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What to Say When a Loved One Is Dying

But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story… —C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle 

Have you ever wondered what to say to a loved one who is dying? It’s a sacred moment in time as he or she faces the unknown. What words can we share? 

Consider sharing Psalm 22. Talk about how Jesus was the last of God’s children to face death alone. Talk about how He’s the pioneer of salvation—cutting a path through death to glory. Speak of Jesus’ own temptation to fear death. And then talk about the transition in Psalm 22 from Jesus’ cry for help to His anticipation of life with His brothers and sisters. 

Open Hebrews and share the promise in 2:18, 

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. 

Encourage your loved one to call for Jesus’ help. The only One who can go through death with us is the only One who has gone through death already. Jesus has experienced it and returned to tell us there is hope.

He’ll say, “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen next. Get ready for this. This is coming.”

There is a sense that death is a solitary act. After all, we will be the only one dying in that hospital room that day. To me, there is great comfort in knowing that even though only one will die, there will be two of us in it together. Meditate on that thought, let it sink in, and rest in it. It’s true.

Jesus, I’ll plan on traveling that road with You. Thank You for making that possible. Thank You for going first. Amen.

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