He was at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan when it happened – the “grace of all graces.” Looking out the friend’s window at the New York skyline, a sharp pain lanced through his chest. Unconscious, he fell to the floor like a sack of potatoes. Some time later he regained consciousness for a few fleeting moments. He had no memory of toppling.
When the doctor arrived, after a quick examination of the man, he looked up and shook his head. “Better send for a priest,” he suggested.
The priest arrived, but was too late. The man was dead. Last Rites were administered. Then the body was removed and transported to a mortuary for routine preparation. The mortician carefully embalmed the body. Then it was necessary for the coffin to be selected, which is usually done by a family member. Since no family members were present, a phone call was made to the headquarters of the Diocese of New York. After a quick consultation, which concerned cost, a coffin was chosen. Luckily, there was one in the warehouse. Another phone call was made, and the coffin was shifted onto a delivery truck. Upon its arrival at the mortuary, the coffin was inspected for damage. It was perfect, except for a layer of dust it had gathered while in storage. Someone swept the dust away, and ran a damp cloth over the exterior.