Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

I Regret That I Have but One Blog to Give

Have ever noticed that of a million catchy quotes you may read or hear, very very few of them are death-bed quotes? Is this because little quotable is said just before death?

Not a chance! Our society almost wholly washes away natural deaths, quotable deaths, or deaths worth being told of. They love murder deaths, but outside of the occasional Lifetime channel drama, they aren’t comfortable tossing around deathbed conversations.

Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was well known to be a devout Christian man. He was unflinching in battle because he believed God appointed his time of death. He felt ‘as safe in the bedroom as on the battlefield,” because of this. His death wound came after accompanying a scouting expedition in the dark. Upon returning to his own lines, one of his own men shot him. He was taken to a nearby farmhouse where he lay dying for hours. It was recounted by the doctor present that he was delirious near the end, mumbling and giving orders as if on the battlefield.

“Order A.P. Hill to prepare for battle” he murmured. “Tell Major Hawks to advance the commissary train.” There was a long pause. Then he very clearly spoke one last line. “Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees.”

Other notable deathbed quotes I have enjoyed reading:

Am I dying or is this my birthday?
When she woke briefly during her last illness and found all her family around her bedside.
– Lady Nancy Astor, d. 1964

Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
– Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, d. 1923

Now comes the mystery.
– Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, d. March 8, 1887

Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.
– Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827

It is very beautiful over there.
– Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, d. October 18, 1931

I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you.
Spoken to his wife.
– James K. Polk, US President, d. 1849

The author / poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning died on June 28, 1861. As she lay dying in her husband’s arms, he asked her how she felt.
“Beautiful,” she responded.


    Sonnet 43 – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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