Abigail telephoned to book a session, but after talking with her for a few minutes, I realized what she needed was something I wasn’t sure I could give. She needed someone in spirit to tell her she had made a correct decision, which would lift a burden of guilt from her shoulders. I told Abigail I couldn’t promise that the spirit she wanted to talk with would show up at her session; furthermore, I couldn’t guarantee that spirit would tell her what she wanted to hear. During a session, spirit is in charge – I’m only the messenger. Abigail paused for a moment, then said, "It’s about my mother. I’ve got to know if she’s angry at me for what I did."
"Please! Don’t tell me anymore," I said. "I prefer not to know anything about a client when she comes to see me."
Then I sensed that something else was going on here. I listened to my inner voice, and my guides told me that Abigail was not going to be a client. I pushed aside my appointment book and, intrigued, focused on Abigail’s voice to see what I could intuit.
I felt nothing. Not even a brick wall, which I sometimes perceive if someone is hesitant to open up to me. But Abigail wasn’t hesitant – she needed to talk.
Her mother had died from a heart attack three days ago, she said. The doctors were surprised, because a few weeks ago during a regular checkup, the 85-year-old woman had seemed as healthy as an ox. But for some reason, her heart had stopped. In hospital, her heart was revived, but it beat irregularly and weakly. Doctors told Abigail they wanted to put her mother on life support while they tried to figure out what was wrong. The life support was supposed to be a temporary measure.
"It was my decision to put her on life support, just until they finished their testing," Abigail said, crying softly. "But she never recovered enough to breathe on her own, and when her organs started to shut down I had to make the decision to turn off life support and watch her take her last breath. I can't help feeling guilty for putting her on it in the first place, and wonder had I not done that, would she be alive today? My mother was my best friend. I need to know what she was thinking while she was dying. Does she blame me?"
I tried to tune into Abigail’s mother’s spirit, but couldn’t feel anything. But this isn’t uncommon for some people who had Alzheimer’s disease, or who passed into spirit very recently. If they had been sick for awhile, and passed over with low energy, it often takes a little time on the other side to build their energy up again.
"Abigail, I’m very sorry to hear about your loss," I said. "But please, look at your intention around using the life support. You wanted to help your mother. It was a decision made with love and hope."
"Yes, but it didn’t work!"
Nobody knows when it’s our time to pass, I gently explained, then told her a story.
My husband’s father died very suddenly. He collapsed in the morning and was rushed to hospital. Doctors found an aneurism in the brain, and as they huddled to plan how to remove it, it burst and he was put on life support. Machines were keeping him alive. Doctors asked his wife – they had been married about 45 years – whether life support should be removed. Because everything had happened so fast, she was bewildered and unable to make a decision.
That night, lying at his bedside, she had a dream. Her husband came to her and said, "Let me go." She awoke, startled; she had to make a painful decision, but it was his wish. She kept him on life support for just a few hours, so relatives could visit and say their goodbyes. Then she stayed while doctors and technicians disconnected the machines. And to this day – the incident happened 10 years ago – she occasionally wonders if she should have kept him on life support a little longer. Would he have recovered? Might a miracle have occurred? And then she realizes, taking comfort in her religious background, that no one knows the future, or God’s will, or human happenstance. We can only do what is right in the moment when all we have to give is courage and compassion.
"Perhaps," I told Abigail, "putting your mother on life support was also a lesson for you, just as it was for my mother-in-law. Perhaps your mom took this situation as a way to go ‘home.’ In her spirit form she will become much stronger. Know that your mother will be fine and free of any health concerns. And take time for yourself. Grieve your loss. Believe me, time will help heal your sadness. And if you still wish to speak with me, then wait about six months. But who knows? You may hear from her yourself!"
That was a year ago. I never heard back from Abigail, but I hope she found her peace. Yet I have a feeling her mother’s spirit is there to comfort her.