She passed peacefully. Her Hospice nurse, hospice chaplain and I stood by her side at her hospital bed in our living room. Her hospice chaplain played a short, soft piece on Emma’s electronic organ; Emma stirred in recognition. Then, moments before Emma passed, our hospice chaplain touched the center of Emma’s forehead with frankincense and myrrh oil that she had brought from Israel. I touched Emma’s shoulder and laid my hand on hers. Our loving thoughts were of comfort and peace, to ease her along her way, to let her know she is OK, to offer her clear and free choice of passage through her journey and to her next lifetime.
Two days later, my spiritual teacher friend came and sat with me. He told me that Emma is aware that she is out of her body now and in a strange new place, like a dream state, the bardo, the Tibetan Buddhists call it, which may make her feel a bit uncomfortable. My friend said that when our consciousness enters this new place we are given choices as to where to go next; we tend to gravitate toward the familiar.
Emma loved to travel and during this time, she had been here with us, her family. Beginning about three weeks before Emma’s passing, I sensed her former, sunny smiling self around me when I was upstairs. Strange, I thought. She’s down in the living room in the hospital bed, yet she is here. She is beginning to leave her physical form, I reckoned. My brother later told me that during that time, he, too, down in North Carolina, had sensed her presence.
After her passing I sensed Emma’s presence again here in our house in Delaware as did my daughter, Kellie, down in North Carolina. Kellie, having fallen asleep beside my younger granddaughter, awakened around three in the morning to see a white light, an orb, dance in a partial figure eight in the room and then vanish. Then their chihuahua, in my older granddaughter’s bedroom, barked briefly. The next morning, in their car on their way to the school bus, my younger granddaughter, 8, sitting next to Kellie, looked behind her, then turning to Kellie, said, “Mom … who’s that woman sitting in the back seat?” When she turned to look back again, the woman was gone. “She looked like Grandmom,” said my granddaughter. “She was dressed in blue.”
The burial outfit I had chosen for Emma is blue. My granddaughter did not know this.
Even at Emma’s funeral, “She’s not here,” I thought. “She’s just not here.” My brother and Kellie sensed her absence, too. And, so, like a butterfly, she had flitted among each of us in her family, the flowers of her life – her children and her grandchildren – to see what we were up to and to make sure we were all right and then gone on her way, true to her character.
And, so, Emma, peaceful travels. May you, our mother in this lifetime, journey safely and with love. We miss you.