My father is spending his last days in a hospice. I traveled to British Columbia to accompany him for a period. While staying at his home, I discovered a book of prayers by William Barclay that I had once given to him. We found the following prayer to be meaningful during the time together. We read it one last time when we said our final farewell. (There has been some editing to reflect modern language).
“O God, our Father, we know that you are afflicted by all our afflictions. In our sorrow we come to you today asking that you give us the comfort which you alone can give.
Make us sure that you are working ever for the best in perfect wisdom, perfect love, and perfect power.
Make us sure that a Father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear.
Make us so sure of your love that we will be able to accept even that which we cannot understand.
Help us today to be thinking not of the darkness of death, but of the splendour of the life everlasting, forever in your presence.
Help us to face life with grace and gallantry; and help us to find courage to go on in the memory that the best tribute we can pay to our loved one is not the tribute of tears, but the constant memory that another has been added to the unseen cloud of witnesses that surround us.
Comfort and uphold us, strengthen and support us until we also come to the green pastures which are beside the still waters, and until we meet again those whom we have loved and lost for a time. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
William Barclay. Plain Man’s Book of Prayers.