually…