My mother was in the last days of her life. She was 70 years of age and her lungs were continuously filling with water. It came to pass that the doctor gave her morphine to make her more comfortable in her final hours. As she drifted in and out of consciousness, we prayed with her, laughed with her and talked with her in as comforting a way as we could possibly muster. Needless to say I adored my mother and often feared her loss when the day would come she would depart this life. Although a catholic, she wasn’t very religious but had a fearful leaning there might be a God out there so ‘cover your ass’ was her situation I would judge. As she was in my home, I told my wife that when the moment came she should advise me to let her go because I would fight with all my heart to stop her dying.
After the long, final night, morning came and my wife and I were downstairs in the kitchen preparing breakfast. My mother had lapsed in a deep unconsciousness. I said to her I would go and see if she was alright. As I climbed the stairs, I was teasing my unconscious mother with an outspoken voice to my wife things like: “Mum, would like a cup of coffee” “I’m sure you’d love a cup of coffee make with hot milk” (her favourite). There was of course no response even though half-heartedly I expected one.
About halfway up the stairs my line of site was directly towards the little bedroom with the door wide open, and the bed in direct view. She was lying with her feet towards the doorway. As I reached the level to see into the room, cajoling her as I was about the coffee, I shivered with shock as I saw my mother arise from the bed into an L-shape, arms outstretched towards me, eyes completely wide open, and exclaiming the name of my father. He had died several years earlier.
I ran to her shouting to my wife with delight, believing she was recovered but, as I reached her, I realised her gaze was not at me but beyond me to someone else. I put my arm around her and uttered words of comfort and begged her not to leave me. But, thankfully, my wife came rushing into the room and reminded me and said to let her go. I told her to go on ahead and we follow her soon. She quietly let out a simple sigh and her shallow breathing drifted away. Within moments it was as if she had never been there at all, as her spiritless body lay still before us.
Another death, another passing you might say and think; but here is the question: How could a 70 years old, no longer fit, heavily set woman, with lungs filled with water, with arms outstretched, rise from an unconscious state to a sitting position unaided, and without raising her feet? It seemed to us and seems to us even now that there is only one answer: only someone/something could have, and did, pull her up.