Dad had made it clear when we talked one night during the holidays that he wanted no heroics should something happen and was taken to the hospital. It was that night that he presented me with his living will. I made a joke of it and said that he would probably outlive me. He did not smile, but instead took my hand and said that I would need to be strong when the time came. I stuck the will in my purse and quickly changed the subject. Three days later an ambulance took my father to the hospital. He had had a massive stroke.
For four days I talked to Dad. Of course there was no physical response from him, but on some level, I knew we were connected. I’m certain he heard every word and it was like he was talking to me through my mind.
The doctor’s had expected him to go within twenty-four hours after the stroke and could not understand why he had not already passed. He just kept hanging on. It was on the fourth day that I had a heart to heart chat with Dad. I assured him that I would be all right and that he would be better off letting go of his physical life. Feeling his fear, I explained that I would be there to help when he decided to leave to just let me know.
It was Monday morning about 5am. Something had awakened me. I sat up and standing at the end on my bed was my father. “I am ready” was all I heard and then he was gone. I showered, dressed and started the sixty-mile drive to the hospital.
Once in his room I pulled a chair up to his bed and held his hand. “I’m here, Dad.” I softly whispered. We talked for a while that morning in his dimly lighted room. My brave composure was waning when a remarkable thing happened. His deceased son, my brother, appeared across the bed from me. He put his hand out to Dad beckoning him to go with him. Out loud I exclaimed, “Charlie is here to help you, Dad. The words were barely out of my mouth when the dark hospital room filled with light making the room brighter than the noon sun. I could not move or speak. The light enveloped everything including me. Dad’s hand squeezed my hand as his soul lifted from the shell of his body. In my entire life, I had never felt that much peace or love. I sat there, my hand still wrapped around his, as tears ran down my face. Not tears of sadness, but happy tears. I felt humbled and honored to have witnessed the most amazing and beautiful experience of my earthly life. No longer do I fear the great unknown, death. When my time is finished here, I will welcome it with open arms, but in the mean time, I will continue to share my story so that others, too, will be ready to transcend not with fear, but with love and peace.