When a loved-one leaves this life before we–or they–are ready, it can cause a lot of anxiety for those left behind: What has become of the person for whom we still hold all this love ? Are they alright in the place where they’ve gone–if, indeed, they’ve gone anywhere at all? How can we know?
Sometimes, as the story below demonstrates, all it takes is a little trust and a willingness to pay attention to even the strangest things…
By Janine Gwendoline Smith
John and Emily had accomplished 46 years of marriage. In today’s disposable society, that is quite an accomplishment; to consider the needs and well being of another as important as your own, all the while weathering life’s capricious vicissitudes.
Both John and Emily were immigrants and English was not their first language. But they shared a sense of adventure and flexibility as they made their way in a new country and then raised a beautiful daughter together. John and Emily shared many interests, had lively discussions on varied topics, and were always able to laugh together.
They even managed to navigate the tricky waters of diverging ideologies when Emily at long last found a spiritual path that answered the deeply urgent questions burning in her heart. John, on the other hand, was a natural skeptic, perhaps out of self-protection or to ward of disappointment.
Nonetheless, Emily would often assure John with her convictions of the eternal nature of Soul, reincarnation and life after death, the presence of spiritual guides, and the profound love that is showered upon us all. Still he dismissed the lot of it, often with a wave of his hand and his favourite comment, “Bah!”
Emily would often assure John with her convictions of the eternal nature of Soul. Still he dismissed the lot of it, often with a wave of his hand…”Bah!”
The last few years had seen John in a progressively declining state of health. Emily did all she could to encourage him, uplift him, and give him a positive outlook. There were ups and downs but still John managed to come out on the other side of the bouts, and life would resume some sort of balance once again.
Then a malicious flu struck them both. Emily was very sick and John was having trouble breathing. Despite her own illness, Emily desperately wanted to take John to the hospital. He adamantly refused, yet his condition worsened.
Finally, in the early hours of Sunday morning, John collapsed, and the strenuous attempts of both Emily and the paramedics could not revive him. John was gone! A flurry of activity brought the necessary first responders, and the official business of death began.
Sunday evening I received a call from Emily letting me know of John’s passing. She was exhausted and in shock but her foremost worry was for John on the other side. She knew I shared her spiritual understanding and was hoping John would be open to the help and guidance that would be available at his transition from this life.
There was a bittersweet recognition that all she had told him while he was alive would become evident once he left his mortal coil. Still, she was so very anxious to know that he was OK on the other side of the veil. I reassured her as best I could.
Then, Monday afternoon I received a text on my cell phone from Emily: “I’m on my way.”
I was confused. Had we made some plan that I’d inadvertently forgotten? I tried to reach Emily by phone but had no luck. So, I called her daughter to find out if she knew her mom’s whereabouts and if her mom was in fact coming to see me.
I explained the text to Emily’s daughter. Her first comment was that her mother never used texting to communicate. Then she inquired about the number from which the text message had been sent. When I related it to her, and the fact that the message had Emily’s name attached to it, she was astounded.
Monday afternoon, I received a text from Emily: “I’m on my way.”
“That phone was destroyed a long time ago and we haven’t had that number for ages,” she said.
Now we were both astounded but, quickly, we reached the same conclusion: The message had come from John, who knew I was close with both his wife and daughter and as such would not just dismiss the text as some mistaken communication. Somehow, he had managed to reach across the final frontier and let his wife know he was OK and off now to begin a wonderful spiritual adventure.
A huge sigh of relief came from Emily when I told her the story and relayed John’s message. She bid her partner “Happy Trails,” knowing he was well and had finally realized the truth. She will miss him but is beginning a new chapter of her own, enjoying the spiritual freedom her husband, at long last, now shares.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.