There have been so many wonderful stories and columns and editorials about the pope's life. I want to focus on something a tad different: his death. And how, more importantly, he handled dying with great dignity, through great pain.
I've always thought that we are judged not by how we handle the things that go well for us in life, but precisely by how we deal with the things that do not.
A lot did not go right for this pope physically: Parkinson's disease (search), pain and sometimes, near total paralysis. Yet he soldiered on. Never complaining. Never whining. Always praying. His battle with pain always taking a backseat to his hope for peace.
Some shutter themselves away when their bodies give way. Not this pope.
Some get bitter. Not this pope.
Some even nasty. Never this pope.
He knew he wasn't well. He knew he didn't look well. He knew he was but a hunched, shell of the vibrant athletic pontiff he once was. But he cared more about what mattered to him inside, than how he looked outside. Easier to relate, no doubt, to the pain he saw in the world.
I know people honor how he did so in life. I will always be impressed how he did all of that in death.
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