Another phone call tonight bearing sad news: another of our parishioners, older but barely a senior, is in an induced coma in hospital in the city: her MRI was inconclusive so the doctors do not know yet what caused the TIA that she was originally admitted with. Over the past week she has continued to get worse for undefineable reasons, thus the medically induced coma. Sigh.....I feel so sad. Her family took a trailer up to the city campground so they can spend their time at her bedside. I can't imagine the stress they are all under. It is reaching a point where we are becoming afraid of answering the telephone because we don't know which parishioner is going to be in trouble next.
So, either tomorrow or the next day we will be heading to the city. I won't be able to go into her room because, although I am not contagious, I look and sound just terrible with my phlegmy throat and plugged nose and swollen glands. I don't want to worry either the family or the hospital staff. However, it is such a long trip and my husband is tired enough to need the company for the drive. Perhaps I will feel well enough to help him with the actual driving.
Like our beleaguered brother in the faith, Job, "the thing I most greatly fear has come upon me." Or upon us in this case. We are losing our senior population at an alarming rate in recent months, either to death or disability. We are both becoming more familiar than we ever wanted to be with the local and city hospital wards. When we first came here and saw the large number of seniors in one of our congregations we knew that it wouldn't take much to lose many of them in a short period of time. So now.....sigh....
These things happen. We get old. Our bodies give out. We die to this world. It is reality. It is expected. In some cases it is welcomed by the one who is aged and suffers infirmity.
But none of those reasons for loss make it easy. Pastors' hearts break in instances such as this. And so, once again we pray for healing and restoration of this dear parishioner and for strength for the family to walk through this dark valley.