With the worsening of her illness, the administration of morphine should be intensified, but Chiara Luce refuses: “It will take away my lucidity and I can only offer Jesus my pain,” she says resolutely. Her dad Ruggero is constantly impressed, almost in disbelief, also by the determination and serenity that his daughter demonstrates in the most difficult moments. Sometimes he goes as far as spying on her through the keyhole, to be sure that her daughter is not playing a part to make it a little ‘less painful’ for her parents: and she is there, always serene, and sometimes he hears her singing
One early morning her mother enters the hospital room where Chiara was hospitalized again:
“I go in, and seeing the terrible mess around the room, I immediately understood that it had been a terrible night for her. Ruggero signals to me to stay silent because Chiara seemed to have just fallen asleep. I leaned on the wall, next to her, her face so pale that she seemed dead already. I watch her in silence, but she had apparently realized that her mom had arrived, and with a huge struggle, she tried to smile at me. So I asked her what had happened, and she replied: “Everything, mom! Everything! But you know, I didn’t waste a thing, not even – putting her thumb and index finger together – not even this much pain. I offered everything to Jesus”. So I turned to Ruggero and we really felt, looking at each other, that we should have kneeled in front of this daughter of ours: to admire and thank God for the wonders He was making in her soul”.
In another moment of particular physical suffering she confided to her mother: “Jesus removes my stains with bleach to remove even blackheads, bleach burns. So when I get to Heaven, I will be as white as snow”. And again: “See, I have nothing left, but I still have my heart and with that I can still love”. Don Lino, the assistant pastor, brings the Eucharist to her every day: for Chiara that is the most anticipated and important moment of her days. She feels that the end is near. She prepares herself, and prepares those around her. With her friend Chicca she chooses the songs that she would like for her funeral. She wants it to be a party, and does not neglect any detail: the flowers, the hairstyle, her parents’ outfits, and her dress: white, like a wedding gown … To her mom she reveals “When I will have gone to Heaven, you and Dad will write the experience we have lived together and you will donate it to others”. At another time, she warns her: “When you get me ready, you will have to repeat – now Chiara Luce sees Jesus”.
On October 5th, although exhausted, she had time to say goodbye to the many people that came by for an update, especially the youth, to whom she feels she has to pass the baton, like at the Olympics, because, she confides remembering Chiara Lubich’s words: “The youth are the future: they have only one life and they must live it well”.
Soon after, she signals her mother to move closer to her: “Mom, Ciao! Be happy, because I am”. Dad Ruggero, on the other side of the bed, asks if the invitation is for him too, and she nods with a smile. Those will be her last words, but not her last act of love, because Chiara will donate her corneas, the only part of her body not affected by the cancer..
Chiara Luce died at 4:10 AM on October 7th, 1990. At her funeral, celebrated by Bishop mons. Maritano, the musical groups Gen Rosso and Gen Verde sing the songs she chose: the church is packed with hundreds of youth, and almost the entire town is on the street that leads to the little cemetery, where she will be buried in the little family chapel; and there too, more singing and emotional tears. Chiara Lubich had sent a large flower arrangement and a telegram to her parents: “Let’s thank God for this luminous masterpiece”.