Last weekend my mother-in-law passed away. That normally would be the end of her story, but it wasn’t. The day before she left us, when the family gathered around her bed saying their goodbyes, an amazing event happened. Some were talking to each other, but my husband, son, and I sat quietly.
The three of us were watching her when she looked between my husband and I and spoke clearly from her hospital bed, “Is that you, Sal?”
A chill ran through me as I listened.
She broke into a huge smile as her face lit up, “I can see you,” she proclaimed.
She kept talking quietly to him. She answered questions we couldn’t hear, while her face glowed and her body relaxed. I glanced to the spot she was looking at, but saw nothing. Yet, I felt we weren’t alone in that room. I was positive my father-in-law was there to reunite with his beloved. Soon, she settled back into the bed and closed her eyes. I quickly confirmed with my husband what I’d seen and heard. He had witnessed the same thing–as had my son. It was comforting to know he was there waiting for her. Before we could bring it up to anyone else, the Chaplin entered to administer her last rites.
What we took away from this experience was her death was not the end for her. It was the beginning of an eternal love story. It’s a tale capable of crossing over all boundaries. Although she will be missed, and her family is grieving her passing–she’s getting her happy ending. The peace we felt in that brief moment reminded us it doesn’t end when you take your last breath– it’s a new beginning.
On a holiday weekend when we are encouraged to be thankful for what we have– I was grateful to have been blessed with that moment. I’ll always be thankful knowing that their love continues even when we can’t see it. I was lucky enough to be a part of their love when I met their son. In their son I found a love like theirs, and it’s comforting to know it will have a happy ending.
Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn