LETTER: Rightly filled with grief and anger
Is there such a thing as a ‘good death’? Given a choice, most of us would like to slip away painlessly in our sleep, surrounded by our loved ones.
Death is rarely so kind. Last week hundreds of people were killed, violently and suddenly in atrocities that shocked the world. At the same time the House of Lords was debating the Assisted Dying Bill, a proposal to bring relief to those who suffer from terminal illnesses and who are painfully confined in a body whose vital organs keep on functioning. It is when we cannot understand how or why people die that we are rightly filled with grief and anger.
Human life is frighteningly fragile. I admire people like Francis of Assisi, who faced his own death with equanimity and expressed his faith by composing an extra verse for the hymn, ‘All creatures of our God and King’:
‘And thou, most kind and gentle death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him, hallelujah!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.’
Brighton Road Baptist Church, Horsham