The Spiritual Vignette is a short sketch of an encounter with God, often in a surprisingly, always lasting, way.

We were crushed by Dad’s cancer diagnosis. The doctors gave us little hope. Dad, however, had something else to say. He used his last days to show us how to live, when there seemed no living left to be had. In our grief, we found his faith truly inspiring.

Every family member, every friend, every visitor, was greeted with a warm embrace from a man who was not one for emotional exchanges. He continually expressed his genuine appreciation for the gift of their time.

The love that surrounded him and the beauty of his death deeply altered my thoughts on spirituality.

“Am I going to die?” he asked me as he neared the end.

How was I to answer that? I sat with his question, and then heard myself say, “Once we are born, we all are dying.”

And that was the moment my life changed. That was the moment I truly understood that we simply have to trust God, that our lives literally are in God’s hands.

I am so grateful that I was able to be with Dad through his final days, and to share in the blessing of his death. Calling death a blessing may seem strange, but my father’s death was a sacred moment. I could feel the peace of the Holy Spirit descend upon us as he departed from this world.

I never felt such peace before, yet I know now that it will always sustain me.

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Karen Taylor