What you need to know:
- You do not need to be told what’s about to transpire.
- You can smell the cold deathly damp pong wafting in the bedroom, where your loved one is supine on the bed, barely hanging on to dear life.
In the village, you can tell when an old ailing parent is about to die. If the invalid is being cared for at home, there is a deathwatch. Church members, mostly women, come to keep vigil a couple of nights before a parent breathes their last.
You do not need to be told what’s about to transpire. You can smell the cold deathly damp pong wafting in the bedroom, where your loved one is supine on the bed, barely hanging on to dear life.
You can sense death in the sombre songs the church folks sing. If you are spiritually perceptive, you can feel the eerie presence of angelic beings hovering around and waiting to usher your dying parent into the soulish realm.
I’ve been there, y’all. Got the eternally tear-stained t-shirt.
Below are some things to do when your sixth sense warns you that your beloved is on their deathbed.
Many of us pray for just one more day with a dying parent. That’s human nature. However, I find it more spiritually rewarding to be grateful to God for the loan He freely offered. The loan was in the person of our parents and the time they spent with us.
These are loans I can never repay. These are loans many of us misuse. These loans that, in the fullness of time, we will be asked to give account for. I don’t mean to be insensitive; but if I misused whole decades, what will I do with a mere day? Selah.
Decode the dreams
Some of us will have premonitions, in our dreams, about our parents’ deaths. I believe that when God sends us such dreams, He’s not doing it to scare us. Instead, He is sending dreams to prepare us.
God is a good Father. He doesn’t want us to be caught unawares, lest The Enemy gain a foothold while we are grieving. Plus, He wants us to say our earthly goodbyes; or give a departing parent their flowers so we don’t live the rest of our lives in regret.
Being realistic doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. Neither does it mean you want the worst for your ailing parent. It just means you recognise what you are dealing with, and you are ready for any outcome.
Somehow, someway, you will know. You may know from, for instance, doctors’ reports of the chances of your parent making it through. Even if you are the religious type who believes in miracles, you need to realise that God also uses medical professionals to prepare us for certain inevitabilities.
Prayer is not about changing God’s mind, but helping you to change your mind to know God’s will and walk in it. Prayer is not a tool to emotionally blackmail God; it’s a portal to gain divine insights. And, sometimes, those insights go diametrically opposite our wishes.
Prayer is not an event. It’s not a weapon that’s only unleashed when we’re in dire straits. It’s oxygen. Without it, a believer is dead. Spiritually. That’s why we are extolled to pray without ceasing.
When you live a lifestyle of prayer - and it so happens that a parent is on a deathbed - you will know the mind of God concerning the situation.
I am not talking about peace that’s controlled by external circumstances. The peace I am talking about is from God. It’s a peace that surpasses human understanding.
This peace will come in handy when you are weak. Let me confess; when a parent is staring at death, you will be the weakest you’ve ever been. Weak because all your money cannot buy them perfect health. At such times, the only solid currency is the peace of God. Shalom.