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Excerpt from "Everything You Wanted To Know AboutThe Afterlife"

If I Don’t Get To Say Goodbye Before I Die, Is It Too Late to Do So After?

by Hollister Rand

“Your father is giving me the sense that you weren’t with him when he died,” I told a woman who had been identified by her father in spirit as “Daddy’s girl.”

“Yes, that’s right,” she replied.

“My head is feeling woozy, so my sense is that your father was on serious pain medication just before he passed,” I continued.

“Yes, he was on a morphine drip at the end.”

“Now I’m smelling tuna fish and seeing a tuna-fish sandwich. Were you getting a tuna-fish sandwich when he died?”

“Yes, actually,” she replied, starting to show emotion, which, up to that point, she had been trying to hide. “I was hungry and went to the hospital cafeteria. I got a tuna melt and ate it there so that it wouldn’t smell up my dad’s room. By the time I returned, he had died.”

A mother in spirit said to her daughter, Elvia, who had cared for her during a long illness, “Thank you for telling me that it was okay for me to go.” Elvia confirmed that as she sat at her mother’s deathbed, she told her, “Mom, it’s okay; I’ll be fine.” And within hours, her mother passed. These are just a couple of end-of-life scenarios in which loved ones were nearby at the point of death, but the results were quite different: one brought intense feelings of self-doubt and the other a feeling of completion. It can be extremely painful when a loved one dies suddenly and there isn’t an opportunity for that final conversation, that final goodbye.

During my years of working with spirits and their families, I’ve tracked the percentage of deaths where a loved one was present and where a loved one was not. Interestingly enough, it is about 50/50. (Keep in mind that this is not scientific research but an informal assessment.)

For those of you who have felt suddenly left behind, I’ve got a secret to share: sometimes people die suddenly or without the presence of those they love because it is easier for them to leave the body this way. And despite the pain of losing loved ones in this manner, spirits can be surprisingly matter of fact about it, as I learned when speaking with a client named Yasmine.

In the middle of Yasmine’s session, her mother in spirit gave me the sense that she had died abruptly, without her daughter in the room.

“You weren’t able to be with your mother when she died, were you?” I asked Yasmine.

She burst into tears and said with a bitter tone, “She died twenty minutes after I left.”

“I had to go when I did,” her mother responded.

“That’s just what the nurse said,” replied Yasmine.

“It is easy to think that your mother’s passing at that time was because she was angry,” I said to Yasmine.

“Yes,” she admitted. “It really felt like that—as though her choosing to die without me there was meant to hurt me.”

“Well, your mother’s telling me that dead people aren’t attractive.”

This elicited a laugh from Yasmine, who said that her mother hated to see dead people—she wouldn’t go to wakes or funerals for that reason.

“Your mother didn’t want you to see her dead in bed. She wants you to think of her as alive and well.”

The dead are alive; and in this sense, it’s never too late to say anything. A medium isn’t required for communicating with someone on the other side, and there is no need to worry about your message not being received. When we use someone’s name in our thoughts and prayers, the sound of the name carries the message—the name of a person is a powerful link. In fact, a respected medium I know asks sitters to speak their first names aloud at the start of a session. Think of it this way: when you’re at a crowded party, if someone mentions your name across the room, you’re alerted, despite the music and other conversation. It is much the same way with spirits. Remember that admonition “Don’t speak ill of the dead?” Well, implicit in that statement is the understanding that the dead do indeed hear us. And often, they need to hear what we weren’t able to say to them in life, whether it’s positive or what we may think is negative. It is never too late to say, “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “I’m angry with you.” It is never too late to give or receive forgiveness. These opportunities do not end with what we call death. And don’t worry; whatever needs saying, spirits can handle it!

One final thought: it is preferable to keep current with all relationships while you’re on Earth. If you love somebody, make sure they know it. If you need to set things right with someone, do it now. As a medium, much of my work involves expressing the regrets of loved ones in spirit and of sitters for what they have or haven’t done, and remorse for the pain they’ve caused. The less I have to do this, the better!

During the last twenty-five years, Hollister Rand’s dedication to the healing work of mediumship has included events and workshops in the United States and abroad.

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