Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, While at Hoag Hospital with yet another bout of pneumonia, my mom who had beaten colon cancer, breast cancer and three lung cancers decided that she was ready to go to the Lord. I then called a palliative care doctor I knew who worked at Hoag and the next day he met us, gave my mom Lourdes water and explained what would happen if she continued with treatment for her COPD and other ailments (including the need for 24 hour care) as well as what would happen if she discontinued treatment. After finishing, he asked my mom what she wanted. Her emphatic response was, “I want to go home!” The doctor started to explain again that she would need caregivers at which point she cut him off and said, “My home is in heaven! I want to be with the Lord.” My mom then went onto hospice care, did not experience pain, and was lucid until the night she died in her sleep. She had the opportunity to say goodbye to her friends and give them hope in the promise of the resurrection as well as die having received the sacraments.
As we continue respect life month, I would like to highlight the good work of the Caring for the Whole Person Initiative (CWPI) https://wholeperson.care/ that was started by the California bishops in response to the legalization of assisted suicide in California. The CWPI provides a number of resources such as spiritual support, information on palliative care and hospice, information on the Church’s teaching as well as information on advance planning. Let us pray for all who are sick and those who care for them, that the Lord give them comfort, peace and hope.
Bishop Tim Freyer