***image4*** This is a very personal thing, but it underlined my beliefs so beautifully, and made me able to accept Dad’s passing with a lot less grief than I had when my Mum died several years earlier, so I feel ready to tell it. I like to think that had I been with her when she died, I might have seen the same thing as I did with Dad. On the other hand, I wasn’t ‘awake’ then, so maybe I would have missed it.
I’d wanted to go and see Dad many times during his last few weeks of his life, but I knew that I could only afford the one trip at the time. It was a six hour train ride away in Norfolk. Dad was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, and it was so far advanced that we knew he didn’t have very long. I wanted to try and make sure I was with him when he died, and so I was waiting for a sign that the time had come for me to make the trip.
***image3***Finally one day, I just knew. This was it. I set off, travelling to the other side of the country and when I reached the Nursing Home I was pretty shocked that my Dad, who last time I’d seen him a month or so earlier was still mobile and talking, was helpless in bed, unable to move or speak, and under the merciful influence of morphine. I sat and talked to him, thinking back to the vibrant, sport-obsessed man he used to be. How I’d watched him play cricket as a child, and how we’d marvelled at his ability, which was retained even in his seventies, to beat youngsters at badminton.
To see a man previously so strong and on whom I had relied for the strength through most of my life in such a state was terrible, and I was glad for him that he would soon be out of the body that had become so useless. I was heart-broken that I was losing my Dad, but I didn’t want him to suffer any more; he’d be better off with Mum. After a couple of hours I went to get some sleep, but I had barely made it to my son’s house, where I was staying, when my sister Mary rang to say that I needed to go back right away.
Dad was fading, and we settled in to wait. At about 5am I was sitting in the chair across from the bed, not comfortable enough to sleep, but letting myself drift into a hypnogogic state to get some emotional support from my guides and angels. I was little expecting what they were to show me.
I was completely gone from consciousness when I saw myself rise up from my chair and walk to the bed. I was transparent, in spirit form and as I approached the bed, Dad’s spirit sat up, which his physical form was incapable of doing. I reached him and we hugged. After a few moments, I saw myself walk back to the chair and sink back into my body.
***image1***I looked back at Dad and his spirit had risen to a standing position. He was still attached by his feet, and although the spirit struggled, it could not break free. I felt so happy. I knew without any doubt that Dad not only wanted to go, but that he had somewhere to go to, somewhere he couldn’t wait to be. I felt so relaxed that I was able to go to another room to sleep on a sofa. Two hours later I was woken and told it was time. I went back to Dad, and after a few moments he breathed his last. I saw a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye, and knew that Dad had gone to the light.
At the moment of death my Dad’s body immediately assumed a wax-like appearance as his spirit left him. There was no point in crying; although of course I did; he wasn’t there any more. He was in a better place.
This affected me so much that for the first time at a funeral, I was able to detach from the normal horror of imagining your loved one inside the coffin. I could remember how devastated I’d been when my Mum’s coffin had been there in front of me, and then later at the cemetery, how I’d been unable to believe that it was her they were lowering into the ground.
Dad’s funeral was a special occasion, because of all the people who came to say goodbye, and it was sad, because I had to accept that I would never see my Dad, as my Dad, ever again. However, the coffin itself meant little to me, and nor did the remains inside it. I knew that like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, Dad had metamorphosed into something much more wonderful than the discarded shell he’d left behind. Dad wasn’t in than box; he was above us, around us, chuckling with his wicked sense of humour at what his friends were saying about him.
When the coffin was placed into the ground, I had to curb my impatience at the lack of purpose of it all. We were burying a wooden box with an empty shell inside it. I was actually excited for Dad, imagining where he was now, and also knowing that there would always be a part of him watching over me. Even if he was reincarnated, a part of him would remain in spirit, a guardian over me. How could I be grief-stricken at that thought?
***image2*** T his story is an extract from Jenny’s new book, Come Back To Life. For more details please visit Jenny’s website.