They told a story of a hermit who was dying in Scetis. The brothers stood round his bed, and clothed him, and began to weep. But he opened his eyes and began to laugh; this happened three times. So the brothers asked him, ‘Abba, why are you laughing when we are weeping?’ He told them, ‘I laughed the first time because you fear death; I laughed the second time because you are not ready for death; I laughed the third time because I am passing from labour to rest, and yet you weep.’ As he said this, he closed his eyes and died.

– Sayings of the Desert Fathers

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