As he was approaching death, the famous atheist Christopher Hitchens claimed that faith makes no difference at a time like that. How sad, but also, how wrong.
I lost a dear friend to cancer one summer. She left behind four children and she felt agony and sadness just like anyone would. But it was filled with purpose. Her husband would hear her offering up her pain as a spiritual sacrifice. As she neared death, she would invite people over who were going through hard times so she could be there for them. She spent her last days loving and reconciling with family members and loving her husband and kids. Her last heartbeat was at the Amen during a Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
If there’s no God, despair is the only appropriate response to death. But as Lizz faced death she knew she wasn’t entering the abyss, but the presence of perfect love. That doesn’t take away the pain, but it does change everything about death. And daily life.