Working with those at Life’s end reaffirms my Hope.
Laying on a hospital bed, feeling life depart, only 20 years old: I chose to live. I had to fight for Life. I had to pray for Life. I had to work for Life. But it was a choice.
Fourth Stage – what is that anyway?
Perhaps you have not heard of the end of life as a fourth stage? You probably are familiar with other ‘fourth stage’ situations.
- Giving birth to a baby is said to be in stage 4 during the first 2-3 hours after birth.
- Teenagers are the fourth stage in a child’s cognitive development. That is when the teenager begins to think about moral, philosophical, ethical, social, and political issues.
- Cancer is said to be in stage 4 when it has spread far away from where it started (metastasis).
- Cruelty is the fourth stage in the life of fictional character Tom Nero. The classic image below by William Hogarth shows a public dissection of the infamous character’s dead body.
In each of the above examples, the fourth stage is referred to as the last stage. There is no fifth stage.
Stage 4 is final.
Hogarth’s image depicts the fear many have when contemplating the fourth stage in life.
Hope awaits you even in Stage 4!
Here is what I have learned from working with precious persons in Stage 4: it is an opportunity!
- To finally shed all the guilt, burdens and care you have carried through the years.
- To prepare for the transitional chapter in your book of life.
- To enjoy the enlightenment you have been dancing around for so long.
I know when I was faced with death when just inside the second stage of my life, I was totally prepared. I felt peace, calm and tranquility.
Passing that threshold gave me confidence in my Faith and chosen Lord. Returning to service gave me purpose and fulfilment.
There is Hope even at death’s door.