Brenda, a family friend, called me from the hospital in tears. Marcus, her husband of thirty-two years, had died earlier that evening. His passing was not unexpected – his prostate cancer had spread throughout his body, and three weeks ago Marcus entered palliative care. I had visited him twice, giving the couple and their two grown sons whatever support I could. And now, I was glad to support Brenda in this time of her need – and gently let her know that she should not feel guilty because Marcus had died when she and her sons had left him to go downstairs to the hospital cafeteria to eat dinner.

“I feel so selfish,” she said, sobbing. “While we were eating – and laughing! Marc was dying – alone!”

“Brenda,” I said tenderly, “take a deep breath, and tell me what happened.”

After a moment, she told me the story. She and her sons had been visiting, and she noticed that Marcus was a bit more quiet than usual. At times, he even seemed to stare off into space. Brenda sensed that her husband was feeling troubled about something, and redoubled her efforts to cheer him up. Around five o’clock, he said he was feeling better, and told her and their sons to go downstairs for a bite to eat. “Don’t go hungry on my account,” he said.

Brenda chuckled into the phone. “How typically Marc. He never wanted to inconvenience anyone. Especially me and the boys.” Then she began weeping again. “But I feel so… so guilty!”

“I understand your feelings,” I told her. “But you have nothing to feel guilty about. Look at it this way – maybe Marcus asked you to leave because deep down he felt it was his time to pass into spirit. Maybe his soul just knew.”

Carefully, I explained to my friend what I had come to believe, based on what I have learned through my work as a medium. The moment of someone’s death and transition into the afterlife is difficult for some individuals, because they feel caught between the physical world and the spirit world. On one hand, their soul is preparing to meet the spirits of family members who have already passed and are happy to see them, yet they also feel tied to friends and family members who are still living and are very sad to see the individual go. So, rather than give pain to loved ones left behind, the individual tries to arrange his own passing, when no one is around.

“But I don’t understand,” Brenda said. “Why would Marc want to die?”

“No one wants to die,” I said, trying to comfort her. “But his body was very weak. He was in pain, and under constant sedation. His choice was to remain here in pain, or transition to a more peaceful realm, where his spirit would be free to express its limitlessness.”

“And he didn’t die alone, thinking that we’d abandoned him at his worst moment?”

“Not at all,” I said, and told her what had happened at the passing of my mentor, Sadie, who was like a surrogate mother to me. As Sadie’s moment of death approached, she telephoned to tell me that she was being visited by her mother and brothers and other family members in spirit who were preparing a place for her in the next world. This cheered Sadie immensely.

Brenda seemed buoyed by my words. Yet she asked, “Are you sure this is what happened to Marc?”

I was about to tell Brenda that yes, I believed that wholeheartedly. But I remembered that Brenda was a friend, not a client, and she was comfortable with her religious convictions. I knew what I was telling her was radical in her eyes, and probably not easy to digest for someone whose spiritual ideas were different than mine.

“I do feel it’s true,” I said, “but until it’s our time go home, we really won’t know for sure.”

“And do you think…” Brenda struggled with her words. “Do you think… when it’s my time to… you know… will Marc be there to help me… into heaven?”

“I’m sure of it,” I promised. “That much I know for sure.”

“Thank you,” she said softly. After a sigh, we talked a few minutes more, then she hung up. I had wanted badly to tell her that, when he was ready, Marcus would visit his wife on the earth plane, and continue to watch over her and their sons. But, as I said, Brenda was comfortable with her religious beliefs and I wasn’t going to press my philosophy onto hers. But I did tactfully let her know that if she started dreaming about Marcus, or if should she start finding pennies in her house, or catch his presence in the corner of an eye – well, she could call me to chat anytime.

If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, please write me at mail @ . And please visit me again!

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