I believe there are two sides to the phenomenon known as death,this side where we live, and the other side where we shall continue to live.
- Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
A woman wrote to me recently about the death of her 85-year-old husband. He had been ill for some time with many medical concerns.
The night before he died, she and a friend were sitting by his bedside, playing soft music and quietly talking. “Suddenly we saw him lifting his arms up as if praising God or greeting a relative or friend,” she said. “Then he put his arms down for a while.
“Shortly after this he raised his arms again and clapped very quietly. Both times, he was very much awake and looking up. He did not speak a word, but I could tell he was seeing something indescribable and beautiful,” she said. He passed away gently the next morning.
“Is this common with people facing death?” she asked. “It was like he wanted to go to heaven. He was a devout believer and I think he may have been seeing angels who were there to take him home.”
I will share what I told her: that this is a very common phenomenon seen more often than not by those who are tending the dying.
The time between earthly life and eternal life is impossible to understand, but I firmly believe God allows His children to experience the beauty of heavenly things before they arrive there. You hear this over and over again in end-of-life and hospice circles. It is impossible to either ignore or deny its validity.