Have you ever encountered real fear? Faced it head on? I did yesterday.
It was in my face, screaming at me, calling me every name under the sun, damning me to hell. This fear, in the eyes of a dying woman, jumped out at me more than her angry words. Hurtful, hateful words slung at me not because of who I am or something that I had done, but because it the was the only reaction that the fear could grip onto.
The anger that lashed out is not who this woman is. That anger should not be what defines her in her final days. Though sadly, it may be what people end up remembering, only because it was so extreme. But I got a good look in her eyes. We were no more than a few feet apart, and while she screamed that she could look in my eyes and only see evil, I looked in her eyes and only saw a dying woman, shriveled up, destitute, hopeless, broken, frightened.
And I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve done. I had to tell this old and dying woman, this woman who is scared because her life is painfully eluding her, that she had to leave. It was heartbreaking, but necessary for her safety, and the safety of the others in the room.
As she left the grounds, screaming obscenities at anyone who passed by, my heart broke. I have never seen fear rob someone of so much in such a short time. She doesn’t have much time left on this earth – there is nothing that can be done to change this. I can only pray and hope against hope, that in her final days, that she can die with peace, rather than in fear and anger.