About an hour ago, I sat with Mr. C. as he took his last breath. It was both ordinary and surreal.
Due to my work as a medium and my strong belief in the Afterlife, I’m comfortable with passing of the physical body, and my own loss of many loved ones over the years has enhanced my sense of compassion and appreciation of the beauty of a soul’s journey in crossing over. For these reasons, I decided to become a hospice volunteer.
I researched several organizations near me, in and around beautiful Asheville, NC, before approaching Four Seasons Hospice. The screening process was simple, with an online application and an in-person interview. I had to get a few medical tests and go through their training process, which was pretty straightforward.
My first assignment was to visit Ann for socialization. For over a year, I sat and chatted with Ann in her home for about an hour each week. She had a quick wit, charming personality, and an enthusiastic gratitude for my visits. We quickly became dear friends. After she passed away in her home surrounded by family, I was melancholy for a bit, and I took a couple weeks off from volunteering. I still think about Ann, and I send her my love. Sometimes I still feel her spirit sending love to me, too.
After about six months of volunteering, I joined another Four Seasons program called 11th Hour. This is a program where hospice volunteers will sit with patients who are actively in the dying process but have no family who can be there with them. It required a bit more training, but then I was on the list and waited for my first 11th Hour assignment.
The call came, and I went and sat with Don for several hours at a time, several days in a row. Although he was in and out of consciousness during my visits, he held my hand fervently when I sat with him. He was not verbal, but I could tell he was grateful to have me there. From the photos in his room, I could tell he’d been an artist, building amazing custom furniture. We listened to music together, I read Robert Frost poems to him, and I told him how I admired the photographs of his work, and I knew he was an amazing person. I was not with him when he crossed over, but his spirit came to visit me. He showed me how he used to be when he was younger, and he told me how meaningful my visits had been.
Another 11th hour call was for Virginia, a veteran who had a very strong will and a determined spirit. I spent a few evenings with her, but a family member had been able to fly in to be with her after all, and they were with her when she passed.
And that brings me to the story of Mr. C.
Earlier this afternoon, I received word from my volunteer coordinator that Mr. C had begun the active dying phase, and his family lives out of state. I’d had a full day of readings, but I said I’d go in the evening after work.
About two hours ago, I entered Mr. C’s room at the assisted living facility. He was resting peacefully, and I didn’t want to disturb him. I softly introduced myself and explained that I am a volunteer for Four Seasons Hospice and that I would be sitting with him a few hours. I adjusted the lighting to be a bit more dim and turned off the TV that was adding noise to the room but no value to someone trying to rest. I pulled my little Bluetooth speaker out of my bag and began playing my playlist of beautiful harp music.
Mr. C had bookshelves full of model ships and many books about piloting ships, so I imagined he may have been a captain or ship’s officer. I imagined the joy he’d felt at the helm, looking out at the sea.
I sat quietly reading and listening to his rhythmic breathing. I was feeling a gentle calmness when the sound of his breathing quieted. As I watched intently, he took one more breath, then … silence. I sat with him, absorbing the silence. I noted the time, 6:43 p.m., and waited a bit more. Then I felt his presence. His spirit was warm and kind, and I felt the happy vibrance I imagine befitting of a ship’s officer. I gently touched his arm, then brushed some hair off his forehead while sending him love. I exited the room and alerted the head nurse of his bodily death.
His passing was both ordinary and surreal. It was ordinary in that the process was so natural and smooth, like falling asleep. Yet it was surreal because the last time I was actually with someone at the time of their crossing over was my mother’s passing ten years ago. In our society, we spend so much of our time in the presence of the living, that, for most of us, being in the presence of the dying can feel odd or intimidating.
I hope this post brings more normalcy to the concept.
I am actually deeply honored to be able to share this sacred time with others, to help bring love and compassion to their journeys as their time on this physical plane in this physical incarnation draws to a close. I also feel that we all have a mission to help others while we’re here, so I strongly encourage people to consider being a hospice volunteer. If that doesn’t feel comfortable to you, then consider what volunteering opportunities do resonate with you.
I can honestly say it adds to my sense of inner peace and contentment knowing I am able to help others the way that I do, and it’s a thing of beauty to witness a transformation such as when Mr. “C” once again felt joy as though he were Mr. “Sea.”
Love & Light,
Psychic Medium Kelly Palmatier
Channeling White Light Towards a Better World
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