The dying will actually see their deceased parents and tell them with elation they are on their way. At this point, they are typically in a semi conscious state, within a week or two of passing. It is beautiful to witness the dying also sharing their joyous visions of angels and all sorts of spiritual and religious figures commonly hovering up in the corners of their rooms. Calm words are spoken of packing, bringing the car around and going home; they get ready to hop on the train they can hear coming or they don’t want to miss the bus.
Family members can be alarmed when the dying start speaking out loud to loved ones who have passed before them. Then they become fascinated when I explain what I believe is happening based on witnessing this near death phenomenon routinely.
Most hospice patients will be found reaching their arms up into the stillness above their bodies. When this happens I slip my hand in theirs, a brilliant contentment follows. I wonder whose hand they are reaching for; whose hand do they think they are holding? It delights me to think that my hand could be representing the hand of God, their mother or a deceased child. Maybe their contentment comes from simply knowing that they are not alone.