In the book I mention that after selling my café and property I spent a couple of months helping my sister Marie nurse her husband Ralph through his terminal brain cancer. I would like to expound on that experience as it was so life-changing.

On the Saturday before he died, Marie made the difficult decision to put him on low-dose morphine as we knew Ralph was in pain and he slipped into constant sleep. He then developed pneumonia and his breathing became a sickening rattle and was doing that erratic “chain-stoke” breathing of the dying. Marie had seen this many times before in her many years of experience and declared that he would be gone by Monday. After the palliate care nurses left we wept in each other’s arms as the reality and finality of it all hit us. This was the beginning of the end.

Marie kept a vigil by his bedside day and night, only showering and eating when I came in the morning to relieve her. She asked me if I wanted to be there when he passed but I honestly didn’t know…I had never seen anyone die before and part of me was afraid of not knowing how I would cope, so I told her that if I am meant to be there I will. 11:11 came and went on Monday and he still hung in there so I went back to my van that night to get some sleep.

The next morning I woke with a sense of urgency to get back, so I quickly dressed and drove the five minutes to Marie and Ralph’s house. As soon as I walked in I knew that something had changed. The air in the room was palpable and electric with energy. I was buzzing and felt “high”. It reminded me of the movie Cacoon where the aliens were energising the swimming pool water in order to preserve the cocoons in it. To our surprise Ralph’s pneumonia had disappeared and he was breathing and sleeping peacefully. It felt as though there was a huge angel in the room, sending Ralph energy and keeping him alive, allowing him the extra time he needed to complete unfinished business. He always said he was determined to not come back to this plane of existence again as he was well and truly “over it”! Perhaps that is why he needed the extra time, to finish his exams so he could graduate from the school of Earth?

This amazing state lasted three days, the time between Jesus’s death and resurrection. Ralph’s son reported that during that time his son’s electric toys were turning on and off by themselves. The light above Ralph’s bed, which had never worked, also turned on for a while. Ralph had always been interested in astral travel and he was certainly doing it now, giving us signs to show he was out and about.

The bedside vigil continued and we had beautiful, angelic music playing and scented candles burning, creating an atmosphere of reverence. Then Saturday morning, one week after having the morphine driver inserted, I came in at about 8am. The look on Marie’s face told me the end was near, which she confirmed when she told me that he had had several seizures that morning. We sat in silence on either side of him, holding his hands, the only sound the angelic choir playing in the background and the ticking of the clock on the wall. I had forgotten about the 11:11 thing and it seemed like it had all been my over-active imagination, when Marie broke the silence saying, “You know what the date is today, don’t you?”

I looked at her questioningly as each day had blurred into the next and I had no idea, barley knowing what day of the week it was.

“It’s the 11th of May!” she declared.

Continued in Part 4