I felt it at 2:24 a.m., the unmistakable feeling of a precious soul passing, and I just “knew.”

It felt like a “whispering” and a “knowing,” a feeling unlike any other, but one that you never forget and one that you will always appreciate and hold in your heart. A few short hours later, we received the news that my grandfather had passed away peacefully and surrounded by family.

While being intimately familiar with death and dying over the years, I have experienced many “unexplainable” things, things that no one else would believe unless they had experienced it themselves.

In my heart, I felt that my “startling wide awake” mid-morning was my ability to be “in tune” with what was happening hundreds of miles away, and I will always believe that I was given the gift of my grandfather saying goodbye.

Across town, my father experienced something very similar except he woke up uncannily at the exact moment my grandfather was taking his last breath, receiving the phone call less than 15 minutes later. I can’t tell you how precious these moments are, and some would probably scoff at anything like a “soul passing,” but I can tell you without a doubt that I believe.

Want to know what is even more special? My grandfather had been praying and pleading with God for years to “take him home” so that he could be reunited with his wife whom he had been married to for over 67 years. He was ready and couldn’t wait to take her hand once again or “fix her Rice Krispies just the way she liked them in the morning.”

After her death, he was a changed man — quieter, more contemplative and definitely more eager to close out the long chapters of his life. So, in this, his prayers were answered on this cold day in January, and those who loved him could breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that his despair had been lifted and that he had finally found peace.

Weeks ago, while sitting around the dinner table with family, I predicted the date that my grandfather would leave this world. I told them that I felt it in my heart that it would be the 24 hours before, during or after January 24, and I was right.

Want to know how I knew? Because the morning in which my grandfather took his last breath, he was also celebrating his 96th birthday, so essentially he breathed his last on the very same day in which he inhaled his first breath.

And, if you had the opportunity to ask him which of his birthdays had been his favorite over the years, I guarantee you he would have said, “This one,” because it was the day that he was given the greatest gift of all.

Contrary to what some may believe, death can be extremely beautiful, and in this instance, I can only imagine the smile on my grandfather’s face as he began to transition “home” and the inexplicable joy he must have felt when he left this earthly plain and was reunited with the love of his life in heaven.

The journey has been a long one, and the legacy he has left behind goes without saying. Give grandma hugs from us all. I know she has been waiting for you. “I love you too.”

Jenny Filush-Glaze is a licensed counselor and owner of Serenity Community Counseling LLC. Contact her at jfilush@charter.net.

Jenny Filush-Glaze is a licensed counselor and owner of Serenity Community Counseling LLC. Contact her at jfilush@charter.net.

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