I was at a wake yesterday and in the homily of the priest (Fr. Arlo?), he told those who attended the mass not to pray for a long life. It was quite surprising, as most people (myself included) would usually pray that we be blessed with a long life.
Instead of praying for a long life, he suggested that we pray for “happy old age.” What use is it if we were to live long if we are not healthy? If our family is in shambles? If we are not happy? Makes sense, right?
He likewise mentioned that we should also pray for a peaceful death. When can we say that a death is peaceful? A peaceful death takes place when an individual manages to tie up loose ends — when he or she is able to achieve “closure.” Such closure results when we are at peace with members of our family; when family members get along with each other; when resources are peacefully distributed; and when we are at peace with the Lord.
My friend’s father, who had passed away, had said to his son, my friend’s brother: “Let us pray. I am going home.”
Such a beautiful line. As the priest said, a peaceful death is not a moment of bereavement but a moment of fulfillment.
May you and your family be blessed with a happy old age and a peaceful death. God bless.