What happens at the time of Death?
God taught me a lesson on the importance of love and this lesson came through the death of my mother.

My father died when I was only 16 years old so my mother was all I had left. I feared losing her too. I loved her so much that I didn’t think I could handle it whenever it came her time to go.

I was blessed to have her for many more years. When she was 96 years old, she suffered a bout of pneumonia. She remained in the hospital for two weeks but gradually got worse. The doctor came in one day and I was forced to face the inevitable. “Mr. Bauer,” he said, “it doesn’t look good. Her kidneys are not functioning properly. They’re starting to shut down. There’s plenty of fluid in her lungs and it’s possible that she could drown in her own fluids. I doubt if she makes it through the night. If there’s anything you have to do or plans you have to make, I suggest you do it now.”

I was devastated! Even though she was unable get around easily, her mind was still perfect. I didn’t want to let go. How do you give up someone that you love so dearly? I called my daughter, Cathy, my oldest son, Louie and my younger son, John and told them the situation.

They came up to the hospital that afternoon and remained there all through the night and most of the following day. That night, my mother was in a semi-comatose state. She would open her eyes, come out a little bit and then go out again. Her breathing was labored and raspy from the fluid slowly building up in her lungs.

My heart ached as I sat by her side. I reached out to hold her hand. And in a motion that took me by surprise, she pulled it away. I reached out again and again she pushed it away. She began moving her legs, as if she was uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it and I didn’t know what to do. What was wrong with her? And suddenly, the thought came, ask her if she sees the light. I couldn’t do this. My mother was dying. How could I ask her something so ridiculous? But the thought persisted.Ask her if she sees the light. I called my wife to the side, “Deana, I have the strangest feeling that I need to ask Mom if she sees the light.” “Then why don’t you go ahead and ask her”, she said. I felt so much better, it was as if I had permission to do this awkward thing.

I turned back to my mother, “Mom, can you hear me?” In between labored breaths, she nodded. “Mom, do you see the light?” Again, she nodded. “Mom”, I said, “your place is in the light now. Look, mom, you did a great job bringing me up and I appreciate everything you and Dad did for me and I love you very much. But your place is in the light now. It’s okay for you to go there.” Her body movements seemed to calm down some.

My older son, Louie, came beside me and said, “Dad, ask her what she sees in the light.” At first, I was upset. My mom was dying. This wasn’t the time to ask questions. But something told me it was ok, I needed to do this. “Mom”, I said, “do you still see the light?” Again she nodded. “What do you see in the light, momma?” “Love”, she whispered. She began to raise her hands in the air, as if trying to hold what she saw, and as she did so she took my hand and raised it with hers. “Love”, she whispered again, “Louie, feel it. It’s love.”

She continued to move her hands and mine, as if by doing so, she could make me a part of what she was seeing and feeling. What a comforting feeling to know that the trauma we were witnessing - the labored, raspy breathing, the shut down of her body - was something she wasn’t consciously experiencing. She was somewhere else, experiencing something beautiful and the only thing she seemed to feel was this immense love.

She made it through the night and by the afternoon of the next day, there was no change. The kids had been at the hospital all that time, without sleep, so I told them to go home and get some rest and they could come back up later. If there was any change, I would let them know. They agreed and the rest of the day, my wife and I spent with Mom. Although she never became fully conscious again, I spent the rest of the day by her side. Sometimes I talked to her, sometimes I just sat there gently stroking her hair.

Later that night, I told my wife to try to rest a little. There was a spare bed in the room she could lay on and I would sit with Mom. While my wife took a nap, I brushed Mom’s hair and put some powder on her and just talked softly to her. It was close to six in the morning when Deana woke up and told me, “Please try to lay down for a little while.” She was worried because I hadn’t had any sleep. “I just can’t sleep right now”, I told her. “At least lay across the bed for a little while”, she said. “You don’t have to sleep. The rest alone will do you good. I’ll be with Mom.”

I laid down and I remember distinctly saying, “God, I just can’t go to sleep, hearing her breathe like this.” Her breathing was so labored. I must have dozed off because I don’t remember anything after that. About an hour passed when, suddenly, I jumped out of bed. I don’t know what woke me up out of a sound sleep but when I turned around, I saw my wife standing by Mom’s side and she whispered to me, “She’s taking her last breath.” By the time I reached her bedside, she was no longer breathing.

Tears began to flow as I realized that this beautiful, loving woman was gone. As I stood at the foot of her bed, I looked out of the window. The sun was casting it’s first golden rays across the clear, unblemished sky. It was a beautiful morning. I turned back and looked at my mother’s wrinkled, worn out body lying on the bed and it suddenly hit me, “She’s free. She’s finally free.”

Immediately, I felt something all around me. I can’t explain it but it was as if I was enveloped in something. I turned to Deana and said, “I have the strangest feeling.” And before I could say another word, she said, “You mean, like someone is hugging you?” I was taken aback that she knew exactly what I was talking about and I nodded. She smiled and said, “I feel it too!” I was covered in a flood of emotion. My mother wasn’t gone. Her spirit, her love were still with me. It wasn’t just a nice thought to make me feel better. Her love was still there! It was something tangible, and my wife and I both felt it! What happened next only confirms the tremendous power that love has in transcending all boundaries.

I told my wife, “We have to call the kids and tell them.” I looked at my watch and realized that my older son, Louie, was already on his daily 45 minute trek to work. As this was in the days before cell phones, I figured that I would have to wait until he reached work to let him know what had happened.

My youngest son, John, had spent the night at my daughters’ house so I called her to let her know what had happened. When Cathy answered the phone, she started crying. “It’s Grandma, isn’t it?” I told her, “Yes, she just passed away.” She and Mom had always been extremely close. Through tears, she told me they’d be right up.

As I hung up the phone, I decided to leave the room for a minute. I walked over to the door, pulled the handle and was shocked to see Louie, standing on the other side of the door with his hand on the handle too. I was totally surprised. “Louie, what are you doing here? I wanted to call you but I thought you were on your way to work. Son, Grandma just passed away.”

Tears welled up in his eyes. “Daddy, I knew something happened. I was on my way into work and I was running late. Something told me to come here but I knew I couldn’t because I was already late for work. But something told me it didn’t matter, I needed to be here. As I got close to the interstate on ramp, I thought I need to turn and get on but something told me, ‘No, go straight.’ It was like my mind and my heart were fighting each other. I just felt I had to be here.” I hugged him.

A few minutes later, Cathy and John arrived. Cathy was crying. “Daddy, I wanted to be with her when she died. I’m sorry I wasn’t here. But right before I woke up, I had this really vivid dream about Grandma. I was in the hospital room with her. She was in the bed and I was sitting on the chair next to her, crying. And she was fussing at me because I was so upset. She said, ‘Stop it, Cathy. I don’t want you to do this.’ I told her, ‘But Grandma, I can’t help it. I love you so much, I don’t know what I’d do without you.’ ‘I love you, too,’ she said, ‘ but it would hurt me if I knew you were doing this, so stop it, O.K.?' I told her I would try. And I noticed that the whole time we were talking she was moving this little pink flashlight up and down under the covers. I could see this large circle of light coming through the covers, slowly moving up and down. And then Grandma said, ‘Oh, look Cathy, it’s going out. The light is going out.’ And as she said this the light under the covers began moving slower and growing dim. I told her, ‘Don’t worry, Grandma. I’ll bring some batteries when I come up.’ Why I said this, I don’t know because I was already sitting next to her. And then, it was as if someone was turning a dimmer switch. The whole room gradually got dimmer and dimmer, until the only thing I could see were her eyes. I immediately woke up and looked at the clock. It was 6:40. So I got up, started getting ready to come to the hospital and then you called and told me about Grandma.”

Were these merely coincidences? I don’t think so. As I’ve said before, I believe that at some level, we are all connected - united through God, on a spiritual level, as one. I think that is why when my mother finally broke free of these earthly binds, we were still able to feel her love. It wasn’t just felt by Deana and I there in the hospital room, but it was felt by my son on his way to work and by my daughter, a couple of miles away in her home.

You know the old saying, “You can’t take it with you”? Well, it’s true. You can’t take it with you. You can’t take nest egg you built up or the expensive toys you bought. You can’t take the house, or the titles and degrees you earned. You can’t take the money or the jewelry or the expensive car.
But there is one thing that you can take with you, and that is love. And love transcends all time and space

by: Dr. Louis P. Bauer, Ph.D.

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Author's Bio: 

Lived in Slidell, La. for twenty seven years
Member National Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists.
Member of International Association of Counselors and Therapists.
Past Member of the Board of Directors of the St. Tammany Parish Unit of the American Cancer Society, 1993-1994.
Author of "A Journey to Inner Healing: Understanding the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection."
Nationwide success with his STOP-SMOKING program.
85% of all Dr. Bauer's clients are from referrals.
Has sold over 10,000 of his hypnosis and meditaion CD's and successfully helped people overcome the smoking habit, reduce weight, and other conditions such as depression, insomnia, fears, and phobias.
Conducts a one day workshop that is therapeutically designed to help a person to relieve stress, eliminate anxiety, overcome depression and build self confidence.
December 4th 1995 - Started a television series entitled "The Healing Power of the Mind", St. Tammany Police Jury Community Access, Channel l0, Charter Communications.
Has conducted hundreds of speaking engagements for businesses, groups, churches, schools, hospitals, and professionals, as well as seminars open to the general public.
Dr. Bauer is available for speaking engagements through appointment only. Please send an email with information, such as topic, date, location, and organization that the talk will be addressed.