Glimpses of Heaven
By Trudy Harris

When We Are Close to Death

When our lives are ebbing away and we are beginning to decline and getting closer to death, we sense it very clearly. We see and hear things differently.

Many patients over the years have explained to me in minute detail the things they feel are changing inside their bodies. One man told me he could feel his liver shrinking; when I asked how, he simply smiled and said he felt it physically getting smaller and no longer working. Another patient, with a brain tumor, said she knew it was getting larger because she noticed that things that had always come easily to her no longer did. She felt the tumor was crowding out the parts of her brain that usually handled those things.

Patients will sometimes tell you the day they will die or say, “I will stay until my birthday and then I will go.” They do not want to spoil the day of the birthday and leave that memory with their families.

One man asked that I have his family put up their Christmas tree in October because he knew he would not be with them in December. They did and he was right. A woman told me on my visit with her that she would die that week. I called her doctor’s office to let them know what she said. The physician called back and wanted to speak to “that crazy nurse who thinks my patient is dying.” Two days later she ate a big breakfast, told her grandson that she loved him dearly and asked him to take his shower first, before her. He found her curled up on the sofa and looking very peaceful when he was finished. She had died while he showered and he called me to say, “Granny was right, Trudy; she is in heaven.” Needless to say her doctor was in shock.

It would do well for all of us to learn to listen, really listen, to those around us who are on their way to heaven. They seem to have spiritual eyes and ears and understand things on a level we do not. They are often hours or days away from their heavenly home, and God is allowing them to know more than we do. We need to listen to them.

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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My son Jesse was 28 when he was killed by someone running over him on his motorcycle. But all of this year he kept telling me that he had a feeling he would not live long. In retrospect, it seemed like we were completing his bucket list this past year. On Saturday, Oct 6 he asked me to stop over by his place on my way home. He told me then when I arrived that, "His life was going to be SHORT". It was the way he said the word SHORT. He knew God was calling him. I did not want to believe it. I am upset because when I walked out of his house that night his comment was totally pulled from my memory. I would have never went to work that Monday and tried to figure this out if I would been allowed to remember. My son was a good, gentle Christian man, who lived his values. I just don't understand why he was taken so soon from me. I know why is a bad question, but we were joined in our souls in a special way. He was my best friend besides my son.

My mother told me in so many ways... I kind of listened. I guess I just didn't want to accept it. I did eventually and she finally let go and went home. Yes we do need to listen, really listen and we will hear their goodbyes without them actually having to say it.