HIS IS A MIRACLE MOMENT about a young AIDS
patient, John, who died in my care. It was a Monday morning when
I was told that John had passed away. When I called to offer my
condolences to the family, I could hear John’s mother’s voice in
the background. When she heard I was on the phone, she felt compelled
to tell me about John’s experience at death. Here is his story.
During the last weekend of John’s life, his family had gone without
sleep for more than 48 hours as they waited for his suffering to
end. Early Monday morning, John finally convinced his mother and
brothers and sisters to get some sleep. He knew they were exhausted.
To please him, his family agreed. John’s father kept a vigil and
assured everyone he would call if they needed anything.
mother went to her room to rest and had only been there for a few
minutes when she heard her husband call out in tears. The family
rushed back to John’s room and found that he had collapsed in his
father’s arms after insisting that his dad help him out of bed.
His mother was convinced her son was dead. Both she and one of John’s
brothers checked his pulse and found no signs of life. John’s mother
cried in anger and despair. She felt it was unfair that she had
patiently sat with John at his bedside for so long, yet he had waited
until she left the room to die.
A few moments passed as the family continued to grieve. Suddenly,
John opened his eyes and called out, “Mom, I’m here.”
Taken aback, John’s mother and family could not believe he
had opened his eyes again. John was gazing past her, but spoke in
a clear, distinct voice. “Mom, I’m here,” he repeated.
She asked where he was, and he said, “I’m here at the
light and it’s as beautiful as you said.” John’s
mother asked if he was all right, and he said, “Yes, mom,
I’m not afraid. I’m not here by myself.” She asked
John who was with him, and he replied, “Julie’s here,
mom. You remember Julie.” His mother recalled that Julie was
her son’s elementary school sweetheart and had grown up in
the same neighborhood. She had been killed in a car accident ten
years ago. “She’s as beautiful as I remember Mom, and
she’s in the light. She wants me to go with her,” he
said. His mother assured John that it would be fine. Still, John
asked if it would be okay to go. “Yes son, it’s okay,”
she answered softly. John closed his eyes.
Antonio Rios, RN
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospice
Corpus Christi, Texas