Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Going Gentle Into That Good Night
I need to pray for my mother. She suffers from Alzheimer's to the extent that she is completely unresponsive to any stimuli.
She always told us that she would never want to be a 'vegetable', and put a no heroic measures in her will- but she has been kept alive for 2 years in this state and the Dr s say that she may well live on for another 5 or more...
Can I pray for her release? I fear that she is trapped, alone, in a totally unresponsive husk of a body. Is there a Saint who would help?
And thank you for your wonderful blog.
Of course you can pray for her release, and yours. But take heart.
Perhaps, because of her suffering here and now, she will zoom straight to Heaven, bypassing Purgatory altogether. I often thought about that when my own father declined with the glacial slowness that chipped away at his fatherhood, his manhood and his humanity. Surely, this counts for something!
Your job, in the meantime, is to make sure that her human dignity and the honor due her as your mother is maintained to the utmost. I'm sure that is exactly what you are doing, in every way, with all of your heart.
In regards to a patron saint....there are quite a few saints who were paralyzed, desperately ill, unable to speak, "trapped" as you put it. They did not pray for release, but accepted their suffering with joy. That's why they are saints.
But it's perfectly okay for you to pray for your mother to have a gentle passing as soon as possible. That would be good old St. Joseph, the patron saint of a happy death. We believe that Mary and Jesus were with St. Joseph when he died. What could be happier than that?