I saw Mr. Jones through his hospital window, grayed haired on the bigger side as older men tend to lean, lying in his hospital bed listening to his loved ones chatter amongst him. I drew a breath and opened the door.
“Okay family visiting hours are over you can come by tomorrow.” I flashed a pleasant smile and they all said their good- byes and kisses and slowly filed out of the room.
His wife last to leave kissed him on the forehead and finally walked out giving me a weary smile reached out touched my arm and said, “Take care of my husband.”
I gave her a nod of reassurance. When she left I walked over to Mr. Jones, “How are we feeling today?” I saw a shimmer around his being but pretended to ignore it.
“Never better. I feel like a champ all over again.” He looked down and off to the side and his smile disappeared.
“Something wrong Mr. Jones?” He looked up at me.
“Ah. Maybe it’s nothing but nurse I feel… I feel like that’s the last time I’ll see those faces walk out that door.”
I looked at him wide eyed; it’s rare when people feel their time coming. I stutter and looked down biting my lip and trying to find the words to explain.
“I’m sorry Mr. Jones but I don’t know how to tell you, but you’re right.” Stunned and baffled he’s shaking his head and then looks at me and I see the confusion in his eyes.
“I know when people’s time is coming. It’s a curse. Well not really know it’s more that I see it. But if you let me I can help. And I know this sound crazy but if you let me I would love to help you and your family go through this transition smoother.”
He thought about everything I said and raised his eyebrows in a nonchalant manner.
“So I’m going to die huh. I’ve heard crazier. So how are you going to help my family and me?”
My mouth opened in shock no one has ever just taken the news well or believed me. I quickly gathered myself. I pulled a chair up to his bed to explain.
As I sat down I took a deep breath let it out and stared right into his eyes. “I have the ability to see the soul shifting in people’s bodies. You’re soul takes twenty four hours to finally depart but in that time it starts seeping out which is why I see your soul’s aura around you.” I stopped to see if he was still following. He nodded for me to continue.
“The other part I can help you with is your peace. As you cross the experience can be hard and frightening but I am able to transfer emotion onto your soul making it easier for you. And I can do the same for your family as well just at a different degree.”
He thought for a minute. “So are you a grim reaper?”
“Common misconception but the myth of “grim reapers” originates from people with similar curses.”
He nodded again a little displaced. “When?”
I looked at him with hope in my eyes to not to discourage him. “You can go anytime in the night.” I said in a low voice while looking straight in his eyes to see how he was feeling? He pursed his lips and his eyes began to fill. I quickly handed him a tissue. “I am so sorry.”
“Don’t be”, as he cleared his throat. “I lived a wonderful life. Most men would envy the family I have.” He put a quick smile on his face, but I saw right through to the terror that lay under his eyes. He cupped my hand in his, “My dear how do you have the courage to face people like me every day.”
I saw he was deflecting to avoid the reality that lies ahead of him. Most people who get the news I give him react the same, distraction is key.
“Difficult at times as you can imagine.” I studied this man’s face more and saw all his life’s hard work in every wrinkle and felt every bit of love this man has in his soul. I knew I had to get him off this subject. “So tell me about your family Mr. Jones.”
Instant gratification and a smile so strong crossed Mr. Jones face. He grabbed the picture of his family that was on his night stand next to his bed. He pointed to the young boy on the far left. “This is my son Jason…”

His breathing got harder and his eyes almost shut. He was still going on about his wife. “Oh she… she was so mad at me.” He smiled at his thought “But I got her and won her love over.”
I smiled as I heard this man’s life unfold before me. I took his hand in mine and got out of my chair and went to whisper in his ear.
“It’s time.” His eye fluttered open and he seemed panic at first. “It’s okay Mr., Jones I am going to right here the whole way.” Still whispering I asked, “Now keep telling me about you’re beautiful wife. He smiled as his eyes started to shut again as he grew weaker.
“My wife.” He swallowed and smiled
I reached and put my hand across his heart as his soul started to depart. As I became in sync with his heart and soul I breathed in peace and sucked his pain and terror away. The room faded around us and placing us in his memories all around us his life played in front of us in flashes and snit bits. As this man’s heart pulsed one last time, his last emotion he felt and saw was love.

As I came back to and heard his monitors flat lining. I let go of my hand as tears streamed down my face. Wiping my face I turned his monitors off as another nurse walked in. I looked at her. “Do you mind taking care of this.” She looked at me with sympathy as I walked out of the room.

“Mrs. Jones?” I approached her as she was coming out of the hospital room with Mr. Jones things.
“Yes?” Her eyes stricken with grief. I handed her a letter.
“Your husband wrote it for you last night.” Caught off guard she then took the letter a little confused but clung to it like it was a new life line.
I put my hand on her and transferred peace in her soul giving her an instant calm to her storm. She looked up at me with the most sincerity and said, “Thank you.”

Dear Clara,
I love you so much and I am so blessed I get to say my good bye love. Not many people get the chance in their life to. But I want you to know that you are strong and the kids will need you and all our grand babies too. Don’t let them wallow and you don’t for even a second. You gave me more happiness than anyone else in the world. I’ll always be by your side, while you have your morning coffee and I’ll be on the front porch waiting for you to drink our wine under the stars. And this is not good bye forever. I’ll be waiting for you on the other side; waiting for your beautiful smile and green eyes that captured me in the first place. And always remember I’ll be by your side.
Love,

Paul

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