RIP, Nick Charles

The trailblazing CNN sports anchor died yesterday after a long bout with cancer — just short of one of his personal goals, to see his 65th birthday.  He would have been 65 on June 30.

This spring, he spoke with CNN about his life and his last days — and the importance of his rediscovered faith.

From the Christian Post:

While too many Americans fear death, Charles admitted that he embraces it.

Hoping that his final words to his daughter will be, “I’m going to heaven to prepare a place for you and we’re going to be together forever,” the heralded anchor prays that his daughter won’t be the one to find him when he passes.

Reading the Bible often, Charles remains steadfast in his faith, a faith his wife helped rekindle in the 1990s. She “brought me back to the Lord,” he told [CNN Medical Reporter Dr. Sanjay] Gupta.

During moments of pain, he shared that Christ has always been there beside him. At one point, Charles mentioned, Christ sat with him on his bed.

“I’m ready to come home,” he remembered praying. But he heard Christ telling him, “This isn’t the time yet.”

Counselors and hospice workers have informed him about what it will be like in his final days. To ease his pain, he’ll be given morphine.

Struggling with that concept as a Christian, Charles wanted to make sure he wasn’t committing suicide. Saying they weren’t pulling the plug on him early, his care workers ensured that they were just keeping him comfortable until the end.

Charles, reassured, disclosed to Gupta that peace came over him then.

“I can’t believe I feel so good about the last week of my life, but I do … I finally got my life right.”

The sports legend wants his next interview to be with Jesus, followed by a discussion with Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When that day comes, [I’ll] dance around the ring, [my] head held high, a smile on [my] face. In the 12th round, somebody is going to raise my hand. I’m going to be victorious.”

Read the rest. My prayers go out to his friends and family and all those who loved him.

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2 responses to “RIP, Nick Charles”

  1. Prayers for him and for his family. I believe he is already victorious.

    I only wish we could offer better options for final palliative care than morphine, which effectively robs people of consciousness while not-always-so-effectively dulling pain. In the case of a person like Nick Charles, whose unflinching willingness to go consciously and prayerfully into that good night is rare and precious, it’s an even bigger tragedy that the US war on drugs extends even to the deathbed, where other opioids like heroin might offer more humane and reflective palliation–and with less risk of unintended overdose. Addiction should be the last thing we worry about in the last hours.

  2. Nick was always a class act as a sports announcer, and more importantly, as a human being. He went out a class act too. I admire him greatly and send condolences to his family.

    I agree with jkm, above, about it being a bitter tragedy that the war on drugs extends to the deathbed. I have terminal cancer and I’ve used morphine a lot – it’s terrible. I have been told by health care professionals that the greatest pain reliever in the world is heroin. I would be interested in what others think about the use of herion during one’s last days. Thanks.

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