Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Towards the End

NB: This post deals with sensitive issues related to death.

I had intended to post about my obsession with collecting writing advice books today, but that will have to wait until Thursday. Something profound happened yesterday. Not to me, but to a relative.

As some of you may remember, I recently talked about my memories of living with my father-in-law, Tom, before he passed away. Sadly, his brother Stan passed away yesterday. His daughter had phoned my sister-in-law and asked her to pass on the news to various family members in our area. But it is what she said about her father's passing that has made us all stop and re-evaluate our beliefs.

Just seconds before he died, he lifted his arm up, pointing at an empty space, and said, "Tommy. There you are."

Was Tom there to collect him or was he hallucinating? I don't know. But even if he was hallucinating, what a comfort to his family, and to all of us, that perhaps at the very moment we leave this life we see someone who meant so much to us in our lifetime.


  1. What a wonderful thing for his daughter to have heard, like you say it could have been some sort of hallucination, but the comfort it gives to loved ones left behind is immeasurable, I know I would truly want to believe that when loved ones pass on, it is to be with family, just in another place.
    Best wishes to you and your family

  2. Oh I believe
    When my aunt was dying, her cat came and sat on the bed with her....something it hadn't done since she came to live with me...the cat looked up at the ceiling all day while sitting on her in bed...then my cat came in and did the same...looking up at the ceiling..then my aunt started talking to her mother....long deceased..she died that day
    so no, I'm a believer

  3. I am so sorry to hear about Stan. I hope his family takes comfort in the thought that his last vision was of his beloved brother.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Stan's family.

    Take care

  4. This post hurt a little! I had to leave it be, go away for awhile and then come back! I understand this inner sight/awareness from humman beings and animals. It really does exist!

    My died died when I was just 12. I believed that he was always walking with me until I was 15. (We used to go on long walks every weekend into bushland!) It was like he had some unfinished business...me!

  5. Shortly before my grandfather passed away, he spoke fondly of some friends who had visited him in his room. He was completely compos mentis, yet his visitors had been dead for many years.

    After his passing, I read an article which dealt with the phenomenon of people being visited in their final moments. There is so much we don't know for sure.

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  7. Jenny - thank you.

    penandpaints - I want to believe also, though the scientific part of my brain argues with that. There has to more, though.

    Suz - animals definitely have some kind of sixth sense about these things, I'm sure. My friend had four dogs, and one passed away prematurely. Often the other dogs will stare at the bottom run of the stairs, and will walk around it, as if someone else is there. She believes it the other dog come back to visit them.

    Old Kitty - thank you x

    Greyscale - I'm sorry about it hurting, and losing your dad at such a young age. How comforting for you that you could feel his presence for so long.

    Martin H - you are right, there is so much we don't know. I guess the rational part of our brains tries to explain these things, but maybe we're not meant to.

    It's occurred to me, after reading Greyscale's comments that perhaps I ought to put a warning at the beginning to say the post deals with sensitive issues. I'll do that now


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