“We need to go soon.”
“How much time has passed since I got here?”
“Nearly a week I suppose.”
“I need to talk to our son one last time before we move on to the next phase.”
“Ok, but you need to do it now. Fortunately, it is nighttime there so he should be asleep.”
I’m sitting in a room that is totally white, white walls, white floor, white ceiling, even two white chairs. The odd thing is that there does not appear to be any windows and I don’t see a door, even after turning completely around. But even odder is that I don’t know how I got here or even where here is. As I turn back toward the two white chairs, I am startled by the appearance of someone sitting in one of the chairs. I did not hear anyone come in. I don’t even know how they could have come into this room without doors or windows. Then I look closer at the person sitting in the chair and was shocked to see that it was my mother.
“Son, come sit down here next to me so we can talk for a bit.”
“How is this possible? You have…had Alzheimer’s and the last I saw you, you could not talk to anyone. Then you died a week ago. You cannot possibly be here. Wow, there must have been something really bad in that seafood I ate last night.”
“First son, we don’t use terms like ‘died’ here. And it was nothing you ate. The physical body may fail, but the soul, the spirit, the essence, or whatever you want to call it moves on.”
“What do you mean moves on?”
“Well that a bit harder to explain in terms that you can understand now. Let’s just say that the core of what makes you an individual survives.”
“So your spirit survives and you remember everything that happened? You remember me? Because the last time I saw you, you did not seem to remember me or anyone else.”
“I remember with more clarity than ever before.”
“So, did it hurt when you died…er…moved on?”
“No, not really. I’ll tell you what really hurt. What really hurt was being alive in a shell of a body that could no longer communicate with the ones I loved. What hurt was seeing the pain in their faces as they looked at me. What hurt was hearing them talk about me as if I could not hear anything or know what they were saying about me. You see, my spirit could still hear and see everything. I just had no way to respond. For example, I remember the day several months ago when you came to see me with your wife and daughter to tell me that my husband, your father, had died. I cried so hard inside and wanted to scream out. But most of all, I wanted to get out of that chair and hold all of you, but it was impossible for me to command my body to get up. It just sat there and stared ahead. I’m sure you thought I did not understand what you said.”
“Yes, that is exactly what we thought. However, I saw a little tear form in the corner of your eye and although I never told my wife, I was sure that maybe something of what we said did get through to you.”
“Then you all got up to leave and I tried to scream out not to go, that I wanted to be with family at least for a little bit more. I wanted to get the nurses to call you back inside, but no sound came out of my lips. That is when I started to pray for the end to come. I prayed to Him to take me out of my misery and let me be reunited with my husband. I prayed for an end to my suffering which I knew would never improve. Over the following days, I lost track of time. Time meant nothing to me anymore. Days blended into nights as a kaleidoscope of light and dark seemed to pass by me. Then one day Jake came to me while I slept.”
“At first I was startled and afraid, but Jake comforted me by explaining what had happened to him after he died. He told me that he had been given time to stay behind and watch over me until my time to join him would come. It was strange at first talking to him as I slept. It was as if he was in the same room with me. But over the weeks that followed, I looked forward to seeing him every night and talking with him about all we had done over the years.”
“You mean like we are talking now?”
“Does that mean that I’m dying too?”
“Well, we all die in time, but your time is not quite yet. I reached out to you because I felt that I needed to talk with you one last time to let you know that everything is OK.”
“What do you mean one last time?”
“When our physical body dies, we all move on to another existence based on the life we led. Sometimes it is with others that we knew from before. Sometimes it is with strangers. You dad and I will be going on our next journey together again and he has been waiting for me.”
At that point I heard a door open. I swiveled in my chair to look behind me and saw a door open where there was no door before. Then my dad walked into the room.
“Hi son! I guess you know that I’ve come for your mother. It is time for us to go now.”
He walked over and held out his hand to my mom to help her up. It was then that I noticed that she did not look old anymore. Neither did my dad. In fact, they looked young again, rather like they did in their wedding picture.
As my mom got up, I stood too and embraced her begging her not to leave. My dad put his hand on my shoulder and said that this is the way it has to be and that I had my own family to take care of. In fact, he said that soon one of them would be needing a lot of my help. I asked him for details, but he said that they were not allowed to say more and perhaps had already said too much.
As my mom released me from her embrace, I noticed a small tear in the corner of her eye, much like the one I saw months ago when I tried to tell her that her husband had died. She took my dad’s hand and together they walked to the door. As they got to the door, they turned to face me and said, “Don’t worry and don’t be sad. Everything is OK.” Then they turned and walked out the door.
When I woke up in the morning, I felt as if I had been up all night. My wife told me that I was mumbling all night, but that she could not understand a word of it. However, it did keep her up half the night. She wanted to know if I was having a bad dream about the death of my parents. I looked at her and said, “Don’t worry. It’s fine.”
From that day forward, I was at peace with the passing of my parents, now ten years ago. It doesn’t mean that I don’t miss them, but the pain of their loss is gone because I know they are happy and together again. I just hope that is true of all those we lose too soon.
End of story.
C’ya next time.
PS. Saturday’s entry, if it happens at all, will be on Sunday this week due to spending the day in Jacksonville at the 2013 Jacksonville SQL Saturday.