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Christians, please, especially, help

(86 Posts)
MrsFrederickWentworth Sat 29-Jun-13 22:14:13

My DM, v d, is frail in mind, body and spirit.

She is terrified of death and of extinction.

A simple statement about Jesus or God or love or heaven doesn't do it for her and who can say she is wrong. She has been a practising Christian all her life but it isn't a consolation now.

We have enlisted the professionals but we, her family, need to help too.

Can you help? How can we comfort her?

Chubfuddler Sat 29-Jun-13 22:18:23

In my fathers house are many mansions; if this were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

My favourite verse of the entire bible.

gwenniebee Sat 29-Jun-13 22:19:16

If she has been practising all her life, does she have any favourite hymns, poems or readings that are particularly special to her? Sometimes that can help to "reroot" people.

MostlyLovingLurchers Sat 29-Jun-13 23:44:05

I don't know if this will help - it's from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, which is a bit of a mix of eastern and christian philosophy:

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

I hope your mum finds some solace.

LesAnimaux Sat 29-Jun-13 23:49:32

Why is she terrified of death?

Why does she not feel ready to move on?

Does she believe in an after life?

Does she have things she needs to do before she dies?

Homebird8 Sat 29-Jun-13 23:54:45

For me, the eternity of death is like the eternity of a circle and is God's way of making me whole. For now I see through a glass darkly, but then I shall see face to face. Everything will become known, everything complete.

When I asked my dying mother what she thought was going to happen (both of us practising Christians all our lives) she just said that she didn't know, but she was sure God would make it good.

A friend with a brimming faith relied simply on the phrase, 'Jesus will make it wonderful.'

I hope your DM will find a comfort for herself. These are the ones I choose. Sending you the comfort you need too. flowers

Gingerandcocoa Sat 29-Jun-13 23:58:23

I find this CS Lewis quote truly inspiring:

"We know not what we shall be"; but we may be sure we shall be more, not less, than we were on earth. Our natural experiences (sensory, emotional, imaginative) are only like the drawing, like penciled lines on flat paper.

If they vanish in the risen life, they will only vanish as pencil lines vanish from the real landscape, not as a candle flame that is put out but as a candle flame which becomes invisible because someone has pulled up the blind, thrown open the shutters, and let in the blaze of the risen sun.
~ The Weight of Glory

Gingerandcocoa Sun 30-Jun-13 00:00:58

Another analogy I have found helpful is that of a baby being born. When in the mother's womb all the baby knows is his life there, and for he/she labour must seem like the end of it, the end of life. But as we know, it is just the beginning!

I think heaven will be similar. We see death as being the end but it is just the beginning of a truly wonderful life.

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 30-Jun-13 08:39:40

Thank you, there are some helpful things there.

She is having a bad time physically and mentally and cannot get out of it. I don't know why extinction from this life worries her, but it does. I like the analogy of the womb, and that might help. The melting of Gibran is exactly the sort of thing that terrifies her. I don't know why. Yes I like the idea that we will be more, not less.

Homebird8 Sun 30-Jun-13 10:25:13

I will pray for her. And for you.

springytats Sun 30-Jun-13 16:07:48

Something has gripped her - fear, of course - and perhaps you could pray that whatever it was, whatever was said somewhere in the past, will be brought out into the light and shown up for what it was: a lie, a distortion.

Perfect love casts out fear. She is safe. She belongs to him and she is safe. He is only vile to evil and darkness - because of what they do to those he loves: her.

In the past I have had terrible fear because of childhood conditioning - paralysing fear - so these aren't platitudes.

I wonder, too, if she is clinically depressed and if a mild AD could get her serotonin levels up to par? eg my mum takes meds to stop further strokes and they have made her very low and fearful. I'm convinced those meds muck about with something essential to the mood....

springytats Sun 30-Jun-13 16:11:52

Terrible punctuation there - he is only vile to evil and darkness because of what they do to those he loves = her!

My mum has started taking a multi-vit/min which has boosted her mood no end. I was convinced she was low in Vit B and wondered how I could get her tested (she would protest vigorously) so suggested the multi-vit/min. It's done wonders smile

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 16:16:25

op, was your DM feeling like this about death and extinction, before she became frail?

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 30-Jun-13 16:55:45

Thank you, Springy, you have clearly been in my DM's place.

I have always known she was afraid of death.

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 17:09:53

I was hoping, op, that you were not going to say that.

Psalm 23, the Lord is my Shepard, seems to help a lot of elderly Christians.

Does she realise she is not going to be "extinct", far from it?

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 17:12:16

To me, and I am a Christian, it is going to be sleep, probably a long sleep, until the graves are opened, and we go to Heaven.
As I told my elderly Christian mum recently, we like sleep, dont we mum! So a long sleep is no problem.

chocolatemartini Sun 30-Jun-13 17:22:30

Beautiful thread. I think although there are many quotes and ideas and beliefs that comfort people, sometimes if someone is frightened in this way, the best thing can be just to let them talk about it and accept it, rather than trying to give them comfort. Death is a huge transition and even if you know 100% that the soul lives on, the body doesn't, and that is hard for anyone to face.

Italiangreyhound Sun 30-Jun-13 21:10:13

Maybe some old songs or hymns from her childhood. You could find them on line. Good luck.

Homebird8 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:48:48

I agree ChocolateMartini. I specifically asked my DM what she thought happened. The comforting thing for us was that she wasn't frightened of the afterwards. The during bit of dying is obviously scary. I think she chose to interpret the adrenalin of knowing what was about to happen as excitement rather than fear.

More prayers for your DM today MRsFW flowers

Waswondering Sun 30-Jun-13 21:55:32

I don't know if music would help, playing quietly to her. I like some of Keith and Krisytn Getty's music, eg is a higher throne or In Christ Alone.

I hope she finds the peace she seeks. Xx

Waswondering Sun 30-Jun-13 21:56:04

Link failed:

DoctorAnge Sun 30-Jun-13 22:19:56

What a lovely thread

Annunziata Sun 30-Jun-13 22:49:17

We sang this at Mass this week.

We are pilgrims on the journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

God bless x

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 30-Jun-13 23:00:36

Thank you all, I am near tears.

My poor poor DM, alone ( her decision), frightened, body rumbling, mind supportive, and this terrible fear of extinction.

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:07

Mind not supportive!

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