Thursday, March 17, 2016

Love them to the End - #ProLife Personal Witness why #Euthanasia needs to End - SHARE

Love them to the end. Euthanasia and assisted dying have come into the media lately as legislators have created laws that now permit the taking of Life before its natural end. However, is this what God intended? No, God wants us to love the fragile and the sick until their natural end.  

by: Miriam Westen, MEd, MTh, MTS, PhD (stud), Director at Catholic News World  

This is my story about my experiences with family members who I have cared for as they died. I have seen several die right before my eyes and have been ennobled by the experiences. Rather then promoting the evil of Euthanasia may these experiences help you care for your loved ones through sickness and health.
When I was a child my Grandmother from India lived with us for a few years. She was often sick but sometimes managed to walk to daily Mass and pray for the family. It was such an joy to see her smiling face as a child; she died later on back in India. My second experience with death occurred when my paternal Grandmother (Oma) born in Meppen, Germany moved in with us until her death. Oma (pictured right) was in her 90s and needed care. She had a nurse who visited regularly but she sometimes needed us to change her diapers and help her change her clothes. Although this might sound disgusting to some - I truly enjoyed having her with us. She was such a noble lady who raised 5 of her 6 children alone in Europe during the second World War. She herself born in 1901 grew up during the 1st World War in Germany. Oma always prayed the rosary and prayed for a happy death. 
As she neared the end of her life and experienced the pain of the agony of death she was given heavy medication. When we knew death was imminent we called a priest to give her the Sacrament of the Sick and we prayed the Rosary around her. I held her as she died. Profound - this experience was so inexplicably beautiful. 
Then I was called to take care of my Aunt's relatives in Wissen, Germany who were also terminally ill. I went with my Aunt and we lived in Germany as we cared for these elderly ladies and their home. This meant visiting them in their elderly care facility on a daily basis. We played games with them and spoke with them. Essentially we loved them during their time of pain. The palliative care home for these elderly people was filled with joy - the people were experiencing their second childhood as they prepared for their ultimate union with God in their heavenly homeland. 
Soon after their deaths my Dad (pictured left) became terminally ill. He had been living with Cancer (Leukemia) for 11 years. Coping with this illness had negative physical and psychological effects on me also. My Dad had taught me so much; how to Pray, how to speak different languages, and above all to Love God. I remember being at his side during his numerous trips to the hospital sometimes with my university books at my side. Endless streams of tears seemed to flow from my eyes during the last 2 years. I prayed to God to keep him a bit longer with us. He saw the birth of his 10th grandchild and reached his 80th birthday when the Lord took him. I held him and prayed the rosary as he passed into the next life. This death shook the depths of my soul - but I realized that it was better for him.

Soon after this my Godmother Irmela(pictured below) was placed in a palliative care hospital in Toronto. She had also lived through the war in Germany and seen much suffering. When she was a teenager Russian soldiers came and violated the women of her area. Now she was confined to bed. In between university classes I took the street car to the hospital to visit her.

Near the end she could not even swallow and could only have a spray of water to moisten her lips. On the day of her death she was alone. I somehow knew she was going to die so I stayed with her all night in a chair beside her hospital bed. As I held her dying body I felt the agonies of death flow through her. I lay my head on her chest as I felt the last breath come through her parched lips.
During this time I was able to participate at the Vatican's Academy for Life's Conference in 2008 on Euthanasia which discussed this issue. Personally I have come to realize that prayer, patience, respect, and sacrifice are necessary when taking care of the dying. This might mean arranging the anointing of the sick, changing a diaper of one’s grandparent, and smiling at a sad face. Over all it seems that we should keep in mind that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and give each human the dignity it deserves as a child of God made in His Image.
Please SHARE this Article and Promote the Gift LIFE!

1 comment:

dbond said...

This is so very beautiful. St. Joseph, patron of a Happy Death, pray that we each have a happy and holy death. Please ask Our Lord to grant and end to euthanasia and abortion. Amen