Glimpses of Heaven
By Trudy Harris

She Knew They Were Leaving for Heaven

A new friend recently told me about her elderly mother, who had been diagnosed with dementia years before. It was so painful for my friend not to be recognized by the one who had raised her so lovingly and whom she loved very much.

I have a long-held belief that people with dementia have frequent moments of lucidity and understanding that we do not know about. They experience momentary enlightenments during which they remember and understand just as we do, although we do not know about it at the time.

Necessity required that my friend’s mother enter an Episcopalian nursing residence, which she called home for the rest of her life. She was a very happy soul who smiled a great deal and seemed contented in the world she now occupied. The nurses and aides who cared for her loved her. They often said how wonderful it would be to have all the patients as contented and peaceful she was.

When her mother died, my friend was approached at the funeral by one of the nurses who had cared for her all those years.

“I have wanted to tell you something for a long time now but never got around to it,” she said. “Over the years we often found your mother sitting at the bedside of patients in the last days and hours of their lives. She would stop by, hold their hands and just stay with them while they were dying.” Somehow, on some level, she knew that God was calling them home to himself and she did not want them to be alone on the journey.

It is good to ponder these kinds of things when we are with loved ones and friends we think do not know what is going on around them. They may be more in touch with God, his plans and his world than we are.

Trudy Harris, RN, is the author of the popular Glimpses of Heaven and More Glimpses of Heaven. Although now retired, she was a hospice nurse and president of Jacksonville's Hospice Foundation for Caring where she raised more than $45 million in capital contributions. You can find her on Facebook!

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Your Comments (2)

Thank you Jane for listening. God bless you.

I, too, was a Hospice Nurse. My experiences were different than Trudy's. People in their last days would tell me their secrets that they had never told anyone. Secrets of abuse, sexual, physical, emotional. Back in our day (early and middle 1900's) you knew you had to suck it up and keep it too yourself that was survival. I was honored to hold their hand and listen to their stories and give them some consulation that our precious Heavenly Father was there with them all the time and he understood their pain. One person especially, I was ready to leave, had my things in my hands ready to leave when she started to tell me these awful things she had endured and had never spoken of until that moment. She went on for over an hour. I was afraid to put my things down or sit down I did not want to inturupt her time to express herself. It gave her peace to know that at long last she was able to unburden your heart to someone she felt understood and would hold that in sacred trust which I did. I explained in my notes that the patient had things they needed to share and they were very personal. I was never asked to explain the time I spent past the allotted time. I was always grateful to the office for trusting me.