How we live each day of our lives culminates in an intense moment of truth at the time of death.


I recall the special graces associated with the passing of an aunt.

She was married but her husband preceded her into eternal life. She did not have children because she was always the caregiver of extended family.  She was in the process of dying a natural death in the warmth of the family home. It was not necessary that she be hooked up to machines; no intravenous drips of morphine or any other painkiller was needed.

We sat around her bed and conversed with her as she went in and out of consciousness.

Suddenly she said, “The room is filled with them. There is hardly enough room for all of them. Don’t you see them?  Angels are all over this room.”

I believed her because she was credible and the existence of angels is part of Catholic doctrine.

She continued, “Oh, John (her deceased husband) is here.  He is extending his hand to me. There are other family members too.  I see them.”  Then, speaking first person to her deceased husband she said, “Oh John, I want to go, but I will miss all these people. I am not quite ready please.”

This no nonsense woman of faith was utterly believable. It seemed the natural order of things for a good woman who served others selflessly all of her life.  We told her that we would miss her but we would be together again; it would be alright if she went to meet the Lord and her husband.

The next day, with her face illumined, she looked up as if acknowledging the presence of someone we could not see and then she closed her eyes and peacefully breathed her last.

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