I Rest in God

"He whom we love and lose is no longer where he was. 
He is now wherever we are."

 St John Chrysostom c.390AD


There are some experiences that are so distinct within the accepted flow of time, they completely deny the vicious tedium of the dream and stand apart in their vividness and grace as eloquent witnesses to a Reality beyond form.  Early in my awakening, I was blessed by two such experiences.


My father, a beautiful confused man totally bewildered by the world, was never comfortable, never safe; until his rage turned inward and found a tiny cell in the colon in which he could hide his sorrow.  The sorrow multiplied.

Once I had asked ‘Why is he in so much pain?’  The answer was startlingly clear ‘He has always been in pain; now the pain is showing’.  So for five years, we denied, we ignored, we hoped, we grieved until one evening my mother telephoned.  ‘He’s in a coma; the doctor says it will be very soon.’  Unable to sleep, I drove up early the next morning.  ‘Wait for me, wait for me’.

And there he was, my tall, handsome beloved daddy shrunk to 95 pounds.  His eyes were filmy and glazed, his breath foul and labored.  A bed sore was blossoming on his fleshless shoulder.  He was barely conscious, moaning with the effort of trying to wake up to a reality that had finished with him. 

In that moment I made a choice, my heart opened and I fell in love.  I sat on the bed and held him in my arms, his head resting on my heart.  And I sang to him, songs of my childhood, stroking his head, loving him in a never ending stream of gratitude for all he had given me. 

My sister arrived.  Horrified by what she saw, she raged with fear and grief until my Mother took her from the room and we were alone.  My father heard it all, he shook from head to toe, clinging to life with a tenacity which both amazed and saddened me. Finally I said “You know Daddy, enough is enough.  It’s time for some peace; it’s time for some joy.”

And for the first time he truly relaxed in my arms.  In that moment I knew he had surrendered and the time had come.  I considered whether I should call my Mother but I knew this was for him and me.  In a strange pact of love and forgiveness we enacted this final drama of crucifixion together.

The whole room filled with light.  My father’s eyes became blue crystal with a clarity I had not seen for years.  I became aware of a presence at the foot of the bed, on which my father was completely focused.  I was forgotten in that moment of wonder and awe as he watched and listened and then left his body.  The body took a couple of half hearted breaths and ceased to move.  My heart exploded in my breast with joy and gratitude.  There is no death.  The sad shell of a body was discarded and forgotten.  My father had embraced Life.

 My Course in Miracles lesson for that day spoke to me ‘There is one life and that I share with God. 

“What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping.  When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while.  It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substance less, and all events are nowhere.  When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.”

My father was free and so was I. 

My darling mother followed him 17 months later.  A strong intelligent woman, she found herself quite lost without the physical presence she had made her life’s purpose to take care of.  She was aware of his continuing presence and tried to ‘soldier on’ without his physical company but finally made a decision to leave the body. 

While visiting my sister, she was taken ill and admitted to hospital.  I traveled up to see her regularly and postponed my intended travel plans.  By the time she had a heart attack as a reaction against drugs she was prescribed (four weeks later); I had realized she was really serious about this ‘death thing’.  In the space of six weeks she went from a condition of robust physical health to a coffin.  A post mortem ascertained four causes of death.  For every symptom she presented and the doctors addressed, she produced a new condition to replace it.

Once again, I received a phone call.  I did not sleep that night and drove up early the following morning. 

My mother looked frail and was in some pain.  I rubbed her feet and loved her.  She was very tired.  She told me that she had seen my father and that he had reassured her that all was well.  A morphine drip was set up and my mother fell asleep for 12 hours.  I stayed with her during that time as my sisters traveled to be with us.

I had stayed ‘bright’ and focused for that time, supporting my sisters until 7.00 the next morning when total fatigue and devastation overcame me.  I fell across my mother’s bed and cried.  “I love you so much Mummy and there is nothing I can do”.

Instantly every thing changed; I had finally asked for help. At that moment the nurses arrived to prepare my mother for the day and my sister brought me breakfast and hot coffee.  I was immediately rejuvenated.  By the time, I had washed and freshened up, the nurses told us that we could go back in and that our mother was awake.

As soon as I entered the room, I saw my mother was indeed Awake. 

She shone with a radiance I had never witnessed in her before.  In the knowing that comes from grace, I understood she had had an encounter with reality and ‘returned’ to give us her love and blessing.  Her eyes were vivid blue lasers blazing light and love on her ‘four girls’.  The room was crowded with angels.

Standing at the end of the bed, I could feel my father beside me.  He placed his hand on mine in a gesture though unseen was unmistakable.  And though she was unable to speak my mother communicated and beamed her love to each of us and we were all caught up in the joy of her discovery.  In retelling this story many times, I have often used the analogy of a 1000 watt bulb blazing behind a very old lampshade.  A light so intense the body was barely visible.  And so she left.  And there were no tears because there had been no death. 

Walking out of the hospital later that morning, I felt her take her first breath in me.  She was new born and free.  And she stayed with us in those early days, reassuring us with her love, reassuring me in my decision to pursue only Truth. 

Later that day, I had a quiet time and turned to the Course at random.  Talking of the gift of healing in lesson 132, I read

“...some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it.  Others find it in experience that is not of this world, which shows them the world does not exist because what they behold must be the truth, and yet it clearly contradicts the world.”

I have subsequently had experiences which show me that even my ideas of ‘parents’ are not true but within the drama of an impossible dream, I was given an experience of grace from which I have never recovered.  Nor should I wish to, I recall with infinite gratitude and delight…

             Forget not, that the healing of God’s Son is all the world is for.


Jane Wiltshire
United Kingdom