Gabrielle Elise Jimenez
Through the blue door
This morning about 5:30am I was woken from a deep sleep by what felt like a touch on my shoulder. At first I thought it was one of my cats but nothing was there. And then this feeling came over me; not a voice, not a sound... a feeling that someone was trying to tell me something. And then I knew, it was my friends mother who was dying, and about to take her last breath. I called my friend, waking her from a deep sleep and asked her to check on her mom. She went into her mom's room, she sat down next to her bed, she put her moms hand in hers and she watched her take her last breath. I am certain her mom woke me, hoping I would wake her.
About two years ago, I was sitting on my couch at home, when I suddenly knew that a patient I had seen the day before was sending me a message. Again, no words, no sounds... I just knew she was trying to die, trying to let go, but she couldn't because her arm or shoulder was tucked under her and she couldn't get comfortable. I called her nurse and asked her to check on her. I knew she was ready to go and this would allow her to do it with comfort. The facility repositioned her, freeing her arms and shoulders, and she died shortly after. I truly believe she sent me a message letting me know she was not comfortable, hoping I would help her.
One time I was sitting at the bedside of a woman who was in her late nineties, and moments away from her death. We had talked about her childhood a lot, which was happy, probably the happiest time of her life. She would describe these white flowing dresses her mother would have her wear and she would dance out in the fields of her home like a princess or a fairy. On the day she died, I was at her bedside when I looked out the window and I saw a young girl in a white flowy dress, barefoot, walking towards the field near the house. She turned to me and waved. I was admittedly startled. I looked over and she had died. I truly believe she went back to a time she was happiest.
These are only three of my stories (I have so many more), things I have witnessed and experienced. I have spoken to other people who work in end-of-life care, who have heard voices, received messages and seen similar things to me. This is not something we make up, any more than what people who are dying see or hear.
I have to believe that at least for me and those who do this work, we have built trust and created a safe space for those who are about to say goodbye, cross over, and die. I have become so at peace with death, feeling no fear or worry that I will suffer or struggle, and that wherever I go when I walk through that big blue door (which is how I imagine it) I will be stronger, beautifully peaceful, and greeted by those I have said goodbye to over the years. And perhaps it is because I feel this peace, that souls and spirits find me a safe place to come to. I am absolutely open to these visitors, these messages I receive, and that peaceful easy feeling many people have when they die. This confirms to me that when people finally take that last breath... there is no pain.