Sacred Crossings: The Night Kenny Left his Body for the Last Time

In earlier chapters, I described what I dared put to paper about the night Kenny died. Today, 20-some months later, a bit of training as a hospice volunteer, and having witnessed the death of another loved one in my life, I can brave more recall, more important parts that may be valuable to you as the reader, that are certainly more available to my creative hand.

I didn’t know then that I could give him some comfort by closing his eyes during those last few hours of labored breathing when he couldn’t communicate. I didn’t realize I could continue to moisten his mouth. The hospice nurse left in kind of a hurry with no such instructions for me. I didn’t know they would leave us at such an auspicious moment.

So when Kenny took his final breath, his eyes were wide open as well as his mouth. I tried to close his eyes, but they flipped back open twice. Those incredible deep blue eyes that I so often sank into for love and comfort. That I so often admired and could see into his vulnerability, his true loving and his powerful oneness with God.

While I could cover his body and arms with the sheet, I couldn’t cover his face and I also couldn’t look at it after my attempt to close his eyes. It was too haunting to me—At that time I’d rather have remembered his eyes when they inhabited his Soul, his life here on earth.

So his body lay there while some friends gathered with me in the room. We called the mortuary, because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. They were to come in a few hours. In the meantime, we told stories, laughed and cried and waited. And everyone present, of course, took my lead and didn’t look at Kenny’s body either.

Aside from those haunting memories, I do remember something really important:

Soon John-Roger had his aide, Zeus call to ask where “the body was being taken.” I told him which mortuary and that was the end of the conversation.

Just a few days ago, Kevin and I were looking at photographs of Kenny as a young man and I found myself recounting that phone call. In a burst of recognition, as Kevin held my hand and stayed with me in his empathy and love, I went from laughing at the photo of Kenny doing some funny antic, to tears of understanding and gratitude. I realized once again how blessed we are to be under the protection of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, that part of us that guides our way back to the Heart of God. For I knew that John-Roger’s call was about checking in on Ken’s body to see if his Soul was on its way to the proper dimension in Spirit—to help it along if needed. So many times in years gone by when J-R was counseling MSIA students in the presence of many of us, and the subject of a loved one having already passed over came up, I would hear J-R say, “I’ve got him (or her). He’s OK. He’s where he should be.” And as I listened, I would well up with tears of gratitude, and I sensed so many others witnessing the counseling, did the same. Thank God the Traveler chose us. Thank God we chose back. Thank God our loved ones, even if they are not actively studying in MSIA, just by being connected to us devotees, are protected as ones of his own.

Back to what I didn’t know, but know better now: I could have closed his eyes so they would stay moist and more comfortable. And after he passed, if they were open again, I could have laid a clean cloth over them to help them stay closed. And I could have rolled a towel under his chin to help his mouth stay closed. I could have done a lot of things to honor his body, the Temple of his Soul, for as long as three days if I wanted to (legally). I didn’t know this. I actually kept a lot of information away from myself because I didn’t want to face his dying. For as long as he was alive, even as he got weaker and weaker, day by day, in my mind he was not dying. He would not be dying until he actually took his last breath. So I didn’t ask, I didn’t read much, and what I did read I forgot immediately. The only bit of compassionate education from the particular hospice agency we were assigned came from the doctor who one night only a few days before Kenny passed, told me I could stop counting liquids in and liquids out. That I should just focus on being with Kenny. Thankfully there was that much.

Only later when I was with my cousins supporting them as Cousin Nicky was passing, did I begin to get some education that mattered from the Hospice agency assigned to them. They instructed on meds, on bathing and changing, on when it was time to say our last goodbyes and so much more. Their loving, compassionate manner made all the difference. Their loving, compassionate manner gave me a measure of what was missing from the agency assigned to Kenny and me. Thankfully we had our MSIA ministers, our Circle of Light, our incredibly service-minded housemates. We were blessed beyond measure. Remember my talking about Circle of Light minister, Diana? She recounted her experience with us as “standing in for God.” And that’s how I experienced my presence at Nicky’s side.

I am blessed to be in a position to help others, having experienced the death of my husband in such a complex way. And to have the gift of awareness that allows me to grow from the experience, to awaken the parts of me that were afraid and unwilling to see. In tenderness for the lost part of me that I am gradually finding and surrounding with love, compassion, and forgiveness.

So now in my memories, whenever I may picture those last hours of Kenny’s life, I also remember the long moment just days before he passed, when he took my face in his hands, and held his gaze on my eyes in silent communion for a very long time. The world stood waiting outside our little bubble—it could have waited forever as I soaked in the loving we shared. It shall always remain a Divine Soul-to-Soul moment when time stood still, when nothing else mattered, when his death was imminent but yet so far away.

Bringing compassionate awareness to end of life issues is one of my passions now. Thus this blog and thus the compilation of the book. Wish me well! And I send my love to all of you who over the months have devotedly supported my efforts to bring myself into a greater Light focus around death and to bring this subject, however raw the accounts, to the Light of Spirit.

P.S. Today I attended a volunteer meeting of Hospice Partners of Southern California. A woman named Olivia did a presentation on “Sacred Crossings.” She calls herself a Death Midwife and helps families create a sacred experience for themselves of caring for a loved one’s body after death. I don’t necessarily advocate her business or her methods, but the subject is certainly worth exploring ahead of time so families can make educated decisions about the disposition of their loved ones’ remains.

Please do “like” this article, make a comment, share your experiences, however you are moved to do so. Or write to me directly at Baruch Bashan. The blessings already are!


16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Valerie said,

    Thanks so much Carol for yet another beautiful and courageous piece. You are ministering powerfully by writing about this subject for us.

    I identified with a lot of what you said. I used to live with an elderly lady, and eventually helped to care for her while she was dying. There is so much of what happened in the last few days of her life that I found difficult to understand and to handle, and only later when I read about the subject (particularly that great article that NDH published once by a hospice nurse) did I realize that what was happening was normal, and that there were things I could have done to make it easier both for her and for me.

    I agree that we often don’t want to know or to inform ourselves- we live in a society where many people have never been with someone who is dying and maybe never will, and so it is a taboo for us. I love the idea of a Death Midwife- someone who knows how to support us and our loved ones in transition.

    Much love and Light to you on the path ahead, and always remembering Kenny and those beautiful blue eyes. xxx

    • 2

      Carol said,

      Dear Val,

      It’s always so comforting to be consoled by one who really knows and understands from your own experience. I am so grateful to know you and consider you my friend. God bless you and Robert, Val. I love you both dearly.

  2. 3

    Clara Beatriz Jaramillo Restrepo said,

    Dear Carol,
    Thank you so very much for sharing such a sacred experience and for reminding me once again of what’s really important. That’s exactly part of the gift I received by having being with the two of you those nights, particularly the night Kenny passed into Spirit, which changed my life forever. As I said before, seeing the two of you in your most pure Soul state “make love” by holding the light, the unconditional loving and the caring you had for one another transformed me and expanded my view about true commitment and marriage. I want to believe I can have that in my life as well.
    I love and celebrate you and Kenny (wherever his Soul is now).
    Ongoing Blessings of Peace, Health & Love ♥

    • 4

      Carol said,

      Dear Clara,

      Thank you for reflecting to me your loving and compassion. I continue to be deeply grateful for all the love and compassion we experienced during those most impactful days of our lives. We are so blessed beyond what words can convey.

  3. 5

    Carole Moskovitz said,

    Exquisite, Carol! Courageous, loving and deeply touching. What a gift!

    Loving you and sending light to you and your book.

  4. 6

    Berti said,

    Beloved Carole,

    This is such an exquisite writing!! Thank you – I so love reading your blogs and am sooooo excited to get a signed copy of your book!!!!

    The relative I am supporting now is in the last stages of the dying process, so reading what hospice had shared with you plus your experience is very helpful! Estelle is going to Ruth’s nursing home tomorrow to play the harp – I’m really looking forward to this!

    Thank you for sharing the Gift of You and the Gift of my Dear Friend, Kenny!
    Blessings & Loving,

    • 7

      Carol said,

      Dear Berti,

      You constant love over the years is very dear to me. And my love and compassion are with you as you make your way supporting Ruth’s journey. Please let me know how I can best serve you at this time. I would be happy to visit Ruth with you sometime if you’d like that. All love and blessings back to you!

  5. 8

    Dear Carol,
    Thanks so much for posting these reflections on your journey. I recall early days of MSS and DSS classes, sharing lunches with the two of you, both vibrantly and fairly newly in love. I so appreciate your compassion for yourself and your process. There are a few dear ones in my life who are getting more fragile and vulnerable, dealing with health conditions that could shift into end-of-life stages very easily, and I am grateful to read of your gentle learning and growth as you supported Kenny and your cousin’s family.

    Much loving and Light to you and to Kenny’s soul,
    Ilenya Marrin

    • 9

      Carol said,

      Dear Ilenya,

      So good to hear from you, Dear. And so tenderly I receive your message of love and compassion. I do send you and your loved ones much Light and love and invite you to stay in touch if you’d like to. Writing is such a gift of creativity and expression of loving and reaching out. Call or write. Big hugs and love to you and Alf.

  6. 10


    thank you for this wonderful sharing. My own husband is very ill, and the illness has transformed our marriage and I am so committed to holding the Light with him and for him, and know that I will be with him too when he comes to his transition time. God bless you over and over sweet sister in Light and Love.

    heather in toronto

    • 11

      Carol said,

      Dear Heather,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and tender responses to this work. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I can’t imagine the depth of experience you must be going through. Your strength and loving come through your words, Heather. I admire your inner and outer ministry. I’m right there with you supporting you and loving you. Keep in touch if you like. It’s important to let people support you.

  7. 12

    Joanne Tomasch said,

    Loving your sharing and the ways you are continuing to learn thru observation. I’ve written memoir pieces about the funerals and burials of both my Dad and my Mom. So we are both using these powerful events for our upliftment and growth! Blessings to you….Joanne

  8. 14

    Ross Goodell said,

    What a journey you’ve had, and what a record you’re leaving.

    Love to you, my friend, and Ken’s soul.

  9. 15

    Beloved Carol, Thank you for all that you have written. I followed your post regarding your manuscript being read by Hay House editors, and clicked to read a few words on your blog. I have been entranced for the past hour, so moved and inspired by your loving, your authenticity, your courage. Your courage in facing your own oh-so-human feelings, and your courage in expressing them so honestly. Bless you. Thank you. You are a shining example to me of sharing who you are. Let all of us learn as we are able from that wealth of beingness that you present, right here and right now, each always moment. Loving you and cheering you on! Ilenya

    • 16 said,

      Thank you for you love and Light, Ilenya. I have always felt so much support coming from your heart. It indeed touches me deeply and helps me keep going.

      Love, Carol

      Carol Jones Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens 3500 W. Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 323-737-4055 ext 1124 Cell: 323-533-6674 View a short clip of the gardens and lots of great photos on our website. LIST OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

      From: “Through Kenny's Eyes: the Soul's Journey from this

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