Reading another poster's experience about being with his father before he died made me reflect upon my own experience recently with my ex-husband's own passing.
My ex came to live with my son and I when he was homeless and ill. He was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer soon after. I decided that even though the arrangement was to be temporary, I was not going to let him go through treatment alone. He stayed with us and we eventually became friends again, it was so nice to have my friend back and my son reconnected with his father again.
He did well for the first few months but then, a down turn. The cancer just seemed to gallop through his body and the treatment was killing him. It was necessary to put him in hospice a year after diagnosis. The poor guy had to be taken to emergency 4 times screaming in agony.
I was still working and not getting any sleep, my son, a sensitive young man of 18, was a basket case. We just couldn't take one more episode. He was not happy about this decision but he had no choice. His remaining family, two sisters, could not take him in, one held a job at Seattle based Boeing that required long hours at work and the other lived across the country in Texas. We were blessed, however, to get him into a beautiful place 5 minutes from my home and just 20 minutes from the local sister.
Two months into hospice people in the home starting contracting an upper respiratory illness and my ex developed a severe cold. It didn't take long for it to develop into pneumonia. Wasting had already set in and he could not fight it off. There was nothing anyone could do but try and make him comfortable. He so wanted to live, it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that he was not going to make it, the disease and the infection where going to take him. His mother had passed just 6 months earlier, his father two years earlier. Now the remaining family, his two sisters and a brother-in-law were called one more time to a bedside to say goodbye to family.
Fortunately, I called Texas just in time, she left home an hour after my call and arrived early the next morning. My son had already had his private goodbye with his father and said he would not be returning to his bedside, it was too much for him.
My Seattle sister-in-law is married to a gentle, unpretentious man who is very gifted, I'll call him Paul. He can feel, hear and see the energy of the dead. He was able to sense my father-in-law after he passed and he watched my mother-in-law's family come from the other side the day she passed, they were with her quite awhile. They were described as brilliant yellow white forms. He doesn't always know who the energy belongs to, but this time he knew it was family. When it was time, they reached out for her, Paul heard an audible "pop" sound as she left her body and could just discern her energy going to them. Just months earlier he helped his own mother pass over.
When spirits are near Paul, he hears a ringing in his ears, which to him, can be quite distracting. He had a heck of a time at my father-in-law's burial at the military cemetery.
The family gathered at my ex's bedside to say their goodbyes, tell stories and sing old family songs to him. They were there all day, and Texas sister was exhausted. They went home for a rest, and would be back the next morning. I was alone with my ex for less than an half hour when I could feel urgency in his breathing and body. I held his hand, prayed and told him it was ok to go. He was looking straight ahead as he had been for the previous two days. As I told him to look for his mother, he suddenly squeezed my hand and sharply turned his head to the upper left corner of the room, as if looking for someone, then turned his head back, and took his last breath. A feeling of peace and calm washed over me, it was so profound it actually startled me.
I spent some time alone with my friend before calling the family back to the home. Paul, upon walking into the room, said my ex was still with us and slightly confused. He said earlier in the day he had seen energy forming in the upper left corner of the room, he felt this was my ex's welcoming party but could not tell who they were. I was shocked, this is where my ex had looked before he passed!
Paul related that about the same time the energy came he saw something he had never seen before, a swirling vortex of reddish smoke full of sparkles, whirling above my ex's head! He didn't know what this meant, but felt it was my ex's energy. I asked if the energy that came in the corner was "good" energy. Paul smiled and said "oh yes, it is." (Meaning they were still there!)
The family wanted to stay with my ex until he had safely crossed over, which he did, about an hour later. I was too exhausted to stay, I had to go home and tell my son that his dad was gone, but was grateful to be able to tell him he was met by loving energy from the other side and they had been with him all day. Paul later told me it was a peaceful crossing, my ex just had to get his bearings before he was able to let go.
I had always wondered about the sparkles, what did they mean. Much later I was amazed to find it described in the eight stages of death, called the "CYCLE OF SIMULTANEOUS DISSOLUTION" a Tibetan description of the phases of dying. The smoke and the sparkles appear in the 2nd and 3rd cycle. You can google it under "Death and dying in the Tibetan tradition."
I was privileged to be at my ex's passing, it was something I will never forget. But to know we never are alone before we go on to the next plane, that we are embraced with loving energy, that is a gift. If you are wondering if he has come to visit me, sometimes I think I can feel him, but I am not sure. I'm guessing he is too busy delighting in his new world.
Thanks for letting me share.