Photo: Courtesy of Dave Greenwell

Robert Greenwell was a World War II veteran, having served with the 45th Infantry Division in Europe. He was a POW in Germany, having been captured in France during the Battle of the Bulge.

Mercy and the Death of My Father

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By Dave Greenwell

Last summer, my 83-year-old father, Robert Greenwell, had a massive stroke in Indiana. I drove from Florida to be with him. He was not awake, could barely move his right hand, and could not talk. We were informed that he was terminal, and that there wasn't anything they could do to help him.

My brothers and sisters all talked to him over the next few days. I sprinkled him with holy water and prayed for him. On Friday, Aug. 31, 2007, I had shortened my prayers and simply said "Jesus, Mercy!" a few times.

My father never showed any signs of distress. He took a breath and, very peacefully, blew it out. It was his last. I looked at my watch, and it was exactly 3 p.m. A cry came out of me from my soul, and I broke down and sobbed.

I realized that God had taken him at that moment out of love and mercy. It was a great sign to me. Inside, I felt this message from Jesus: "Yes, I am merciful. In love I have him with Me."

I'm forever grateful to God for having been able to witness the manner and timing of my father's death. I was sad, but awestruck at God's love and mercy. When I got back to Florida, there was mail from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Enclosed was a prayer card that says: "Everything begins with Your Mercy and ends with Your Mercy." It brought more tears (of sadness and joy). Then I got out my copy of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion booklet. I began reading pages pages 72 and 73 on the Hour of Great Mercy. When I read the short prayer "Jesus, Mercy," I cried out in thanksgiving to God.

Dave Greenwell lives in Orlando, Fla.

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Anita Cugini - May 7, 2008

Your story touched me deeply. How special a grace from the Lord that you were with your father, praying the Divine Mercy chaplet when he passed from this world! I, too, was able to be with my mother when she died, through the kindness of a Jewish attorney. I held her in my arms and prayed every prayer I ever knew as she slowly slipped away. God touches each of us in a special way and your story is a poignant reminder that the mercy of God is everlasting. I pray that God will hold you and yours safe within His loving arms now and forever.

Mary, wife - Apr 17, 2008

Noah, my husband, was under hospice in a PCH. On Wednesday, he told me that he was going to die, very soon and he was not afraid. I prayed every prayer I knew and, surprisingly, he prayed with me. On Thursday evening, he told me that he was going to far better place. Remembering the Divine Mercy promise, I prayed the chaplet out loud in his room unmindful of anyone who entered the room. After midnight, dozing off, I felt a presence. An angel was hovering over his bed. The image disappeared when I realized what I was seeing. I resumed the Divine Mercy Chaplet and around 3:00 a.m. I prayed the chaplet like a mantra rocking in my chair. My husband opened his eyes (after having been closed for a few days)looked at me, said I love you and went to sleep. It was 3:25 a.m Friday morning.In a way, he was thanking me for saving him. Anytime the subject of prayer comes up, the talk about Divine Mercy and St. Faustina.

Annie Greenwell - Apr 15, 2008

God is with us at every moment and loves each one with a merciful love. What a beautiful sign of his passion for us, his children! Some of my fondest memories are of visiting my grandparents home for family reunions, and I just cant help but smile when I think of the reunion we'll have in Heaven someday. I love you Grandpa, I know youre watching over us!

Michael - Apr 15, 2008

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Grandson Peter - Apr 14, 2008

Robert Greenwell was a loving man who should be an example to all. I pray to be half the person he was. In very tough times for me, he passed on. His love will always remain. His teachings will never be forgotten. I Love You Grandpa.