Moving up and out to the light
By Jim Wolfson
On my mom’s last day, it was a very special passing as I could see her spirit moving upwards to the light. She died just about 5 years ago. I’m so grateful to have been able to bear witness to this final part of her life.
My mom’s name was Diane. She delighted in being alive. She brought a certain fierceness, and intensity and directness to everything she did that affected people around her. For us that knew her, this is so much of what we take away from her life, and it is really the precious quality that underlies every memory we have of her.
Her last ten years were a struggle and slow demise through the labyrinth of dementia. She was in a nursing home all that time, and gradually lost all apparent connection with the outside world. For her last five years, she would sit in a chair all day, with her eyes closed, occasionally mumbling. She had to be fed every meal. She was kind of in a coma. She didn’t recognize or acknowledge anyone.
It was excruciatingly difficult for me and my family.
Near the end, when it was finally her time, she was being cared for by hospice workers. They told me it would be just a few days now.
I was planning to visit her one Sunday, and my friend Luc Bernard Val called me and asked if he could accompany me. He had never met my mom and really wanted to go with me. Sure I said.
We met at the nursing home in Belmont and went up to Diane’s room. She was lying on her bed with her eyes closed. Luc and I each pulled up a chair on opposite sides of the bed, and we each held one of Diane’s hands. We sat in silence.
And then in my mind’s eye, I could see a funnel of light directly over Diane. It was clear as day. And I could see her spirit lifting upwards. It felt kind of profound, to be able to share with my mom in this final act, to accompany her and bear witness.
I knew from my training in the spirit world with Betsy Bergstrom and others, to just be with her, and not get involved. Not try to help or interfere in any way.
I also know that I don’t know. There is that classic question with all inward, shamanic work: “Am I just making this shit up?” We never really know. Humility is a good travel mate.
After a little while, Luc Bernard and I left.
About 30 minutes later, I got a call from the attending nurse at the nursing home. She said to me, “Aw Jim, you had such a good visit with your mom, because right after you left, she passed.”
I’m very grateful for this special window my mom gave me to this most intimate and lonely part of a life. I believe that Luc Bernard and I helped her that final day. Who knows?