Glimpses of Heaven
By Trudy Harris

When God Calls Us Home

I have been privileged to be with many friends, patients and loved ones who were recuperating after surgery, healing after a trauma or coming close to their time of dying. “When am I going to die?” is a question I often have been asked while visiting terminally ill patients.

I say that their doctor can tell them how their disease is progressing, the lab can tell them how their blood work looks, and I can tell them honestly how much time I think they have, but that God himself will speak to their spirit and let them know when he is calling them home. They are often content with that answer.

I remember one patient saying on my very first visit, “I’m really glad you are going to be my nurse—can I still have a drink and a smoke in the afternoon [without the oxygen on]? And when am I going to die?”

Then one day I was called to his house early in the morning. He looked at me and said, “Remember the day you told me that God would speak to my spirit and let me know when my time had come? Well, he told me today that this is my day.” To me, he did not appear to be close to his time at all, but he was emphatic.

I had prayed earlier in the day with him, as he had asked, but now he needed more. His early background was in the Catholic Church and I sensed that he was longing to hear the prayers of his youth one more time.

We said the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be to the Father and the Act of Contrition together. “That’s right, honey,” he said. “That’s right.” He was immediately comforted and died gently that afternoon; it was all he needed to let go and be at peace. He had heard God speak to his spirit and although he was only 54 years old, he followed his master home to heaven.

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!

Leave a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Your Comments (9)

My dad died of a massive heart attack I keep.on thinking if I would of taken him to the hospital he still would be alive but than I think that god would of took him any way if it was his time to leave us I don't know what to believe any more

Dearest Ida, I understand your grief all too well as I also lost my husband this year in Feb. I am continuing to see myself in different lights all the time. I look back to the time of my husband's death when our dog awakened me as I lay next to my husband's bed on the couch. She wanted to go outside. I heard my husband's breathing and said to myself I had to tell hospice tomorrow that he was having Cheyenne-Stokes respiration's. (We had just decided to change from palliative care to full hospice care on Monday & this was Sunday). I came back into the room after a few minutes and my baby boy was gone. He waited until I had left the room to die. I firmly believe this was his way & God's way of letting me "handle" his death without automatically wanting to start CPR. I am a nurse and this was his third time with cancer and he had chosen to not have any heroic measures done.
It does not get any easier dealing with my loss but each day does bring new awareness of our love & life we had together. I sincerely hope in some small way this will help you.

When a love one passes away, are they aware of the person or persons that are living? When they say that he they will watch over you . Is it true that we will feel their presence?

God is love and where love is, that's where God abides. I beleive that when a loved one dies and goes on to heaven, with God, that they are watching over us and interceeding for us. They are with the Master now and love us still. In the Catholic faith it is called "the communion of saints" those on earth and those who have died in Christ.
Trudy harris

My better half passed away June 11 2012. I am still grieving and missing him so much. I am lost and still can not accept the fact that he is gone. I come home from work expecting to be there.And it hurts so much when he is not.We knew each other for 31 years ands were partners for 16 of the 31 years. God called him home. He was suffering and in pain and I understand that that he is not hurting anymore. I just wished that he knew I was there by his bedside every day and sometime nights. The one night that I went home to rest and I had to go back to work he passed away that night. I feel so guilty for not not being there when he needed me the most. I know that he loved me and I loved him.

Dear Ida,

Your loved one knew very clearly that you were with him day and night, loving and caring for him. Awareness of the presence of others and hearing - stay with a person up to and including the time they are leaving. As hospice nurses, we learned over and over again that everyone you have ever loved and everyone who has ever loved you is with you when you are dying. In some way we do not understand, God allows that to happen.We know it from experience and what patients tell us when they come back, momentarily just before they die.

Be at peace, you loved well.

Trudy Harris

Ida Lara, When my husband was in the hospital terminally ill, a nurse said that people who are close to death often choose a time when they are alone to die. It is their choice, so do not think you are guilty for not being there when he died. I joined a church grief support group which helped me during my grieving process.

My better half passed away June 11 2012. I am still grieving and missing him so much. I am lost and still can not accept the fact that he is gone. I come home from work expecting to be there.And it hurts so much when he is not.We knew each other for 31 years ands were partners for 16 of the 31 years. God called him home. He was suffering and in pain and I understand that that he is not hurting anymore. I just wished that he knew I was there by his bedside every day and sometime nights. The one night that I went home to rest and I had to go back to work he passed away that night. I feel so guilty for not not being there when he needed me the most. I know that he loved me and I loved him.

When a love one passes away, are they aware of the person or persons that are living? When they say that he they will wtch over you . Is it true that we will feel their presence?