I frequently meet people who are burdened with guilt because they were not with a loved one at the moment when they passed over. Sometimes, it’s as if all the happy memories from the years they spent together were erased because of that single omission. To a person wracked with grief, the details don’t always matter. They may have had a falling out with a parent or sibling and not talked to them for years before they passed, or they might have been there for the person but were not in the room when the loved one took their last breath. Some people can hold onto these punishing thoughts for decades, and no matter how many therapists or doctors they see, or how much friends and family members try to reason with them, they refuse to stop beating themselves up…
Unless of course they “hear” the words of comfort and healing from the dearly departed themselves.
Of all the blessings that come with being a psychic medium, one I truly treasure is the chance to learn from the dead, who look back on life with perfect clarity and understanding of what’s truly important. I wrote about this in my book, Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life. I can assure you, so many things we worry about and regret don’t matter one bit to your loved ones on the other side. While they appreciate the love and care they were given at the end, they’re not concerned about the details – if they were cremated rather than buried, who showed up for their funerals, or even who was with them when they passed. Remember, the dead go through a life review in Heaven and revisit their time on the earth – the relationships they cherished, the love they shared, the happiness and joy they experienced, and the lessons they learned. From that heavenly perspective they can see the whole picture, not just their final moments. And always, their deepest wish is that the people they left behind are happy, healthy, and living their best lives.
Often when they see a loved one suffering, spirits become desperate to reach out to them, and that’s where I come in.
I remember an incident that happened at a Celebrate Your Life Conference over 20 years ago. A spirit appeared, pushing through the crowd. He let me know that his wife was in the audience, and he had to get a message to her right away.
“Her life is falling apart, and I need to get her to stop the damage she is creating with her own thoughts”
He showed me the local hospital where he spent his final days, and I could feel that he passed of liver disease or cancer. I called out to the audience “Is there anyone who lost a husband? I see that he was at St. Joseph’s hospital when he passed of cancer.”
“I think that’s my husband” said a voice in the audience, He died at St. Joseph’s of prostate cancer.”
Your husband tells me that your life is starting to spiral out of control, is that true? I asked gently.
“I guess you could say that! I miss him so much, please tell him I’m sorry I wasn’t at the hospital when he passed.”
“You can tell him yourself he’s with you all the time and can hear your thoughts. He tells me that you’ve been attracting negative people, and they’re taking advantage of you.
The woman looked down sheepishly, and I could tell that I’d hit a nerve.
“Your husband tells me you let these people be around you because you don’t feel you deserve anything better. You’re not honoring yourself and he’s worried about you.”
As the reading went on, it was clear that the woman was heartbroken about not being with her husband at the very end. He let me know that she had been a wonderful wife, and all he wanted was for her to forgive herself – and to stop feeling bad about something that had been out of her control. “She was at the hospital all the time, taking care of me, but one day she had an appointment and left, and that was when I slipped away. But I’m still with her, and I can’t stand to see how unkind she’s being to herself.”
The man’s final words to his wife resonated with me, and everyone else in the room. “She wants me to forgive her, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s absolutely nothing to forgive. What she needs to do is to forgive herself! I love her, and I am there with her always. Please tell her that I’m not really dead, so the moment when I crossed over is just a single point in time among so many – it’s not more important than the rest of the time we spent together.”
I know it sounds crazy, but as I watched the woman absorb the message, the pain in her face started to dissolve. She smiled, and she suddenly looked ten years younger.
“How can I say no to my husband? I’ll forgive myself – and please tell him how much I love him.”
“Tell him yourself! He’s always by your side!” I said.
One thing I say to my students all the time is that you can’t control everything, and you shouldn’t try. Souls in Heaven remember the important things, like love and laughter you shared, and they want those memories to warm and comfort you too.
And if you’re still feeling lingering guilt for not being with your loved one during their last moments, consider that it might not have been an accident, or bad timing, at all. So many people, including my own mother, crossed over right after someone had just finished visiting her. I remember a message I received years ago from a spirit who said, “Don’t beat yourself up for not being there. I came in alone and I wanted to leave alone.”
There is a wonderful Native American saying which holds true: “When I was born into your world, everyone was happy and I was crying, when I left your world, everyone was crying, and I was happy.” So let yourself off the hook about any details that weren’t perfect and forgive yourself – knowing that your loved one forgives you too!