Our Loved Ones Are with Us Always

Blogger and former hospice nurse Trudy Harris offers words of comfort to a mother grieving the loss of her son.

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Trudy gets so many questions and stories of end-of-life experiences from Guideposts readers, we decided to make her responses a regular feature on her blog.

Hello Trudy,

I have just started reading your book Glimpses of Heaven. It is quite remarkable what happens to people as they near the end of their time on Earth.

My son passed away on October 9 last year, after a boxing match in Australia.

Unfortunately he went straight into a coma from a subdural hematoma, a massive injury to the brain. He was on life support for seven days but he did not survive.

I am grieving as any mother would, but most of all I find it very hard not to have any form of contact with him. I just want to speak to him, to tell him how much I love and miss him. It is breaking my heart that I never got to say goodbye.

Can you help me, please?

Love,
Deborah


Dear Deborah,

I am so sorry to know of the death of your son, Alex. Having four sons of my own, it's impossible for me to think of losing one of them. The pain you feel must be very hard to bear, but let me tell you about a few things I have learned while caring for those who are dying.

First of all: If you were with your son at any time after the accident, he heard everything you said to him. He knew you were with him, heart to heart, because God allows that experience to happen as he draws people home to himself. We often are told that the patient cannot hear what is said, but experience shows that if and when the loved one regains awareness, they tell you all about what was said in the room, and by whom, even when there appeared to be no awareness on their part.

If you could scratch the surface of the air around you, that is how close Alex is to you now. Talk to him, tell him how much you have always loved him, remind him of the things you experienced with him when he was little, ask him to watch over you and let him know how happy you will be to see him when God calls you home one day.

Those of us involved in end-of-life-care have come to understand many things. In some way known only to God, everyone you have ever loved and everyone who has ever loved you is present for you when you are dying. We know that because some people who look like they are about to die, and don't, tell us of loved ones who came to visit or told them that they loved them, when in truth they were not physically there.

The pain of losing Alex does not go away, but knowing you will see him again will soften your loss in time. You will find great peace in the future because you loved him so well.

Blessings,
Trudy

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