These last several years, I had the impression that my grandmother was not a happy person. Perhaps I am not the best person here today to make this assessment, but despite being separated by geography and circumstances, we did speak on the phone occasionally. When we did, she invariably mentioned that most of her loved ones and friends were long gone.
I was listening to National Public Radio the other day and I heard a piece which was relevant for today. An older woman was relating a story she heard from a friend who was a midwife. This friend was delivering a baby whose amniotic sack had not yet broken. This friend claimed that, for a brief moment, she was able to see the baby’s face through the dilated birth canal, and it was an amazing sight – the baby’s head not yet deformed by the trauma of child birth. Eventually, the sack was broken and the baby was born soon thereafter. The woman telling this story mused about how she thought that death may be much like child birth: a long, drawn out struggle of a journey, climaxed by a birth into a new reality. She then wondered if sometimes people experience something similar to that baby being born – that they perhaps catch glimpses of friends, offering a helping hand on their final journey to heaven from life on Earth.
I don’t know if I quite believe the story about that baby; but I do pray that my grandmother was met by those that loved her and completed the journey before her; and that at long last, she is with them now.
My heart aches for the things I feel I could have done, and for opportunities that sadly can no longer come.