Skip to comments.Amazing final days of a Jackson attorney who found peace
Posted on 03/05/2014 4:32:10 PM PST by cripplecreek
JACKSON, MI The human race is divided between people who see amazing coincidences, and people who see no coincidences. Both types should hear about the last days of Jackson attorney Bruce Clark.
Clark, 79, who lived at Clark Lake, was an Eagle Scout as a boy and a respected member of his profession as an adult. But this is not the story of Clarks life. Its the story of what happened before he died two weeks ago.
Struck by cancer, pneumonia and a heart attack, Clark said something unusual one day from his bed at Allegiance hospital.
He told me he had a vision of a church with symbols and medallions, said his son, Bradley Clark. It seemed strange, because the father attended no church and was not overtly religious. Not sure his father was entirely lucid, Bradley Clark suggested several Jackson churches. None matched the vision.
While visiting his father again a few days later, Bradley Clark heard a familiar loud laugh from the hospital hallway. The laugh belonged to the Rev. Dusan Koprivica, priest at St. Demetrius Orthodox Church in Blackman Township. Koprivica, called Father Dusan, had finished ministering to sick members of his church, and he laughed over a joke made to a janitor.
Casually acquainted through youth swimming programs, Bradley Clark went into the hallway to greet Father Dusan. When he learned about Bruce Clark, the priest offered to anoint the sick man. I searched for a polite way to decline as we stepped into the elevator, said Bradley Clark.
While riding the elevator, Clark mentioned his fathers vision of a church with many symbols. Thats my church, Father Dusan said. His church, which practices traditional Christianity of eastern Europe, is so loaded with Byzantine-style iconography and frescoes that bus tours visit.
There are no coincidences, Father Dusan said.
Considering everything, Bradley Clark changed his mind and asked the priest to see his father. One day later, Father Dusan came again to pray over Bruce Clark, who was heavily sedated and essentially unconscious all day.
My dads eyes shot open and he reached out against his arm restraints to grab Fathers hand, said Bradley Clark. The startling reaction seemed close to a miracle.
A few days later, Bruce Clark surprised everyone by recovering strength and lucidity after his ventilator tube was removed. Four optimistic days followed. Father Dusan visited daily, and Bruce Clark talked of joining his church.
Then, early Feb. 20, Bruce Clark died in his sleep with his wife, Sylvia, at his side. Father Dusan accepted Clark into the church he visualized and performed funeral rites.
I dont feel a sense of despair, because I know my father found peace, said Bradley Clark. It was an experience I will never forget.
Perhaps it is coincidence that a dying man had a vision and a priest cracked a joke outside his door.
The priest firmly believes otherwise.
You have to look with eyes of faith, Father Dusan said. When you look with eyes of faith, nothing just happens. There is a reason.
I knew Bruce Clark only slightly, but am telling this story because I imagine he would want it told.
Glad you did. Thank you
While non believers will only see a man who died despite his new found faith, I see a man who went peacefully and easily because of it.
Yes a beautiful example of peace thru faith
God claimed him, and did it in such a way that his family would know it.
Thanks for posting.
My mother suffered cancer, and it was my night to stay with her. I knew the end was near, probably a day or two. I said, Mom, we have never talked about faith issues. What is your relationship with Jesus? She said she always believed Him to be the Son of God, but never made a profession of faith. I asked her is she wanted to take care of that issue, and she said yes. We prayed a prayer of salvation. She fell asleep about 15 minutes later, and never regained consciousness. I was so surprised that my mom wasn’t a Christian. She was a wonderful woman, very loving to all, and made sure we all had Bibles and a church attendance (though my folks never went.) I was glad for the grace of God that night.
I was dozing in a chair in the middle of the night as my mother lay dying. I opened my eyes to see an angel standing beside her bed ministering to her. A quiet thought came to me that this was none of my business and to close my eyes and let it be which is what I did. My mother was unconscious at that point but I am sure she was as comforted as I was.
Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."
"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service." "Terrific!" says St. Peter. "That's certainly worth a point."
"One point!?!!" "I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."
"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.
"Two points!?!! "Exasperated, the man cries. "At this rate the only way I'll get into heaven is by the grace of God."
"Bingo, 100 points! Come on in!"