‘Death Be Not Proud’

‘Death Be Not Proud’

As my younger brother lies dying of cancer,  I struggle with what to write. This won’t be a light posting because I’m just not in that space right now. I sit with my sisters in a hospital lounge, chatting about relatively meaningless things as my brother fights for every breath and tries to rest.

My husband tells me I should have no regrets, but who really feels like he or she did enough in the face of a loved one’s death? Through his months of struggle with cancer, I have felt quite helpless. So I did what I do when I run out of other options—I pray.  I decided that was the most meaningful thing I could do and have posted a prayer on Facebook every day.

Most days I have turned to the daily Mass readings for inspiration for the prayer. Sometimes I have shared the words or link to a song that especially speaks to me that day. But every day that I’ve been able, I have offered a new prayer for my brother and a list of others in need of healing.

I’ve been praying for a miracle for my brother, but I’ve also prayed that God’s will be done. I know that God hasn’t willed that my brother be sick and suffering or dying at the age of 43. But God seems to be allowing it, and I trust that some good will come from it.

Short of THE miracle healing for which I’ve been praying, I have noticed many smaller miracles through these past months. I see God at work in this tragic situation, and I know that God is faithful to his promises. We’re still in the Easter season, a season of celebrating the Resurrection and the promise of eternal salvation. Without Good Friday, there wouldn’t be Easter. Without death, we wouldn’t gain entrance to God’s eternal kingdom. Believing this doesn’t lessen my pain or loss, but my faith gives this tragic suffering and imminent death meaning that brings me comfort and in which I place my hope.

 
 

About the Author

Joan McKamey has served in many capacities in her 15 years with Franciscan Media. She is currently the managing editor of Catholic Update, a monthly publication for adult faith formation of individuals and small groups. She also draws on her years as a parish catechetical leader in her columns for the monthly e-newsletter Faith Formation Update. She is married and is raising a teenage daughter.