My father passed away on Tuesday, April 26th 2011. Only five days before his death, he sat in his hospital bed and chatted business on his trusty mobile phone, which never seemed to leave his ears.
Dad had a lung condition called interstitial pneumonia; it is a long, slow death, and despite the hope of wishing someone could hold on for longer, we all knew it wasn't going to be. These things are just painfully hard to accept.
A Spiritual Experience
Just five days before Dad died, his eyes animatedly lit up as he told me he'd received a visit that morning from some bright, colourful people or beings. My intuition told me we were getting close to the end. I felt something quite spiritual had just occurred, and this message was to prepare myself, for soon he would be crossing over. I was right.
I honestly don't know which is better: a lingering slow death, where you get to say your goodbye, living in this limbo state somewhere between life and death, or a quick end where it comes as a shocking bolt out of the blue. Neither option is much fun.
I recall visiting Dad for a few hours on the day before he died, knowing it was going to be the last time we talked and spent time together. I made Dad promise to haunt me in a non-spooky way, that if there is anything on the other side, he must somehow let me know he's okay. He promised he would, and we bid each other our final farewell.
I left the hospital feeling surprisingly calm; it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day for April. The following day, the phone rang to tell me to come back to the hospital. The nurse said, "It's nothing to worry about, but we've moved your Dad to his private room"; he might last days yet.
I drove the fifty-mile journey back to the hospital and found Dad distressed. His body was sweating, and his eyesight had disappeared; neither could he form his words. Intuition told me to close the door to his room to provide us with some privacy from the noises in the corridor.
Dad wanted to take his pyjama top off as he was so hot and asked for a sip of his favourite Pelegríno water. Taking a sip, he said, his final words, "I'm going to sleep now." I replied, "Okay, Dad, go to sleep; it's okay if you want to go." I watched him, believing he was going to sleep, and to my shock, his breathing and heart rate began to slow down; it was time, and I wasn't ready. I said to him, "Dad, go to the light." Frantically, I hit the emergency button and fell to my knees by his bedside.
For the next few hours, I lay with his body, then I tore myself away and drove myself back home. That night, I lay awake, feeling a gentle breeze all around me. Funnily enough, my sister also said the night Dad died, she felt a breeze around her.
The Funeral And Answered Prayers
Soon, the day of the funeral came. We buried Dad on May 9th, which is Victory Day in the Soviet Union. I realised the day prior when I spotted a single red poppy in the field where I walked my dog, thinking it was odd to see. Upon arriving home, I powered up my laptop, and like a magnetic force, the cursor guided me to a delicate poppy on Google, a subtle yet poignant gesture marking the celebration of May 8th in the U.K.
Driving to the family home on the day of the funeral, I prayed to God that if there is anything beyond this existence, then, please, I need to know today. I asked to see a rainbow. Quite an ask, right?
For a giggle, Dad had always joked that he wanted his beloved mobile phone in the coffin. He said he would call us as it came up the aisle in church. Dad had a very distinct ringtone that was popular many years ago, but nobody had it anymore. Sadly, we couldn't put the phone in the coffin, as Mum needed his contacts.
Imagine our shock when the coffin came up the aisle, and out of the 208 people attending, someone had the same ringtone as Dad. The phone rang at the exact moment Dad said he would ring.
The gentleman whose phone rang apologised profusely for this embarrassing faux pas, which happened at such an inappropriate moment, but for me, it was a comfort that brought a wry smile to my face.
Later, as Dad's coffin lowered into the ground, I was busy searching the sky for my rainbow. Following the wake, we drove home.
I needed some fresh air and took the dogs out into the fields to reflect on the day, looking for my rainbow in the sky.
I decided to return home after 5 o'clock, and as I was just about to give up on my hope of seeing a rainbow, I approached the driveway of our home, looked up, and there it was.
Thank you, God, for answering my prayers.
To be continued
Dedicated to Robert Congreve Crossland - 20/12/1937 - 26/11/2011
Written by Lisa Precious- Copyright Reserved