The father of our friend passed away recently, and his daughters were unhappy about what happened at the hospital. In the ICU, he was hooked to all sorts of machines. When his situation deteriorated in a matter of hours, his close relatives agreed not to artificially resuscitate him anymore.
But, when the relatives told the doctors about their decision, they were met with strong opposition. Nevertheless, they arranged to have him moved to an ordinary room, where they could be close to him. They didn’t want to prolong his suffering.
One of his daughters whispered into his ear, “It’s all right, don’t worry about us, Dad. God will take care of us, and of you.” Shortly thereafter, he passed away.
We also recall the story of a dog trainer who suffered a heart attack in a market. He was lying on the floor for an hour, because people thought he was just drunk! When a kind soul finally brought him to the hospital, his ribs broke due to strenuous efforts to resuscitate him. When his wife saw his sorry state, she told him, “It’s OK for you to go”—and he did.
Ancient sages always prepared for death and met it with courage. They weren’t afraid of it, because they took shelter in the Supreme Protector. When their bodies were ravaged by illness or old age, they didn’t hang on to them. They spoke words of wisdom even as they were dying—a glorious exit for others to learn from!
Hopefully, hospital personnel can learn to respect people’s wish for peaceful departure. Patients need not go through unnecessary suffering. Their relatives also have to stop clinging to those who need to go. Let’s say our goodbyes properly and wish our departing loved ones well. Let them hear the Holy Names of the Supreme, and He will take care of them!