My friend's mother became ill. Her mother was elderly and though her sad family gathered around her, they were not shocked. She slipped into a unconsciousness, but the family obeyed her wishes not to be taken to the hospital. My friend was heart-broken seeing her mother in such a state, and her mind slipped back to many years before when her brother was a young man. He had become preoccupied with death, and this became an intense desire to discover what happened after death. He was not mentally well and this obsession overcame him and he committed suicide to the devastation of all.
My friend snapped back to the present as her mother began to shift in the bed in which she laid. Everyone's murmurings became hoots as her mother opened her eyes and smiled at all those she loved who surrounded her. Her mother's clear blue eyes looked deeply into her daughters and she said gleefully, "Darling, this is fun!" Then her inhaling became short and her exhaling became long and rattling and she seemed to alternate between concentrating hard and then looking at the faces of those she loved.
Then she became still, and she passed on. Everyone began to cry and hold each other. Some pressing their faces on their old mama's hand as they wept. She remembered a pledge her brother had made before he died. He said that if there was an 'after-life' that he would give a signal, so that they knew.
As this thought flew by, she cried deeply thinking about her mother's suffering, then the door bell rang. They answered the door, but no one was there. Less than a moment after the door was closed the door bell rang two more times. And no one was there. "It must be mom telling us she made it ok..." The phone rang then and she answered it. No one could be heard on the line.
And despite her pain, my friend smiled at her mother care even after death.