The Way to Go

A death in the family.
by Stephen Dyas, LC | Source:
A pastoral care worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Joliet, IL said she had never seen such a beautiful response to death.

In the last six months of her life Dolores O’Neill had been hospitalized eight times and had four surgeries.

She was finally hospitalized one last time in early April, 1995.

The last night before she died her husband Jack, five of their nine children, and three grandchildren were present in the hospital room. They prayed the rosary.

Every day a Eucharistic minister would come in to give Dolly communion.

Her last night was restless and difficult, to the point that they had to strap her down in bed. Jack and their daughter Barbara were exhausted the next morning.

As Jack was leaving his last words to her were, “I love you, Dolly.” She responded, “I love you, Jack,” and never spoke again.

After the daily check up at about 9:00am on April 8th a doctor came in the room and told Dolly’s daughter Mary that her mother had very little time and that she had better call the family.

Mary held her mom’s hand telling her what a “privilege it was to be with her as she was finishing the race. Jesus and Mary are at the finish line waiting for you to cross over to the other side.”

Shortly after 10:00am various family members began to arrive: Lisa, Barbara, John, George.

When they found that their mom had died, their tears were of sadness and joy: the Eucharistic minister came in just like every other day to give Dolly communion. She received Jesus on her tongue, closed her eyes, and passed away.

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