Sudden Death

A lot of the blogs I have been following during Lent seem to have all been posting about peace and tranquility as we move closer towards Holy Week.

I wish I could say the same but on Tuesday evening this week I witnessed close at hand the sudden death of a friend, David Holmes  at our church and I have been in delayed shock for the last couple of days and also my e.mail and computer were giving me huge problems so I have not posted.

The death took place at a Penitential Service and both David and his wife Sheila were Catholics and  involved  in our local church in St Ives. David was also well known as an artist.

It is not the first time I have experienced death but it was the first time I saw the whole process of a previously fit looking person unravel, from the brave efforts of those near at hand to attempt resuscitation, to the arrival of a brilliant ambulance team and witnessing their work to the stunning recognition that this alive person was now to be  pronounced dead.

David's wife was utterly amazing and almost stoic that evening. She stayed overnight with us and my heart goes out to her and all her family who have now travelled from far afield to be with her.

I don't know what else to write and was even hesitant to write about it at all but I feel it needs witnessing at some level.

David received the last rites and was surrounded by many people who shared his faith and if  that sounds trite  to others, I can understand how it may sound as a platitude.. Nevertheless, David's faith was a huge part of his life and he loved his church so that at some deep level that must bring comfort to Sheila.

We that are left behind will never know what David knew in those final moments of his life until we meet in the next world but our faith tells us that we will meet again and that is what keeps all of us resolutely set on the road .

Next week is Holy Week and David was well ahead of us on the road to his own personal Calvary but I believe that his own resurrection will have been with the risen Christ long before we here on earth reach our own Easter Sunday . For David it is good to know that his Easter is now truly eternal !!

So the grief and the sadness will remain for us but if our Christian faith means anything at all, then we can realise that to die at this special time of year is actually a blessing and a privilege.

Please join in my prayers for David, Sheila and all the family at this harrowing  time.

Click here if you want to understand more about the grief that may follow a sudden death and how it may differ from "expected/anticipated death.

This is a hard quotation to appreciate at this time but there is some truth in it.

“To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; 
and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go”
 Mary Oliver quote

I can imagine David is already busy painting in heaven !

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claire said...

Oh, I had been missing you and wondering whether you were feeling ill.
Yes, it must have been quite a shock for everyone, especially his wife, when your friend David died at church during mass I expect.
Any death of a close friend is always a shock, but witnessing the death of someone looking alive and well must hitting hard.
I will definitely keep David's wife, family and friends in my prayers.
I will also read your links on sudden death.
Many blessings on you and everyone in your community.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Claire,
It is good to see you here and thanks for missing me ! I certainly missed reading and doing the blog.
I would e.mail you but my outgoing post is not working and it could be 5 working days before it is resolved( as if I needed itwith everything else going on!) but thank you for your prayers.
I was pretty shaken up as it was a pretty gruesome death to witness and I was intimately involved but I am getting back to "normal". I will eventually get round to replying to your recent posts so forgive me.
Godbless you and thanks for your ongoing support. I am really moved by it.

Fran said...

Phil- I am so sorry! I have not been online so much and am just seeing this now.

So many prayers for you, for all who loved David. It is shocking - I do not know what else to say but that we all walk together.

Philomena Ewing said...

Thanks Fran. Having your support and prayers gives me great heart.I have left another comment for you on the post above too.