What the Dying Know
Season 19; Episode 36
Book Excerpt: Opening Heaven's Door: What The Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going
AN UNEXPECTED VISION
My father died in his blue-striped pyjamas on a soft bed in a silent house. He wasn't ailing. At three or four in the morning he gave out a sigh, loud enough to wake my mother. A sigh, a moan, a final breath escaping. She leaned over to rub his back, sleepily assuming that he was having a bad dream, and then retreated into her own cozy haze of unconsciousness. Morning arrived a few hours later as a thin suffusion of northern March light. She roused herself and walked around the prone form of her husband of fifty-four years to go to the bathroom.
Downstairs to the humdrum rituals of the kitchen. Brewing coffee, easing her teased-apart English muffin halves into the toaster, listening to the radio. I was being interviewed about a brand-new book. There I was, the youngest of her five children, going blah blah blah with impressive authority about a lawsuit that had been launched by a man who had suffered incalculable psychological damage from finding a dead fly in his bottle of water.
Excerpted from Opening Heaven's Door. Copyright © 2014 Patricia Pearson. Published by Random House Canada, which is a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.