photo by Roy Shapley
photo by Roy Shapley

I get asked this question during almost every Reading that I do.  I think the question is a natural one, but more honestly stated as:  Did they HAVE to die?  Right THEN?

I don’t know if we are born with an expiration date.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

What I do know is that during a Reading, I ask the question and convey the answer that comes.  But more often than not, the answer back from the deceased loved one is:  Tell them about time.

And what I tell the grieving person about time is this:  Time is relative.

As living humans, we measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks.  But in the afterlife, time is measured cosmically, in eras and in millennia.  So, what we measure as 20 years with our clocks and calendars, the universe of the afterlife measures as a moment.  Imagine, if you will, being presented with a timeline that is marked off in one thousand year segments, each about six inches long.  And now imagine being told to paint a dot on today.  Certainly you could come close, but would it mark this exact moment in time down to the second?  No.  Death comes “on the dot,” but it’s like the dot you just made.  It’s “right now” on a watch that ticks off ten years like our watches tick off seconds.  Now is relative.

And so, no, your loved one didn’t HAVE to die right THEN.  They could have died a week later.  Or they could have died two years earlier.  Either way, their death would have occurred on the dot, at the same cosmic time.  People tell me that they wish they had “just one more day” with their loved one.  And I say maybe you did.  Maybe you had a lot of them.

Curiously, I wonder if the question, “Was it their time?,” is maybe the wrong question altogether.  I am reminded of something I was told by the spirit of a woman I knew.  She was in her 70’s when she passed away from a third recurrence of cancer.  In a Reading with her, she said, “When death comes for you, you don’t get asked ‘Would you like more time?’ because the answer would always be ‘YES!’.  Everyone has something to live for, something more they want to see or do or experience.  Instead, the question that comes is: Was it enough?  Did you have enough time?”

Well, that is a whole different question.  And maybe a better question for us to be asking.  It is less selfish; instead of ‘I wanted more time with them!  Why did they have to die RIGHT THEN?,’ it asks ‘Did they have all the time they needed?’  Hard as this may be to hear, this question allows for a ‘yes’ answer, even when the deceased loved one was very young.

I did a Reading for a woman who lost a full-term baby to stillbirth.  Her placenta had ruptured, and the woman was not only grief-stricken over the loss of a much-wanted and long-awaited child, but stricken with guilt, feeling that it was all her fault, that there must have been something she could have done differently to prevent this from happening.  During the Reading, the daughter’s spirit came through and said (several times), “There was no mistake.”  The daughter went on to explain that her life’s work was to be born well — to be loved and wanted.  And she had done that, and it had healed her soul.

“Did they have enough time?”   Enough as a measure of time is relative.  And it is personal.  For the elderly woman who told me about this question, she answered the question ‘yes.’  Yes, she had had enough time for everything that was important, time enough for everything she loved, time enough for everyone she loved.

I would like to think that all of us answer in the affirmative when our time comes.

6 thoughts on ““WAS IT THEIR TIME?””

  1. Carrie – this is beautiful – and perfect for me as I celebrate the one – year anniversary of my Father’s passing. The section that stands out for me is this:
    In a Reading with her, she said, “When death comes for you, you don’t get asked ‘Would you like more time?’ because the answer would always be ‘YES!’. Everyone has something to live for, something more they want to see or do or experience. Instead, the question that comes is: Was it enough? Did you have enough time?”

    I think what we all want is to feel complete. At least those of us here (still) on earth – not sure of those who have passed. A fabulous book, “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by John James and Russell Friedman, talks about how much of the pain we feel in loss is because of incompleteness- we had an argument with someone that wasn’t resolved, we wanted to tell them we loved them one more time, we never got to do ______. My advise to the living- Get resolution on things NOW! Don’t wait to tell your family members you love them. Don’t wait to heal an argument because you think they were “wrong” and you were right. It’s so much easier to get completion while your loved one is here.

    Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. This is quite lovely, and a beautiful reframing of the question. I lost my husband nine years ago – he was 46 years old when he died, of his first and only heart attack. I tortured myself for a good long time after that, wondering if there was something I should have seen, done, caught, changed, noticed…and then, at some point, the idea entered my thoughts: He lived until he was done, and then he left.

    I still miss him. I still wish for more time – and every now and then, I do get more time in dreams. In those dreams he is aware and content. Yes, he had the time he needed.

  3. I think time is more difficult to accept when the death is sudden due to carelessness of someone else…like being shot for no reason and then not being given first response medic in time and taken to hospital… I have spent endless hours reading from religious aspects to death to various other theories…I can say this that sudden due to carelessness is not in your destiny…and such deaths are devastating for those left behind…

    • I agree with your assessment that the timing of a death is difficult to accept when the death is random and violent. However, “destiny” is a complicated thing, as we are all so inter-connected, our destinies so intertwined. Our intertwining may mean that one death is tied to a critical chain reaction of events — a chain we may not be able see because of our vantage point.


Leave a Comment