Removing Life Support

A difficult prayer for a difficult moment. In classic Jewish tradition, this prayer includes a request for forgiveness from the one who is near death by those who made the decision to remove life support. It is brief, by design, so as not to prolong the moment for anyone.

Removing Life Support
G-d of compassion,
With sorrow,
With love,
With hope defeated,
I/We say a last goodbye
To my/our _______________ (relationship)
Whom we cherished in life,
And whom we will mourn in death.

Grant him/her/them a perfect rest
Under Your canopy of peace
As medical professionals
Will soon remove life support.

O grievous moment,
O grievous hour,
Beloved _____________ (name or relationship)
Forgive me/us any wrongs
I/we may have done to you in this life,
And forgive me/us this last act of compassion,
Allowing your life and your suffering to end.

G-d of mercy,
May You grant hope in our days
And peace in our years.
As we mourn,
Accept this soul
To You
With love.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: Thanks to my friend Rabbi Paul Kipnes for suggesting this piece.

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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