By Marlene Chapelle
My mom and I were never really close. We were always at odds with each other. She was that way with my sister as well. My two brothers had children and she would go to their houses for visits. I had to trick her into finally coming to visit with my three children for a birthday. I did not want her to die without resolving this difficult situation.
Many, many years passed. She was seventy-one when, one day, she phoned to say she was losing weight and couldn’t keep any food down. She said that her doctor suggested she go to the emergency ward of her local hospital. I went that night to keep her company. I did not know that she would live for only three more weeks.
The first week the doctors did testing. She was fully conscious that first week. My sister, two brothers and I visited each day. By week two, she was in and out of consciousness. The doctors finally told us she had pancreatic cancer and was dying. My brothers stopped coming to visit because they wanted to remember her as she had been and not the gaunt woman she had become in the hospital.
From week two onwards my sister and I would visit our mom each day. She was mostly unconscious now, but while attending to her that second week, I realized something: If she had not been so cold and distant with me, I would not have become the person I am so proud to be today. I knew the adversity had made me strong. And as I sat by her bed one afternoon, she woke up. This gave me the chance to tell her she was the best mom I could ever have had. She said she did not know I felt that way.
Days passed and by week three, my mom’s organs began shutting down. She was now completely unconscious and on pain medication. By the end of that week, both my sister and I sat at her bedside every evening. One night a relative came to visit. It was almost closing time for visitors when my sister said that he needed to say good night and let our mom sleep.
The relative left quickly and my sister told me that our mom was about to pass on. When I asked how she knew, she said Mom’s breathing had changed and was slowing down. It was now time for us to begin preparing spiritually for our mother’s death. We sang the word HU, an ancient name for God, and I closed my eyes to see what was happening inwardly.
I saw my mom and me standing beside a semi-transparent curtain. In the distance through the curtain, I could see her relatives and friends. My dad, who had died five years earlier, was also there. I told my mom she could go through the curtain and be with him, but she did not move. She was afraid.
Then I saw her old dog, Perky. I pointed to him on the other side of the curtain and, right then and there, she made a beeline for her beloved dog. Her deep love had overpowered her fear and taken her through the curtain. As she moved towards Perky, she became younger and younger. Then the relatives, my dad, Perky and my mom turned, walked into the distance and disappeared.
I came out of that experience so excited. There was life beyond death! I had proof now. My mom did not die; only her physical body died. I now knew that her essence, Soul, lives on in the inner worlds, just like my dad, Perky and the relatives who were there to greet her. I told my sister what I saw, and she told me what she heard at the moment of our mother’s death: a whooshing sound that came out of Mom’s body, then zoomed upward and away.
Now we both had our proof that there is life beyond death.
The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.