I found out that my mother had died while I was on a five-day bus trip to Cleveland with 50 high school students. We were on our way home when I got a phone call from my father. It was completely unexpected. She had Parkinson’s and was receiving supportive care in a nursing home, but she had not been sick. In the space of one or two minutes, she just died, and no one really knew what had happened.

When I heard the news I felt a sudden, strange shift in reality. I needed to be alone. The only place I could go was the toilet cubicle in the bus, where I stood for half an hour, praying and centering. It was another five hours before I got home. I spent the next day rearranging my home life and made the ten hour drive to the funeral. I came into the process late. All of the funeral planning had been done, and I hadn’t had any time with my mother’s body before she was embalmed. I felt a strong need to be where she had last been present.

Late that night, after everyone else had gone to bed, I went to my mother’s empty room at the care center. I closed the door and laid on her bed. I cried a little, but mostly I was struck by my mother’s view from that bed. It did feel like prison, which she sometimes called that place. I was glad she that she was done with it and that her exit had been mercifully fast.

While I was laying there I began to see her, dimly, up in the air. She seemed unaware that I was there. She had her hands out in front of her, and she was looking at them, looking at the palms, as if they were something foreign that she was trying to figure out. She was gently turning around in circles, as if she was dancing with her hands. As I lay there watching her, she came down to me and began brushing my legs, from my thighs down to my feet with whispery sweeping motions. It was clear that I should move my energy into meditative Love and Let Go, which I did.

After I had meditated for a short while, my mother became a wispy concentration of white transparent vapor. I have seen other spirits leaving their bodies when I worked as a nurse at the hospital and in the ambulance. My mother’s appearance was similar. She was a misty cloud about the size of a human, but shaped like an elongated teardrop, with a condensed and rounded “head” leading and a wispy tail trailing as it moved.

My mother’s spirit moved out of the room and went down the hall along the ceiling, towards the elevator. It came back to me and went down the hall again, many times. She seemed to be asking me to come along. I wasn’t done in the room yet. I knew that I would never be coming back, so I stayed a little while, touching and smelling her clothes. All the while, my mother’s spirit continued to travel back and forth between the room and the elevator.

When I left the room I closed the door, and let her lead me to the elevator. I opened the heavy hall door and made sure her spirit got through it. We stood together waiting for the elevator, and when it came I made sure she was on it before closing the doors. We traveled together through a maze of connected hallways on the way to the independent living building, where I was staying. It was quiet, dark, night time.

Several times I wondered if I was imagining my mother’s spirit, if I was making it up. Just like meditating for channeled writing, when I doubted the experience I could not have it. When I meditated and trusted, it was there. I couldn’t look directly at her spirit, but I was aware of it and it’s movements out of the corner of my eye. She zoomed along the ceiling of the hallways. I made sure she made it through every locked door. When we got to Building A, I realized that she was going to see my Dad.

In the elevator of his building, she began to materialize. I saw her standing in the corner, looking much younger and wearing the blue and white coat that she wore when traveling. She looked relaxed and unconcerned, but also somewhat curious about her surroundings, as if she was trying to figure out her presence there. She wasn’t communicating directly with me, but I was able to see her because I was in a meditative state.

When we got to the door of my Dad’s apartment, she became agitated. She was desperate to see him but didn’t know how to get in. She had materialized and did not know how to get back to her spirit form. I sure didn’t know, either. I showed her the wide crack under the door, telling her that she would need to get in that way. It was well after midnight, and I didn’t want to knock on the door and wake my dad at that hour, or try to explain to him what was happening. I was also completely exhausted myself. So I left my mom crouching by his door, encouraging her to figure it out on her own, and I went to bed.

The next day was the funeral. On the way there I saw her in the car, sitting in the back seat next to me in her materialized form, again wearing her traveling coat. We did not interact. She had that same relaxed and curious affect as the day before, when I first saw her. She was looking out the window at the world, detached from it. During the funeral I saw her in her white wispy spirit form, above her casket, way up in the church’s cathedral ceiling. Her spirit form was lighter and less dense than the day before. It was flitting about like a bird.

The next time I saw her was the following day, in her hometown, at the mausoleum where her physical body was to be interred. Her casket was to be placed in a drawer there, near her parents, with an empty place waiting next to her for her husband. While our family was there, the casket was placed in the front of a little chapel, with a high ceiling and tall glass windows looking out over a beautiful scene of summer trees. During the brief service, I saw her spirit form near the ceiling, above her casket. It was even lighter then, barely visible.

Then I saw her spirit in the sky just above the roof of the chapel. It hung there briefly, and then there was a silent and instant transformation. Her spirit form dissolved into millions of tiny, shiny particles, like crystal glitter. The glittery particles floated together, and then one by one they gradually became reabsorbed into the Universe and disappeared. The last I saw, there were a only few left. I knew they would all soon be gone.

My mother has walked on in the spirit world. I don’t know if she ever interacted with my dad. My own interaction with her was minimal. I only helped her to leave her room at the care center. After that she managed it all herself. I was gifted with witnessing her passing, into timeless eternity. It was beautiful and easy. Peaceful.