Again, friends, regrets for the imperfect production of new blogs! But I have been in hospital for 5 of the last 8 weeks and am still there – having had 2 major operations, each over 5 hours long.
Thus, somewhat emaciated but on the mend, I now peer out to see the motivational use of hospitals! There is much I could say, surrounded by so much pain and suffering, sharing some of it myself, but curiously, time and again, something quite different emerges.
Take last night. My wife had come to visit me and a new member of the ward had just arrived.
He was a pretty incoherent old man with a loud booming voice – very gruff – that seemed aggressive and querulous. It soon became clear, however, that the loudness – and so aggression – was not his character, but simply to do with his being relatively deaf for a long time. He had to shout because he couldn’t hear.
And then began a remarkable conversation that we were privileged to overhear. He had an appendix problem, but that wasn’t his concern. No, he told the nurse, his wife had died in this very hospital only 2 weeks ago.
She had been in a coma for 10 days and only opened her eyes once. Had she seen him there? The nurse said she was sure she knew he was there. He said, “I reached across to kiss her – but she was gone. I can’t get over it”, he said.
And finally, he added, “she was the most perfect creature God ever made”.
To lose one’s wife (or husband) is a loss not easily borne; to lose the most “perfect creature God ever made” is to lament the whole of creation – yet paradoxically to express the deepest gratitude for it. For, how likely is it, that the most “perfect creature God ever made” had somehow found you?
I wept to hear it. He was wrong. I was married to the most perfect creature God ever made. But then again, every blade of grass that God ever made was and is perfect too. So poignant, then, the stealth of death in all this perfection.