Yesterday as I was driving around San Diego County I was listening to the live Fox News feed from Rome. The news about the Pope was pretty bad, and in fact for awhile there were offering unconfirmed reports that he had died.
At one point the Vatican dispelled the rumors of death, but did announce that "this evening or this night, God will open the doors of heaven to the Pope". The Pope was still said to be conscious, and was probably apprised of the gravity of his situation. I'm just guessing, but I don't think he was too worried.
As Shepherd Smith talked with several Catholic leaders, in the background you could hear the crowd in St. Peter's Square singing choruses, including one I remembered from when I was a kid. Although they were singing in Italian, I recognized the tune to "We Are One In the Spirit, We Are One in the Lord".
I found myself imagining that scene in the Pope's apartment. John Paul II is lying in bed, gravely ill and passing in and out of consciousness, and outside his window 70,000 people are singing praises to God on his behalf. How cool must that be. I can think of worse ways to go.
The Rocky Mountain News has some thoughts on the real message of the Pope's life - Be Not Afraid.