Chapter VIII

Death, Only a Stepping Aside

Mourning Phase and Her Sensitivity

The Dying Are Getting Ready

When The Souls Go

The Thing In Front Of My Eye

My Indian Friend

Helmut and Giesela

Reidun’s Farewell

Index

Death, Only a Stepping Aside

Death and dying are two pairs of shoes for me. We all have a death that is pretty much the same, but we do not have the same way of dying. Dying is not abstract, because we know or have accompanied someone who has had this experience. We witnessed dying in others, but not death. Do we know what death feels like, what awaits us … we could not wait and would want to leave immediately.

My husband and soulmate got seriously ill in 2013. He fought two years and three months, a dying on installments, which demanded a lot from us. We never gave up the hope to recover again, and yet it was clear from December 2014, I had to let my Tom go.

We all have this expiration date on our foreheads, but most of us are unable to recognize it. Thus, we also like to ignore signs and neglect our health.

The time came and Tom was admitted to the palliative care unit. We had a lot of time and had good conversations about life and death. The disease had already destroyed the liver so that the brain was no longer working properly. Tom, who believed in infinity all his life, began to argue: ‚There is no life after death‘. ‚Gosh, what went into you? Turn around and realize that there is nothing in this world at last‘ I replied. ‚No, I’ll tell you. I was there and it was nothing‘. ‚But no,‘ I answered, ‚you were not there, you were here the whole time.‘ ‚Tom,‘ I said, ‚if you’re there and there’s a life after death, then you can tell me that.‘ Tom thought for a moment and then let me know ‚There will be no life after death‘. ‚Well,‘ I finished the discussion, ‚then you can tell me that too‘.

My husband was a passionate historian, and Vikings was his  hobby. He did not miss a moment to point out that he is the 35th descendant of Harald Fairhair and so he said, ‚Evi, if there is a life after death, then I’ll send you Sleipnir‘. We laughed and I still wondered how he wanted to send Sleipnir, the horse of Odin with his eight legs as proof. ‚Let that be my concern,‘ he replied, falling into a deep sleep from which he did not return.

Tom had decided to leave. I knew it would not be long before I adjusted to it. We took him to a hospice and Jan and I stayed by his side. Three days later, I sensed the near death. I did not know why, but I knew that he would finally leave.

At the hour of death, I let him know that I was counting on him and he should send the Sleipnir. I do not know how long it took, but the light in the room did not stop flickering for a long time.

And then came a moment that hit me like no one else, my husband’s aura went through the room, through walls and reappeared. Tom had remained curious during his lifetime and that suited him. Go through the walls and see where we actually were. When he was admitted, he was already in the terminal phase. I stood there looking out of the window, still believing in a reflection of light that could come from outside. But no, we were at the edge of the forest and there was no light outside. ‚Sorry, Tom,‘ I said to my dead husband, ‚I have to get used to your new materiality‘.

This I kept first for me. I did not want to alarm others, or even put me down as crazy. Then I asked the staff if they had ever recorded unusual events. They told me about butterflies in winter and many other events. I said nothing and thought that at this point my gift was showing again.

In the weeks following Tom’s death, I was in deep mourning, burying myself in the apartment and leaving no one to me. One morning in February, I sat in front of the TV at six in the morning, watching the news. Above the TV was Tom’s picture with a candle, which I mostly turned on almost every time. I looked over at the photo and said to Tom: ‚..but some time has passed and you still have not sent me the Sleipnir‘. The TV went off. I interrupted my speech and focused on the TV. We have not had it so long, was it broken? It went back to work. Well, there was certainly power gone, which was again absurd, because the light remained on. We had February and outside it was still pitch dark at this time. And then the TV went off again, I looked at the clock, three minutes off, one minute and then it went on, the TV went on. ‚It’s good, I understand,‘ I said to my husband. Three times, three times off, then it was quiet. I called our son: ‚Jan, you have the same TV, why does the part go on and off‘? ‚What do you mean,‘ Jan asked, ‚all I know is that you can set fifteen minutes. Take the TV back, maybe you have a guarantee on it. ‚ No, I thought, the old Swede probably has more trouble sending us Sleipnir than he previously suspected. Light and TV on and off is apparently easier.

I started to travel, decided to fly to the US to Buffalo to my family. My siblings would carry me a little way, I would have enough variety before I would fly to Tom’s family in Utah. I could not help but had to clear my head. After the trip I wanted to decide how my life could work. The house in Hamburg NY was empty, Geraldine, my siblings mother, was in a nursing home, I enjoyed being alone. No TV that could tackle, no questions, no answers. Really? No not true.

Every day I drove the 40 km back and forth to the nursing home. Chatted with Geraldine and made a date with my brother Michael for a ride into the past. Michael took me to places where our father liked to sit or where the kids had played.

For my brother Michael, my time in Buffalo is important. He frees himself from work to do something with me. On one of these days together, he had arranged a visit to Aunt Shirley and Uncle Neil for me. The two are already a little indisposed and it takes some time, so we could meet next to uncle and aunt and the cousins. Everything my brother had organized. I was curious, because Aunt Shirley is my father’s sister, so the whole thing had a certain tension. Aunt Shirley as head of the family, she had the task after the death of our cousin Kim to settle the inheritance matters.

My brother and I sat on the sofa with a view of the hallway leading from the kitchen. Everyone who came after us had to take this path. I watched intently, who would come, because I did not know all family members personally. I noticed that they were coming to us, standing on a shelf in the hall way and saying ‚Hi Cousin Kim‘.

‚Michael,‘ I said to my brother, ‚is there a picture of Kim? I would like to see that one‘. My brother turned to me as if he wanted to give an answer without any attention: ‚Do you see the white marble container on the shelf? There’s are the ashes of cousin Kim.

Above me, like a sword of Damocles, hovered this phrase ‚A normal family‘.

The desire to drive to Lily Dale grew in me. It cannot be ruled out that I would meet the souls there. So far, I thought I had not received any news from my Tom, maybe the medium would say something about Sleipnir.

Winter 2015 was incredibly hard and I could hardly imagine finding a medium in Lily Dale. It was cold, snow was still piled over a meter high. Driving on the grounds of the community was risky. I was looking for a parking space and people I could ask. In the small shop a guy wanted to help me. He led me back to Sheila, the woman who had made me a fateful prediction.

It had been years since we met for the first time. I was sadly surprised how frail Sheila had become. In my mind she saw her as a dying woman and knew that I would not see you again after this encounter.

Sheila looked at me for a long time and asked me, ‚Why are you sitting on that side, you should sit here‘, she pointed to her seat. Then she continued, ‚I see a violet blue all around you, start working on your talent‘, then she started the session. I nodded and forgot everything. Had I expected something spectacular like last time, then this time I was disappointed.

Mourning Phase and Her Sensitivity

In the mourning phase we are very attentive. One could also call this time a clear-sighted time. We pay attention to noises much faster than outside this time. One day I realized that I could not remember the voice of my husband at all. I suffered and cried all day. Then I went to bed. I had no more tears, my grief was only to feel a pain in the chest area.

At some point I must have fallen asleep from exhaustion. At two o’clock I jumped out of bed and thought I had heard my husband call me. Still on the edge of the bed, I saw the empty space where his bed had been. Immediately I realized: My darling wanted to give me healing. Of course, I knew to recognize his voice, grief sometimes makes us go weird ways.

After more months and constantly changing feelings, one evening I said to the picture of my husband, ‚I miss you as a human, I miss your physicality, I miss the conversations with you.‘

At night, I woke up and remembered my dream, which felt so real, as if I had been there in person. I dreamed a white-wrapped corpse to see my husband’s body, yet the head was as alive. He laughed and let me know: I can give you everything, only no longer the physicality.

Is it not wonderful how the souls work on our recovery? We need our time and when attention is possible, we see the signs and the miracles.

When the Souls go Over the Rainbow

Totally lost in thoughts I came home. My eyes were inward, the evening had not gone as I had imagined. We wanted to go to the open air concert and then it rained. So I went through the whole thing again, my actions were automatic. I had parked the car in the garage and now then unlocked the front door. My gaze was more focused on the ground than on the tasks I wanted to do. Keys hanging up at the keyboard, I opened the door and I noticed incidentally that something moved past me as if a fluttering spider’s web had been destroyed, only bigger. What was that? It looked just like my husband’s aura in his hour of death subtle through  the room. ‚Tom is that you?‘ I asked. At the same time I rejected this idea, because I knew that could not be. Did something happen to my mother? My phone logged into the Internet and one message after another came in. I am not online outside the Apartment so when I enter the WiFi area it starts to make a noise.  I saw that my son was trying to reach me and so I decided to call him before I would run over to see after my mother. With her being over ninety years it could well be. So I called my son first. Aunt Fern has left us, Jan let me know. That’s it, Fern was the person moving through my hallway.

Half a year later, an old friend said goodbye. I had little contact with him. His wife was an old school friend. When I got up from the sofa that evening to prepare myself to get ready for bed, exactly the same thing happened again. I did not know that he had left, but certainly not surprised when his wife called me later and told me that her husband had passed.

The question arose to me: why do the souls come to me?

The question kept popping up: Why me? Can it be that the souls work up an old thing with me on a timeline? The answer from my teacher was: The souls see you.

When the souls say goodbye, all six bodies of the aura go first. As the last body, the Etheric body, the blueprint of the physical body, passes into infinity. I see this subtlety, so far I could not communicate with them yet my question ‚Who are you?‘ was not answered.

The Loved Ones are Getting Ready

One day, Michael said to me, ‚I think it ends with Mom, she sees Dad and forbids me to sit on the chair because Dad is already sitting there.‘ Michael then asked her what Dad wanted and she said, ‚We talk nicely.‘ ‚Then this cannot be Dad, you never talked nice.‘ My brother did not take the whole thing seriously. Geraldine was in a death preparation. In the terminal phase, the bedridden patient is becoming restless. The life expectancy is only a short time. Often I have heard this from my patients and friends that they also start seeing those who have already passed away.

Geraldine did not say a word to me about it. I was allowed to sit wherever I wanted. I became calm these days, thought Geraldine would be dying. In this phase, one is going inward himself. He has little time left in this life and prepares for the going. At this time, the dying people see their relatives or even animals, which were particularly close to their hearts. Geraldine could not die. She always scrambled back to life. It was going to be a while before she could finally say goodbye. During this time my father and my deceased sister took turns sitting in the chair. We all did not have the opportunity to see them, but would have liked to speak a few words with them.

When I am leaving for home our farewell is never the last one. We always organize a party, a final gathering, before I start the journey back. It was getting late, my sister had drummed up the family to eat pizza and promises to be back soon. When I drove back to the house late in the evening, I was a little worried about getting up early at four and driving to the airport. My brother asked if he should escort me, I said no, I can do that.

I had never driven to the airport alone, it  was a little strange to me. But I thought I could do it, and then it should work. Put my phone to ring at four o’clock and lay down in my father’s bed to sleep. When I woke up it was four. I went to the bathroom and got ready to start, was surprised to be so rested. The weather service had announced ice and snow drifts. I was not comfortable with the thought of driving in the dark. So I hurried up,  packed the last things in the suitcase and did not take time for breakfast, I would do that at the airport. Then I  checked my phone. I saw  that the alarm clock on the phone was off. The alarm had not gone off,?   I thought I heard it. How could that be? Who woke me up? I was dead tired that evening when I went to bed, had actually only four hours of sleep. I didn’t have time to think about that, finished packing the car and drove off. The roads were icy, Off the highway I was driving carefully. It took a good one and a half hours for a ride that only takes 40 minutes. Whoever that was, I thought, thank you for waking me. Buffalo was once again a milestone in my life.

The Thing in Front of My Eye

My mother is in her ninety’s and when you see  her you don’t believe her age. She is of good health and very optimistic. She manages her  apartment by her own and goes shopping for her girlfriend twice a week. Doctors are astonished when she goes there for a checkup. She thinks she has to have her blood examined. ‚You have to do that at my age‘ is her answer.

Only for her deafness I do accompany her to the ophthalmologist every six months. ‚Evelyn‘, my mother said before we left, ‚I want you to ask the doctor what that is, that I always see, mostly in the evening‘. I was amazed that she had not told me that there could be an eye problem. ‚What are you seeing?‘ I asked her. ‚Two very clean oval things that are in front of my eye.‘ ‚In front of your eye?‘, I asked, ‚Which eye is it?‘ ‚ I can see that with both eyes‘, she answered. My mother insisted that I ask the ophthalmologist, which I did. He checked and said, ‚Those are glass bodies that cloud the inner eye, nothing out of the ordinary‘. Okay, she did not seem to be satisfied. We went and did not talk about it anymore.

In the afternoon my mother came to me under the pretext of wanting to talk about the healthcare of her friend. In the course of the conversation she came back to what she saw. ‚Evelyn,‘ she began, ‚I did not tell you everything. There’s something else, I’ve never seen such a shape in front of my eye. There are two in each eye and they are oval‘. ‚As in every eye,‘ I ask, and she answered: ‚If I close my right eye, it is still there in the left eye and vice versa. I wondered the other day if I was imaging Dad and Tom’s face then I turned in bed. I wanted to sleep and not die yet. I thought they wanted to get me and I asked myself if death looks like this‘.

I promised my mother that heaven is very funny and does not want to scare us. Above all, she should not worry, she will notice in time, recognizing that she is outside her body.

Obviously that was too much information, she hasn’t talked about anything like that since.

My Indian Friend

One day my Indian friend came to me. He had just returned from his hometown Calcutta where, he had the sad task of bringing his mother to a nursing home.

We sat down and he told me a story for which he had no explanation at that time.

His annual trip to Calcutta this time had a sad background. Marie, his sister, was seriously ill in the hospital, and there was no hope of recovery. The decision to bring the mother to a nursing home was unavoidable.

She could stay at a beautiful place which was owned by the Armenian community. Some of the furniture from her apartment would be her memory in the new environment. The mother suffered for some time from dementia, and our friend was so uncertain if it was the right thing to do, but there was no other option that he could think of. His time frame was so tight that he relied on the nursing staff, so he could take care of his sister in the hospital. He also had to take care of the dissolution of the apartment. The Armenian community owned a whole block of streets like a square. Around the four corners was a kindergarten, a school, church and the nursing home. In the middle of this square a cemetery and this green place the mother could see from her window.

The mother was well taken care off in the home, when the first night came, the night in which the sister of my friend died.

Our friend did not know how to tell the mother since she had to bear with so many new things. Our friend didn’t feel well and the way to the nursing home was painful for him. When he entered the room of the mother, she came to him and asked: ‚What was Marie looking for in the nightgown at the cemetery last night?‘

NOTE: This is their way of saying good bye before leaving over the rainbow. Marie in Spirit was looking for the mother.

My Uncle Helmut

My German father had three sisters. Two of them could hear, the third, Gisela was deaf like my foster father Rudi.

The deaf have a habit of making attention. When they stand far away from another, they are waving arms. If you are close to the person, then they tap ‚tiptap‘ twice on your arm. If my dad ever wanted to know what was said there, he tapped my shoulder or my arm.

Gisela went two years before Helmut, her husband. She just fell over in the supermarket and was dead. A shock to the family, she did not look like a sick person.

Helmut got ready for his doctor’s visit and died while dressing. My mother did not want to miss this funeral, because we could not visit Gisela’s. It was important to us to attend Helmut’s memorial service.

I dreaded the car ride, it is not a joyful riding to Braunschweig. Big traffic going to Berlin is on this road. Nevertheless, we arrived punctually in Braunschweig and greeted my uncle’s family and friends, who were already waiting for the last guests at the chapel. I still remember wondering about the wide corridors between the benches and praised the architects for sharing their thoughts when I entered the chapel. Especially older people who come to the memorial service with a walker appreciate it.

My place was in the second row diagonally behind my mother who was in the first row. No one was seated right next to me. As I later noticed, those sitting behind me were more than an arm’s length away from me. I watched them enter as they greeted my uncle at the coffin, then sat down. My attention was more focused in the room and so I began to direct my thoughts to my uncle Helmut. ‚Helmut,‘ I thought, ‚I know you can hear me,‘ I went on. Maybe you can also make yourself felt with me. We had many good moments in our life together and I went on ‚but it’s not bad if you cannot do it yet, maybe later‘.

My mind wandered around Helmut for a while, before I listened again to the pastor’s speech. I had what my grandmother called a hole in the air staring as I suddenly felt a tap on the left upper arm. Tiptap tiptap .. I turned around, wanted to know what the people sitting behind me wanted. But they looked interested to what  the pastor would sign. Who or what tapped me?

Helmut was that you?

My aunt and uncle had three children, all but the youngest could hear it. Anton, the youngest, was born deaf. He told me that in the evening, before going to bed, something stroked his arm or sometimes blew his face.

Just like the puffing in my face, the souls are always anxious to show themselves to us, it does not end, it goes on.  We just have to practice mindfulness and will perceive it.

But that does not only affect the loved one, it also affects the beloved dog, the pet. When our dog had to leave after fourteen years, his smell was noticeable for a long time at his sleeping place at night. He slept next to my bed, without a pillow or a basket. The smell was so present that I regularly believed he was there and turned on the light to see where the dog was.

Reidun’s Farewell

I first met Reidun when I came to the USA during the 60ties. She was an old Norwegian friend of my husband and became a mother substitute when I came to Utah, young and inexperienced as I was. The friendship between us needed no closeness. After we left Utah, we were many thousands of miles apart and never talked to each other, rarely wrote letters, for our friendship it did not matter.

After selling the castle restaurant, my husband Tom wanted to fish, his biggest wish to go to Utah. My Norwegian fellow needed good fishing, and in the Rocky Mountains in Utah he would find this. We prepared everything and left Bremerhaven for four years. The friendship with the Norwegian community in Utah flourished again, especially to Reidun. After those four years again for the friendship it did not matter, especially since we would come over to Utah as often as possible.

After my husband had passed I found peace of mind in Utah and my visits would be almost every year.

Then I learned that my old girlfriend was seriously ill. She had avoided going to the doctor, so the cancer had a clear path to move throughout the body. When I left for Germany again we promised a weekly telephone appointment, which I strictly followed. There were days when she was weak from chemotherapy, in which case we postponed the conversation to Thursday.

Our conversations were always about life and death. Everything she could not talk to her family about was discussed with me on those days. She was afraid of dying. Reidun, who had believed about life after death was concerned that there would be nothing at all. It was not long before another tumor formed in the brain, making it impossible to communicate. Reidun was too exhausted, so we made an appointment until after death. I knew the family would not let me know if something happened. I asked her to come to me after her passing.

And Reidun came. It was two o’clock in the morning when I woke up from a dream. Please do not expect a ghost or anything else. No, she showed me her body as a corpse only her face was smiling and I knew she was gone.

Immediately I was awake, jumped out of bed, went to my computer and wrote a mail to a friend from the Norwegian club. Utah is eight hours behind, so I could reach my friend. She jumped in her car and drove over the highway to Reidun. There she found out that the friend had already been brought to the funeral home. The nurse said that Reidun had fallen asleep peacefully. My friend was concerned and surprised. She asked me, ‚How did you know that?‘

I did not find the way to move things as they are and explain. Better shut up, I thought. Most people don’t understand and feel offended.

Addendum: Dying process

Rehabilitation phase:

Normal everyday activity despite illness      

Life expectancy: Months, years

Preterminal phase:

Limited possibilities of active life

Life expectancy: Weeks, months

Terminal phase:

Bedridden, sick, drawn by withdrawal and confinement to bed

Life expectancy: A few days, week

Dying phase:

Consciousness of the dying person directed inward.

Life expectancy: a few hours, day

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