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The Last Breath

The Last Breath.jpg


Medium: oil on linen

Dimensions: 30" x 28"

This painting was commissioned by Ken Johnston of Our House Ministries for Fr. Douglas McKay, who was chaplain at Holy Family Home in Philadelphia for over 20 years. It was a home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor for the elderly who were poor, and almost all residents would eventually die there. Fr. McKay wanted to leave soon after arriving because he didn't like being around death all the time. But with the help of the Sisters, he gained a new appreciation for the dying process and came up with his belief of what happens in the last moments of our earthly life. In those last moments, one often takes what appears to be their last breath. Then 20, 30, or 60 seconds later comes the actual last breath. Fr. McKay believes that in between that next-to-last breath and that last breath, we come out of our bodies, stand next to the Blessed Mother, and watch as Jesus enters our bodies and takes our last breath for us because he has conquered death. This painting is a depiction of Fr. McKay's concept of the Last Breath.

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