Many people believe that a person who is dying is greeted by the spirits of their deceased loved ones. Those spirits are there to help guide them and offer comfort as they depart from this world.
David Kessler, one of the most renowned experts on death and grief, wrote a book called, «Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die.
The book discusses three uniquely shared experiences that challenge our ability to explain and fully understand the mystery of our final days.
According to the author the first is “visions.” As the dying lose sight of this world, some people appear to be looking into the world to come.
The second shared experience is getting ready for a “trip.” The phenomenon of preparing oneself for a journey isn’t new or unusual. These trips may seem to us to be all about leaving, but for the dying, they may be more about arriving.
Finally, the third phenomenon is “crowded rooms.” The dying often talk about seeing a room full of people. In truth, we never die alone. Just as loving hands greeted us when we were born, so will loving arms embrace us when we die.
I’ve always been a firm believer of the spirit world. My Dad allowed me to witness it firsthand.
Dad fell on Dec. 18, 2019 and broke his hip which required immediate surgery the following day. He never fully recovered and experienced a lot of complications from the surgery, hospitalizations and old age. He was 91 years old with some underlying health issues in his lungs and heart.
After being home for two weeks we had a major setback on Feb. 5, when his health declined so quickly, we had to make an emergency trip to the hospital.
I sat in the ER room with him for hours as they did a bunch of tests and later prepped a room. He was in and out of wake states but when he was out, he was having lucid dreams. He was mumbling and talking to someone. His legs started moving like he was taking a walk. He lifted his hands as if he was building something. He pointed to the corner. Later he grabbed the side of the hospital bed, opened his eyes and yelled, “I’m falling.”
When he opened his eyes it took him a minute to realize where he was. In fact, he had to ask me what was going on.
Often, he would stare off into the distance, his eyes clearly following something I and others in the room couldn’t see.
He spent more time in the hospital and later a rehab facility. But he wanted to be home and so on Feb. 26 Dad came home.
He died two days later.
In those final two days I would sleep in his room at night to tend to any of his needs.
That first night home he slept and started talking to someone again. He lifted his hands in the air and I watched as his hands made the motions of hammering something into a wall or building something.
During the remainder of that night, there were times where he would just open his eyes and again follow something I couldn’t see.
The next morning Dad called me to the room.
“Do you see that person standing there?” he asked me.
“No Dad I don’t. Do you know who it is?”
He didn’t answer but he kept looking in that direction for quite some time.
Thursday night into Friday morning was filled with more vivid dreams. He moved, looked around, talked and even laughed.
On Feb. 28. I got him cleaned up and he drifted back to sleep. Around 8:10 a.m. he woke up long enough to wave at my Mom as she walked in the room.
Afterwards I was alone with Dad in the room. He looked beyond me; his eyes suddenly looked different as did his breathing. He had slight convulsion and he looked right at me.
He was gone right after that. I watched his last breath leave his body. I looked out the window he had been peering out at and saw the rain turn into a brief snow flurry.
I called the hospice nurse immediately. She was at the house within minutes, checked his vital and pronounced him dead.
“He is gone, someone was here to greet him,” I told the nurse.
She nodded but I don’t think she realized what I meant.
I know he is with whoever it was that made the trip back to our world to take him to Heaven. I hope when it’s my time Dad comes to take me home.
Patty Leon, Senior Editor