This is a book that you should probably buy and read before you need to sit beside a loved one's bed. Sharing Christ with the Dying is a book that, like it's title, pulls no punches.
This book squares up with the reality of death and everything we feel when we encounter it. Melody Rossi is open hearted, gentle, and persistent, and she's writing from personal experience. In one short period of time, three of her family members died.
This world is broken. Death is the most abnormal thing ever. Death is the last enemy to be conquered when all is set right again.
And for now Death claims those people we love. Or so it seems.
Because death is a door and not an end, it is both our greatest honor and deepest struggle to help somebody die. It will take more from us than anything else, and yet it will give so much to us. It will empty us of everything and fill us at the same time.
This book wound up in my hands mere days after my Grandmother went home to Glory. The moment of her death was a "She did it!" moment. Those words were spoken by my Uncle who was one of her primary caregivers. He said this with amazement, because at the end it was all her and God, and we were merely witnesses.
Tending to the body, ministering to the soul, and loving the person. That's our calling.
If your loved one has been a believer for years, they will need your support and prayers and embraces and encouraging words.
And if they don't trust God, they are unlikely to listen to talk of Heaven and His hope unless they trust you and know they are loved.
Melody Rossi writes about difficulties, sweet moments, and some things to expect as a person draws close to Heaven- both emotionally and physically. My Mother said that this book helped her process some of the things she saw with my Grammy. Before reading this book, she thought she may have been imagining things.
She talks about Do Not Resuscitate Orders and late night talks. She talks about Hospice care and praises those who work in Hospice. Because of them, my Grammy was surrounded by laughing and hugging and music (Kelly Mooney's Hallelujah) and food and drink (lobster, anyone? Our cousin was convinced she hid the lobster in her bedside table.) as long as she could take it. She had cardinals at the window feeder and sunlight spreading over her bed and nurses who hid Angel wings under their scrubs.
Someday there will be a Hello and no more Goodbyes.
Thank you Bethany House for my review copy.