“People think it’s just confusion or the drugs,” explains Maggie Callanan. As a hospice nurse for more than 27 years, she has helped more than 2,000 dying men and women in their last days. “But frankly, the confusion is ours. The patient knows what is going on.”

Hospice workers often speak of dying people seeing their loved ones just before they die. This helps to ease fear and anxiety, preparing the dying for their coming transition from human back to spirit. They are getting ready to go home. Our deceased loved ones also greet us after we cross over.  There is no special protocol to this; it could be one person with others soon following, or it could be a few people doing the greeting.

There is a wonderful example of what it is like to be met by your loved one just before you cross over in They Serve Bagels in Heaven. In it, Saul describes some of the past lifetimes we have shared as husband and wife. One of those lifetimes took place in Italy in the early 1500’s, when Saul’s name was Luigi and mine was Maria. Here’s how Saul described my death that time around:

“As she lay in her bed, looking out the window, she saw me coming across the field with one of my scythes. It was a gorgeous spring day, and as Maria reached for me her soul lifted right out of her body. I took her in my arms, then carried her across the fields and home. “

When Saul crossed over this time, his mother, who died when he was sixteen, was waiting for him with open arms:

“I saw that famous white light and was carried toward it positively bathed in love. I surfaced as if from the bottom of a well into the light of heaven. The first thing I saw there was the warm, almost desperately happy, and unbelievably welcoming face of my mother, Belle…..”

After we arrive home in heaven, we review our behaviors and choices and how they affected others. This is called the Life Review. Saul’s description of his Life Review, as well as his depiction of what heaven is actually like, heavenly healing, and what heaven does about those who have done evil acts, is informative and fascinating.

Also by the way, I’ve learned that there is no need for concern should you not want someone who was unkind to you or abusive to you greeting when you make your transition. That person will have to wait for your permission to approach you!  

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