With regularity I’m asked the question, “When is my mother going to die?” My answer can trigger a phone tree that immediately puts people on airplanes all over the country. My answer initiates a huge shift in priorities; people give a moment’s notice to their employers and families. Loved ones drop everything and come.
I’d better be right. Right? Most folks follow the textbook in a predictable sequence in their decline, but some don’t. If I’m wrong about timing, it’s never a bad idea to come visit your loved ones. Right?
Over the years I have observed a phenomenon I call ‘the wills to live.’ There seems to be three: the will of the physical body, the will of the emotional body, and the divine will. They all work in concert for the perfect timing of release.
I’ve predicted that someone would die within hours to days, and then they hold on for over a week, then die seconds after a loved one finally arrives to say goodbye. I have seen people die moments after I have assured their family they have weeks of life left. Sometimes the human body outlives the emotional body despite horrific physical circumstances. Most people die when their room is empty, by choice?
Do we have some control over when we take our last breath?