Editor’s Introduction

Aron Gersh (real name) has an MA in Humanistic Psychology. His training included emphases in logic, set theory, and mathematics. He has taught statistical analysis, and was a mathematics high school teacher. He notes that his philosophical approach currently is …”phenomenology . . . which currently still seems quite anti-the-paranormal, which it should not be.”

He is currently in private practice as a psychological counselor and edits a psychology magazine in London.

Departing Mom Says Goodbye Over The Ocean
Aron Gersh

My mother took a long time to die. She was totally independent, with just a little help, till the day she died. She lived alone, and could walk to the kitchen and make, make her own food, etc. A maid came in about 3 times a week, to clean up and help a bit.

She lived in a small one bedroom flat in Cape Town, South Africa. I was living in London, England, those years before and when she died. She had broken her hip in a fall some 3 years earlier, but refused to have an operation for hip replacement . . . because she was rather anti the medical profession. So, instead, she lay in bed for nine months till she could walk on her own again. The doctors were impressed.

I used to visit her once a year from London, for about 3 weeks at a time. When I left her three years before she died, I was convinced I would never see her again and we had a very grieving parting. But, my sister, who used to do social work with old people, said to me that the old can languish for years, and you simply do not know when they will die.

So when I left her for the last time, 5 months before she died, I had no real way of knowing when she would go.

Back in England I was working hard publishing a small magazine. I never dreamt about my mother. One morning I was sleeping particularly late (I used to go to sleep late) but my doorbell, which played a long tune, woke me slowly – it was far away downstairs, so was not alarmingly loud. In the slow awakening I captured a dream: Mom was looking at me compassionately, and she was walking, very well. I said to her: “Mom, you seem to walking okay”. She nodded, a mystiqueful nod, as if to say: “Yes! It is true that I am walking well. But it is not what it seems.”

I opened the door, and it was my best woman friend. I told her the dream.

Now, for some years before this I had learned, from reading, that people who die and have out of body experiences, generally find that they are totally healed of any disability they may have in bodily form. Hence a man with no legs would find his lost leg restored. A cripple would be whole and en-abled. Whether this is true or not, this was the belief that I had about after-life experience (and I am not even sure there is an after life). If there is an afterlife, I think the above is true. I also believe that all negativity fades and pure compassion is left in the departing person. One need generally fear no need of judgement from the departed spirits (with rare haunting exceptions).

So, being a psychotherapist, I did a quick analysis of the dream, and realized that it had these components: mom had been healed, and had compassion, and it was if she had come to say goodbye. She was saying: No, I am not healed in life, but healed through death.

About 3 hours later I got the phone call about her death.

A week after the funeral, I was in her flat, cleaning up, and about to leave for the last time, returning to England. I put my hand on the piano that we had had since childhood. I remember the joy of singing around that piano while my mom played. There was one tune I loved very much – an old sentimental song that I thought only existed in our family, for I had NEVER heard it on radio, or anywhere else, for that matter. The song was “My hero”, from an operetta called “The Chocolate Soldier” (Have YOU heard about it?). The words were “Come, come, I love you only. Come, come, my heart is true. . . “

I left the flat, and drove the 8 miles around Table Mountain to my sister’s house. The radio was playing very funereal music, and I, not even at a time like this, had any need for this. I took the dial, did one turn, and landed on another music channel. Classical music was playing, then, a few seconds later a beautiful choir, seemingly a hundred strong, began singing in the most angelic way: “Come, Come, I love you only, Come come, my heart is true . . . “

I sobbed!!! I heard the song once again about a year later, but never since. I certainly had NEVER heard it in my whole life before, on radio or TV.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

I must stress I am a very rational, philosophical person. New Age flakes drive me crazy and I am always arguing with them about their ideas. I am very slow to use the word “synchronicity” when “extreme chance” will do. But the chances of that dream, meaning what it meant, being coincidental, by chance, with my mother’s death, I would say is statistically very, very small, and this is rather an incidence of synchronicity.