I was not with my son, Chris, when he died. Contemplating Chris' final moments was a heart wrenching thing to come to terms with. He was shot. Neither I nor anyone else was physically there to comfort him as he lay dying. I felt terrible guilt and anguish about this for a long time. What kind of mother was I to not be there for my son?
I can only hope his physical pain was fleeting. That faith brought him comfort in his fear. I wonder if he knew he was dying. Maybe it went so fast, he didn't have time to know. Who finally brought me comfort was Sister Dolores, the pastoral care counselor, in my bereavement support group. Sister Dolores says that no one ever dies alone. That the "spirits" always come to be with the dying person.
I believe this. My deceased parents loved Chris so much as a child. I am sure they were there to be with him as he lay dying and to accompany his soul to heaven or beyond. This brings me great solace. I often feel my parents presence in my life before times of trouble as if to tell me things will be all right ahead of time. When they come, I know to expect a storm, but that I will weather it. So I know they saved my Chris from being alone.
I also had a previous experience with this when my mother-in-law died. I was not with her, but had a vision of my father coming down a beautiful staircase surrounded by clouds. I took note of the time. She died later that evening. When my husband described her death, he told me the exact same time when he felt her life or spirit had left her body even though she was not physically dead. It was the same time I had noted when I had envisioned my father.
Another piece of wisdom from Sister Dolores. The soul often leaves the body before actual physical death so there is no longer physical suffering or torment in the way that we imagine. I hope this can be of comfort to many of you.
Dying is over for our children. They are at peace from any suffering, evil, injustice, horror or unknown. They are well and happy now and bathed in a beautiful light we can hardly imagine. They are with family. Their ordeal is over. Let your ordeal be over. Scream and let your anger out. Pound pillows and the bed. Let those final moments end in your head.
___________Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.________
Ralph Waldo Emerson