What are we doing when we sit in prayer with a person as they are dying? The prayer, the blessing, is in the particulars: these lines and wrinkles; this graying hair; these tired, baggy eyes; this pattern of breath; this body, these cells that hold all, all, all that this person is. Has this person given their life to Jesus? I don't care; Jesus gives his life for them: that is sufficient. Here is a life of richness — of thought and feeling and deed — of love and for love. Are we at this moment, as Saint Teresa of Ávila suggests, the human presence of God helping to hold all that this person is, from the moment of their birth — the brief flowering upon the Creation that they are?
We will soon be gone for good, but the Life of God remains forever marked by our brief, little, precious lives, and we witness and honour this.