To Each His Own
In July 2007, I attended a funeral. The deceased (died of cancer) had declined baptism on his deathbed. Sadly, his wife and children (majority of them are Christians) decided to give him a Christian last rites. An eulogy was read by his son (a non-Christian) :
"My dad was a free-thinker and respected all religions ...... "
This statement reaffirmed the deceased's belief but sadly, a pastor stepped forward to perform the Christian last rites.
I was disturbed by the insensitive act of the pastor. How could she perform the Christian last rites on a non-believer who had rejected baptism? I sought an opinion from my mentor (a believer in Christ) to confirm if the pastor had done the right thing.
He told me that the pastor should have respected the deceased's wish to remain a free-thinker. At the same time, he also related a touching story about a Reverend's experience when performing baptism on a dying person at the request of the latter's son.
The Reverend made the following explanation to the son when he did not baptize the dying person :
"To all the questions I asked he replied 'yes'. He does not know what he is saying. I would rather he died believing in the faith of his fore-fathers."
Three months later, I decided to upload this webpage after a cancer patient shared with me his reluctance to accept Christ under the pressure of his family members.
It took me some courage to pen this write-up as it can be sensitive to some web surfers.
While caregivers show genuine concern, I reckon it is best to follow the golden rule: 'Let the patients decide what is best for them'. Let us respect their wishes.
In September 2007, a lymphoma cancer patient** was overjoyed when he told me that he has become a Catholic even though he has not attended the bible classes. He will spend his days reading bible during his hospitalization.