Saturday, February 19, 2011

Directional Synchronicity: The moment he died

Back in 2005 when I first started this blog I commented on two personal experiences with the moment of death that led me to believe that there is meaning in the timing of when someone dies. From my personal and professional hospice experiences, I've learned that the person who dies sometimes waits for people to leave, and sometimes waits for people to come. What can be frustrating for surviving family members, there is no way to know which way it is supposed to be until afterwards. Families can drive themselves nuts trying to 'create' the right conditions.

This week that idea of timing was confirmed again.

I had been sitting bedside for my friend "Gary" at an inpatient hospice for 4 days. I didn't do a vigil, but I just stayed long enough each day for him to know that I cared and that he wasn't facing his transition alone. On Thursday I noted he was starting to change and that it probably wouldn't be long. He was really close to his nurse and she was already on her way. He wanted to take a shower so I decided to go and get something out of the vending machine. I came back to the room but the nurse and the aide said they were still helping him and it would be just a few more minutes. I had heard it was a nice day outside and so I went out to the front of the facility to sit down and enjoy the weather. I was there less than 5 minutes when the nurse came rushing out in a panic to tell me that he had passed. She told me it was peaceful and that both she and the aide were with him. She felt so bad that I wasn't there at the time and I reassured her that I understood and that I wasn't supposed to be there.

Well, less than 5 minutes later, a friend, K, came walking up from the parking lot and I had to tell her that he had passed. She missed him by 5 minutes. She felt bad that she missed him and I reassured her that it was intentional on his part.

His nurse, D. had been on her way from another patient's house when she had a strong message in her head that she needed to pick up small memento of his from his house for him. Then she got stuck in traffic. So when SHE found out she also missed being there for him, she was really sad. I told her about timing and how he waited until I was gone and died before K got there. In hindsight, we figured out that the message to get the memento came right around his time of death.

The synchronicities of all three of us 'missing' the event are too much to chalk up to coincidence.

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