Author and hospice nurse Elissa Al-Chokhachy shares her own story of a loved one lost and the miraculous message from the afterlife that helped her heal.
I have been in touch with Elissa Al-Chokhachy since February through Facebook. She writes beautifully and has sent me her book, Miraculous Moments, a compilation of 88 true stories, some hers and some from others, of real-life experiences people have had following the death of loved ones.
Elissa is a hospice nurse of 20 years, a fellow in thanatology (the formal study of ways to lessen the suffering and address the needs of the terminally ill and their survivors) and an author. After much correspondence, I asked her to write something for this blog. May her story touch you as it did me.
One of the most profound ways that God has touched my life was through a visit from my deceased cousin, Steffan, two weeks after he died. I lived with my cousins in Knoxville, Tennessee, for almost nine years when I was growing up. When I was 23 and Steffan was 29, he was tragically killed in an automobile accident.
Through the grief, angst and despair that followed, I was given the most incredible gift. Two weeks after he died, my cousin appeared to me in a dreamlike experience in the early-morning hours before I was fully awake. Yet I know with certainty that it wasn’t a dream, for the colors were brighter than anything in this reality. Also, my emotions were intensely amplified, and I can remember the experience as clearly today as when it happened 33 years ago, even though I never wrote it down at the time.
In this experience, I saw Steffan totally healed, happier and more at peace than I ever knew him in life. There are no words that could possibly convey the love and peace that emanated from his face, or the overwhelming joy I felt in my heart as I hugged him tightly in my arms. Not only was Steffan alive, he shared with me that his pain was completely gone. He wasn’t even wearing glasses anymore, because now he could see! Through God’s grace, I discovered that my grief had miraculously disappeared once I became fully conscious.
Then, 13 years later, I found myself working as a hospice nurse with grieving family members desperately needing to know that their loved ones would be OK. Talk about God’s grace in action. From a place of inner knowing, I could reassure them that their loved ones would be fine. What a gift to be able to help minimize the fear of death and dying for those in need. How fortunate I am to be able to share God’s glorious hope of eternal life and love.