And yet he is calm and ready. John, his wife and their family have a strong faith and believe that he is being held and loved by a far greater power and love. He says calmly in a quiet voice, "I'll go when the Lord calls me". His faith is utterly grounded and sure, with not a shadow of doubt. Oh to have such a strong faith, a belief that this is not the end, just part of our journey.
Which brings me to the closing lines of T.S.Eliot's "Dry Salvages" from his Four Quartets:
"With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always —And all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one."