An instinct to die — An excerpt from Dancing in Heaven

I don’t have an audio file for this short excerpt. After three failed attempts, I gave up trying. I can’t seem to get past the line, “But it presses on me . . .” Instead, you could start the Celine Dion video and listen to her song as you read. This song was often playing through my mind as I spent time by Annie’s bedside.

I know that people tell stories about encouraging their loved ones to “Go to the light,” when they are dying, or to “Let go.” I’ve been telling Annie the same. I tell her, “Go to the light, Sweetheart. Look for Grandma. Look for Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy. Do you see Grandma? You go when you’re ready.” But it presses on me that she might not know what that means.

I turn to the hospice nurse Joanne who sits silently in the pink recliner by the little light that throws the room into a soft glow. “What can I tell her?” I ask. “I don’t know if she evens knows what it means to go to the light.” Joanne reassures me that it is instinctual to know how to die. “Tell her it’s okay to die,” she says.

I turn back to Annie with my head resting against hers and I whisper, “It’s okay to,” but I am unable to say the word die.

Dancing in Heaven is now available at: (Print and Kindle)
Smashwords (Multiple ebook formats)

9 thoughts on “An instinct to die — An excerpt from Dancing in Heaven”

  1. I turn back to Annie with my head resting against hers and I whisper, “It’s okay to,” but I am unable to say the word die. -this breaks my heart, Christine, I know how you felt. While my brother was dying…it was the one thing I couldn’t talk about with him, though he actually tried a few times, I just couldn’t verbalize it without losing it.

    1. I know reading this kind of thing can bring back sad memories. Thanks for sharing yours with us. This is pretty universal, I think.

      Maybe being able to understand and talk about it would have been harder, as in your case. I just don’t know. It’s hard.

  2. “giving a loved one permission to die”…As a retired hospice nurse, I can relate to that moment; as a father who lost a son, I know the pain of “letting go.” You are in my prayers. May God bless “Dancing In Heaven.”

  3. I too talked my spoke to my Father… as I held his hand as he passed over.. This excerpt brought fresh tears to my eyes for your own saddness and for the rememberance of those final moments… I asked my Dad to let go and cross over to the light and let go of his battle.. My story of that moment you can find here

    I agree with LeRoy Dean above.. in that those Divine powers that be Bless ‘Dancing In Heaven’


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