I heard a sad story on the radio the other day while driving. An elderly woman with no family or close friends had died. She was found sitting in front of her television, which was still on. The TV Guide lay beside her. The date it was opened to was about six months ago.
This poor woman had been dead for about six months, and no one knew, There was no one in her life to check on her or wonder why they hadn’t seen her around. Not even a neighbor. It was saddening and just a little scary.
Who wants to die alone? Who wants to feel something happening inside their body and just know that this is the end? They gasp in surprise as they feel the stroke. The heart attack happens, and they know it’s big by how much it hurts. They feel themselves fading, the tunnel vision sets in, and there’s no comforting touch of a loved one…or ANY one to ease their pain and passing.
But does anyone really die alone? Did that old woman really sit there for half a year? No, she did not. Her body did, but she was nowhere around. She was someplace else. I hope it was heaven. If she was a Christian, she’s in heaven at this moment, experiencing the greatest joy she’s ever known. At the moment of her death, Jesus came to her and escorted her there Himself. Or maybe it was a long gone loved one, family or friend. That’s how many people tell it from their near death experiences.
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Why yes, yes He is. In life or in death God is with us. No matter where we go in this life, God is with us. When we die, He is there. Not one sparrow falls without your heavenly Father’s knowledge. Do we seek a comforting touch in our last moment? God will give it.
Or maybe that loved one. I can’t help but think of the passage from Hebrews:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1
There are all of the believers in Christ who will welcome His elect into their company in heaven. I can imagine being passed person to person, one holy embrace after another.
The pastor at my home church told me once how he had seen comatose patients suddenly sit up at the moment of their death, arms outstretched to someone unseen, and joy on their faces. Their Saviour had come for them.
He had also seen people in comas suddenly recoil, terror apparent, lifting their arms to ward off some horror. These were people who had not accepted Christ. Pastor could only imagine what demons those people tried to escape as their body gave out.
No one dies alone. The company we have chosen awaits us. We will melt into the sweet embrace of salvation or struggle to escape the clutches of the damned. However we die, we won’t be alone.