Hi Marvs, That is a good question. I have had that experience a couple of times and I guess that you just have to say what you can from the heart and pray that God will do that work in the person you try to reach.
I know that when my father was ill, I went to him and said that I had to tell him something important, that I had talked with him about many times, but now he was about to face the leaving of this world and that he did not want to do that without Jesus. He had questioned the gospel message and I felt that I was not really competent to help him understand.
I finally told him that I just wanted him with me in eternity and the day before he died he told me “I did that things you told me about” (asking Jesus into his life). I did the same with my mother, but she rejected the answer because of deep hurt my father had brought into her life, she was bitter and felt that she had gotten a bad deal. I said what I needed to say, and have to leave the rest in God’s hands.
I guess what I am trying to say is that maybe the best thing is to know within yourself that when you get an opportunity to meet with someone on the edge of eternity, you don’t need to worry about what to do. Just tell them, love them, and then let God do His work. You may never know the outcome of your words, but you will know that you opened the door to heaven and invited them to walk through it. Jesus is invitational, and so must we be.
I don’t know if that is really an answer, but I know that I can’t grieve about my mother not coming because I do not know what God does with us as we die. Perhaps He comes to us one last time to let is really choose. I hope so, but have no basis for that . Thanks for asking the question.