Death is nothing more than a doorway, something you walk through.
- Dr. George Ritchie
I was visiting with friends in Atlanta recently and, as so often happens when people know you are involved with hospice and end-of-life care, they had a story to tell.
Whenever either of them left their home for errands or appointments, this devoted couple always wrote a Post-it note telling the other where they were going and about what time they would return. They always ended the note with a large heart, drawn with a long line through the middle. It was their way of being thoughtful and kind to each other and showing their deep affection.
The husband had died recently and quite suddenly, and the wife was beyond comfort. Her world had simply stopped and no amount of talking or listening released her sorrow.
One day when she was especially down and could find no answer anywhere, she decided to go outside and take a long walk around the lake. Even though it had been snowing for quite a while, something told her she needed to go right now. She bundled up and stepped outside into the snow.
Placed very carefully, directly in front of her car on the driveway, she found a large heart drawn with a line straight thru the center. It was as if her husband had come by on this especially sad day and left her his own, very personal note.
Who is this God who brings comfort to our heart and a smile to our face just when we need it the most? He is of course the God who made us, the one who stays with us all of our lives and brings sweet acceptance to our hearts when we need it the most.