As we start November the dark nights creep in with changing of the clocks, the leaves of the trees die and fall to the ground, and our mind turns to those people we have loved who have died as we commemorate the Holy Souls. Death is the one certainty in life that we all have to face, and yet we live in a society that wants to avoid that certainty. Cosmetic products offer a promise of extended youth, science looks for ways of preserving bodies until cures for terminal illnesses can be found. It seems that ageing and death are things to be feared.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
The Catholic Church has a rich treasury of resources and reflections that offer help and support to those grappling with issues around the meaning of life and death. These resources are now being made available through a new website entitles Ars Moriendi – The Art of Dying Well. The site has been compiled by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales working in co-operation with professionals in palliative care, ethics, chaplaincy, history and media. The site is designed for those those who are dying, their friends and family, for carers and as a contribution to the national debate on such matters. Based in the Catholic tradition but open to all, it features real-life stories about dealing with the journey through death to eternal life.
Visit the website at www.artofdyingwell.org