My mom passed a few days ago, and I was grateful for that. I didn’t have a need to travel to be at her bedside as she passed, probably because if I was in that state I personally would wait to leave until I was secure in the fact that my kids were in their own homes with the people who loved and supported them before I would be able to let go. Most of the dying I and other health care workers have been around have waited to leave until family members went home to change clothes or get a few hours of sleep. They’d already said their goodbyes and said what they needed to say. The dying person used their time alone to finally make peace with their lives here and to leave without traumatizing anyone. I will ask my kids to do the same if I am ever in that state. I don’t want them to ever do a “death vigil” for me.

For me I will need to be alone with my God when I finally let go. And in reality, we all come into this world and leave alone, those are personal journeys we make. We can only make them alone.

I am very close to my mother-in-law, and when she was critically ill and when we were not sure she would survive, we took turns visiting her during the day. We made sure one of us children were there each day when she was hospitalized, but we went home at night. She told me she felt she was sitting in God’s lap, that she never felt alone or afraid. That made me feel so good. So reassured. What can be better than sitting in God’s lap? Being with the all-powerful was better for her than her being with us.

I felt I said what I needed to say to my mom when she was hospitalized the last time. I said goodbye and told her I loved her when she was awake and could see me. I had things I would have liked to have asked her then, to have bridged the gap in what we had (and hadn’t) communicated to that point, but we didn’t, we didn’t have that alone time. But I think we will in Heaven. We were kind of distant in this lifetime, but I think we will be close in Heaven. I will know her better there. We will be the confidants in Heaven that we weren’t in this lifetime, I think.

And I feel I communicated with her from a distance when she was in her “in between” state. I feel that geographical boundaries don’t apply at that time. I played for her “In the Arms of the Angels” on my piano, though she’s never heard me play the piano. I learned to play long after I left my childhood home at age age 17. We communicated more from a distance than I think than I would have communicated with her in person when she was in that dying state. To me that meant more than being physically present at her deathbed.

I have no regrets.