January 10, 2010

'A Life of Joy and Peace'

As it happens, last night was the first time I was able to put my hands on Anne Marie's death certificate. As I studied it, memories from the hospital came flooding back. I already understood (in layman's terms) what had happened: her heart slowed down and eventually stopped beating. But it was jolting last night to read in black and white the cause of death: "multiple organ system failure."

Failure. And yet this morning in church -- a mere 14 hours after reading those words -- we sang "Amazing Grace." The fifth stanza goes like this:
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.