What to do when your neighbor is dying 


Our neighbor has died.

John had been sick for some time. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, as cancer had weakened his body and trips outside the home had become few and far between.

One day I saw a number of cars in John’s driveway. His wife, Grace, met me in my front yard and let me know that hospice had moved in. She asked if I would like to say goodbye to John.

I was embarrassed.  I had often asked Grace about John when seeing her out in the yard. I had not, however, visited with John in a long time. I had prayed for him for a year- but I hadn’t prayed with him. I had failed him.

I went into the house and said a silent prayer for John as he slept peacefully. He died late that evening.

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  Ecclesiastes 12:7

I have since wondered about other neighbors in the same condition.  Not just those who are physically sick, but those who are spiritually troubled.

People with heavy hearts, tired souls and troubles that give them little hope.  Maybe it’s a bad relationship.  Perhaps depression.  Or maybe life has dealt them so many blows that it’s just hard to keep going.

These are our neighbors.  They need our engagement in their lives.  They need hope.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  I Peter 5:10

I pray for a greater awareness for pain and struggles that others may be dealing with.  I pray that I can help a neighbor with their burden…and that someone might have the awareness to help me when I am struggling.

Please let me know how to pray for you.  God bless you.


6 thoughts on “What to do when your neighbor is dying 

  1. Toni Rende says:

    You did not fail your neighbor, you prayed for him. That is the best thing you could have done and now God will use it for your good and those you touch in the future.

  2. Keith, I could not agree with your words any more wholeheartedly. I too have recently lost a neighbor and friend before I realized how sick he was. How empty I felt that I had not visited or offered to pray with him due to my own negligence. Are we too busy to allow the Lord’s Spirit to show in our lives? I think we are- sometimes.

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