07 April 2008
We just learned that my husband's grandmother passed away this morning. She was 91 and suffered for the last half dozen years with Alzheimers.
She was a fallen away Catholic and that's what breaks my heart. She and my husband's grandfather were both Catholic and left the Church. It was all over something that happened decades ago.
Their young son pulled a pot of scalding liquid off the stove and was severely burned. Although his injuries were quite serious, the doctor told them that he would recover. A priest was called to administer Last Rites. However, it is my understanding that back then priests only provided the sacrament if death was imminent. Since he was in no danger of dying, the priest told the family there was no need for him to come to the house. Unfortunately, their son died. Their grief, guilt and tide of other feelings were taken out on the priest and the family left the Church because of it.
Eventually, my husband's grandparents divorced. Grandma then attended a Lutheran church for the rest of her life.
When she was originally placed in a care facility in rural Wisconsin, we scrambled to find a priest to provide her Last Rites. With my husband's family not being religious, it was a fine line to walk to get the priest out there.
It was even more difficult to find a priest that would visit her.
We called the priest in the nearby parish and explained the situation, asking him to visit her and provide her the sacraments if she was willing. The priest informed us that he was going hunting for the better part of the week and weekend and we were not to disturb him because he didn't want to inconvenience his hunting party with having to provide him transportation out of the woods. Callous. Cold. Glad I don't have to stand before God and explain that one.
After a lot of calling around, another elderly retired priest was found. When he received our call, he immediately turned off the football game he was watching and headed over to her side. Unfortunately, he only talked to her. I don't know why that's all he did, if that was the appropriate course of action for someone not in control of their faculties. It was very disappointing.
However, when he visited her and told her he was a priest, she began to cry. I pray that was an indication she wanted to be reunited with the Church.
It is very sad that there is only one priest for such a large geographical area.
Please pray for her since she has no one else, aside from my husband and me, to remember her with prayers.
May God have mercy on her and grant her eternal rest.
Rest in peace, Grandma. I will miss you.
Posted by swissmiss at 6:31 AM