My father’s end

I was almost nineteen years old when my father passed over.
He had already been preparing himself for death for some time.
Over the years we had built up a good relationship.
With a few words we understood each other.
He often talked about death, then he seemed like a sage, for whom dying held no more secrets.
The books and master Johannes had revealed a lot to him about life after death, he thought about it deeply and he gained peace as a result of it, which made him think about his approaching end without fear.
One evening he said: ‘Before I die, Theo, my boy, we have to arrange something.
It must be possible for me to reach you from that world, I would like to tell you a lot about what I see and experience there.’
‘But how do you want to reach me, father?’
‘You are a gifted medium, after all.’
I shrugged.
In the years since I let my hand write, I had become suspicious of my so-called gifts as a medium.
A book which I had read and which appeared reliable in every aspect, did not place much value on this type of writing.
‘What is written down usually comes straight from the subconscious of the person whose hand is being used’, was the judgement.
I was happy to accept it.
‘When I am there and I come to you’, father continued, ‘I will write through your hand.
Our contact is already wonderful now, so it will certainly continue to be so over there.
In any case I will pray there to be allowed to go to you.
We should put something down in writing now.
Then I can show you from there that it is me.
I will sort this out, Theo.’
‘And if I were to die before you?’
‘You will not die first.
I will go before you, I know that’, was father’s definite answer.
‘How can you be so sure of that?’ I asked.
‘I cannot tell you that, but I feel it.
You will see.
I have been tired recently, Theo, so extremely tired.’
‘Will I call a doctor then?’
Father agreed, even if he claimed that he could no longer be helped.
He would not be around for much longer.
The doctor came and examined father.
He found his heart a bit weak, but he did not see any serious danger.
‘You are still too young to leave us’, he said jokingly.
A while ago at father’s request I had taken on a servant.
He was so adept and honest that I could let him take over the business for part of the day.
I spent those hours with father.
Our contact became even closer, I often found the moments sacred when we sat together like that and he told me about his precious books.
What a deep thinker he is, I thought then, and what a good, honest character he has.
Sometimes it appeared to me that he already lived in that other world, he would be lying there so quietly, reflecting, with a smile on his lips.
Once, after the doctor had left and had emphatically reassured him again that he would get better and the tiredness would leave him, he was lying quietly like that again.
Suddenly he began to speak:
‘It’s amazing what a person can experience, Theo.
Just listen to this.
I was in a completely different world just a moment ago.
While the doctor was examining me, I got the feeling that someone was taking me away from here.
I cannot describe it clearly.
In any case I was far away from here.
You were with me and so was mother.
But here it comes.
When the doctor had almost finished with his examination and he told me that I would definitely get better, I was shocked to hear a voice saying: ‘You will not get better, you will soon come here, where life is eternal.’
I knew that voice, it sounded so familiar.
Then I came back here.
I wanted to open my eyes, but I could not.
You thought that I was sleeping.
I called you.
But yet it was not I who called.
Do you think that is strange?’ father added softly.
I had listened anxiously to father.
‘If I were you, I would have a sleep now.
You need a lot of rest’, I insisted.
‘You are not leaving yet, you are too young yet to die.’
‘Do you not believe what I experienced, Theo?
You are not afraid of me dying, are you?
We have to prepare ourselves for it.
We will still talk a lot.
I will tell you everything I think and experience.
I am grateful for what my short life has brought me.’
‘Father, the doctor ...’
He smiled then, like someone who knows.
‘God is Love, Theo.
I am not afraid of dying, now that I may enter His Eternity soon.
There is a peace within me, son, and that is all due to my books.
Will you also read them, Theo?
And will you later be open to me when I am there?’
With a lump in my throat I promised him that, but at the same time I insisted that he went to sleep now.
How I loved him.
The past few months, since we had been talking so intimately with each other, I felt that I had become a great deal older.
Do not believe that we were always serious, oh no, our characters were cheerful and we could laugh heartily and have fun like jolly children.
However, I felt more mature than the young men of my age whom I came into contact with; ready for the serious things, which life would certainly also show me.
The need to read now became continually stronger in me, I was no different to father in this aspect.
I did not have friends, I did not look for them, although father was very keen for me to do so; I did not need them.
Father was everything to me, I would definitely never find a better friend.
He was a father and a mother to me.
Yes, he even taught me to love my mother who had run away.
Father was great, and the thought of having to be without him, as a result of which I would be left without a father and a mother and a friend, frightened me, gave me great grief.
Because I knew as well as he that he was going to die.
The doctor was wrong.
This wisdom lived under my heart, exactly like it did with father.
Are dying people more sensitive than healthy people?
I wondered about that during those days, when father kept giving me proof of this thought.
He rang his bell, and when I came to him, he looked me in the eye.
Gazing into my eyes, he took my hand.
‘You will miss me, Theo, I feel it.
Won’t you?’
‘I push the thought aside, father, that you will leave me.
But the thought keeps coming back.’
‘I actually want to ask you to think about it, my son.
Think a lot about dying, because in this way you will become reconciled to it.
We are not like the majority of people.
I am not imagining anything, you know that.
But we are not afraid of death, are we?
They are afraid to enter eternal life, they loathe it in their hearts.
We know that it is the greatest thing that God can give people.
Or do you see it differently, Theo?’
‘No, father.’
This came from the bottom of my heart, because I was also convinced of the eternity of life.
‘However, you do not want to lose me yet, those feelings keep coming to me.’
‘So you felt that?’
What is feeling, Theo?
It is more, I know, it seems as if it is being said inside you.
I reflect a lot now, I go back to my childhood, and consider everything which followed.
It is good, I now know, that mother went her own way, I could not have taught her anything anyway.
She will bring much suffering upon herself, but only as a result of this will she learn.
She will accumulate mistakes, but one day she will feel remorse and she will stop.
I feel myself becoming older every second.
Is that because I am really ill?
Does illness awaken the emotional side of a person?
It must be the case.
Everything in our life has meaning.
You feel that I am your father and mother, I am both to you.
How is it that we think and feel with such unity, that we can mean so much to each other?
That must also have a reason.
I believe that I know what that reason is.
I cannot tell you yet.
I might be able to soon.’
‘Now you really must rest, father.
You are tiring yourself too much.’
That evening he gave me a sealed envelope.
I had to give it to the doctor for safekeeping, he said.
‘When I am there, I hope to pass on to you what is written here.
No one knows what is written there, only I know.
It will be a wonderful piece of proof.
Now put it away and give it to the doctor tomorrow.’
‘Shall I read aloud a bit, father?’
‘I prefer to talk now, my son.
I have so much to tell.
We can always read later.’
But he did not talk anymore, he closed his eyes.
A great fear came over me.
Now he is going to die, I thought.
Not knowing what to do, I laid my hands on his forehead, as if I could keep him with me by doing this.
But suddenly he opened his eyes and smiled at me.
Very calmly, with a clear, powerful voice and yet it was as if he was talking from very far away, he said, while I held his hand in mine:
‘I am already living there, my son, and yet I am still here.
I know now that I am old, very, very old.
It does not matter what you are or what you do, it matters what you feel.
This came to me clearly.
Possessing feeling makes you wealthy.
You cannot study to obtain it.
You do not need to do anything for it.
You only have to think, think, and then it will come to you.
By thinking your spirit awakens.
Here on earth only knowledge is important.
But now I know that only feelings open the heavens, the universe, to us.
I feel – and so I know, I can now say – I feel what you will do after my death.
No one can stop you, but otherwise I would emphatically advise you not to do it.
It will be no use to you, you will not get anywhere with it.
Because I now know that we cannot experience the life of others.
They have to make it themselves.
All of this comes to me just like that, Theo.
Is it from myself?
I am not yet ready.
How I would like to make myself powerful in order to be something.
Do not get me wrong.
I mean being great in feeling.
I think about a lot of things these days.
How I would liked to have become a doctor.
But my parents did not have any money.
No, it was not really like that.
That would not have been the biggest objection.
I was not too good at studying.
I could not study, because I could not think.
Now I can think and all the thoughts about it are coming back.
It is strange, I would have liked to have become a doctor, but I now know that that is not really it.
That longing is not of this world, it lives there, in eternal life.’
While talking, father had closed his eyes, I was no longer afraid that he would die now in my arms.
There was a great peace in both of us.
I still held his hand in mine.
‘I am only just starting to live now’, father continued and his voice remained powerful.
‘Others say that I have had my time, but that is not true.
My life is only beginning now.
My body is getting weaker, yes.
It will weaken more every day, you will see.
But my spirit is becoming stronger, deeper.
And that is what matters.
Master Johannes already said it then, his lessons keep coming back to me, I have not forgotten a single one of them.
Anyone who lives without knowledge of eternal life is the living-dead.
This is why I said that I am only just starting to live now.’
Father was silent then, but not for long.
His spirit was not tired, it appeared to be working better than ever.
‘It is a mercy, Theo, that you may know this at such a young age.
You have become older as a result of it, more mature, more conscious, more serious.
Many parents will say that it is not good, as young as you are to involve you in these difficult problems.
But I am telling them, that it is very good.
You are young and yet an adult and that is good.
Then you will not be so alone when the time comes.
Young people need a lot of help.
You will be able to help yourself.
You will be strong, won’t you, my son?’
He pressed my hand firmly.
‘Now you must go to sleep, my son.
We will continue talking tomorrow.’
I left him with his eyes closed and with a beautiful, almost elevated expression on his face.
He had apparently entered that far-away world again, that world in which he would soon live for ever.
The doctor often came to father and talked a lot to him.
‘He is a special person’, the doctor told me.
‘And with a strong faith.
He appears exceedingly rich to me.’
In answer to my question about father’s condition, he replied that father had probably had a relapse, but would nevertheless get better.
He promised to keep the letter, father had already spoken to him about it.
Father’s sensitivity continued to increase.
One afternoon he suddenly said to me:
‘Did you know, Theo, that you can heal people?’
‘What makes you think that, father?’
I was greatly amazed.
‘You can do it.
With your hands.
A healing power radiates from your hands.
Everyone radiates it, every animal even, they say here where the masters live.
But in your case it has developed especially strongly.’
‘I would like that.
Of course I would like to be a good medium.
Then I would be able to do something for people.
But I do not have those powers.
In any case not that much to be of any use to the world.’
‘You have gifts, believe me.
You could become a writing medium, you can heal and who knows what else.
I felt it when you held my hand.
Peace entered me.
I felt strong and capable of a lot, but this was your strength.’
I still felt doubtful.
‘I will have to see it first, father.
I would love it, but then it must not be incomplete.
Being an incomplete medium means nothing to me.’
I realized again how much father thought about everything from the following incident.
He thought it was time that we called for the help of a solicitor.
‘Because soon, when I am no longer here, mother will come to visit you.
Then she could make it difficult for you and I want to prevent this happening.
Mother will ask whether she can then move in with you.
But you must refuse that, Theo.
I say this with emphasis.
Because from then onwards you will be lived through her.
Remember, she has not changed in any way.’
‘How do you know that, you do not hear anymore from her, do you, father?’
‘I received these feelings from where I also received the other feelings.
Believe me, mother will come.
And she has not changed, on the contrary, she has sunk even deeper.
She will try to convince you.
Will you refuse, Theo?’
‘Yes, father, if it seems better to you.
And I feel that it is better that way.’
‘She will also ask for money.
But you must not give it to her, it will only take her even deeper into misery.
So do not give it to her.
For that matter, she has had her share.
This is not harshness, my son, it is not revenge.
I have thought it all out carefully.
Your mother is not a mother, her motherly love still has to awaken.
Sympathy will not benefit her.
She has to have conflict.
In the future, when she becomes aware, she will be grateful to us.
Never forget that her immortal soul is at stake.’
Father’s condition worsened in a frightening way.
Matters took the doctor by surprise.
He kept on examining father, he did not miss a day, he even often came twice a day.
Father asked him straight to say what he thought.
And he smiled when the doctor said: ‘Your condition is much worse than I first thought.
I may not hide it from you anymore, that ...’
‘... that I will no be here for much longer, just say what you think’, father added.
‘However, you are mistaken again.
You give me a week at the most, but, I will remain here for a bit longer ...’
That evening father asked me to come and sit close to him.
How thin he had become during that period and how poorly he looked.
His voice was also weaker now than before.
‘I am not leaving yet, Theo, even if the doctor thinks so.
I have at least another month to live.
Maybe tomorrow I will be able to tell you exactly how long.
I will probably get to hear it in my sleep, then I live closer to that world.’
‘From whom do you want to hear it then?’
‘From someone from that world who knows me.
Last night I dreamt and experienced the following: I was walking there in eternity and met someone there, a woman who smiled at me.
I thought that I knew her.
She said to me: ‘You will need me, I will tell you when.’
‘Tell me what?’ I asked in surprise.
She replied: ‘When you will come here.’
‘What are you doing here?’ I asked.
‘Can’t you see that?
I have to take care of my herbs here.
I also had herbs there, you know.
Now I may not forget them, because they have to do with my own life.
People sometimes weren’t very sensible there, it is no longer the case here, because in this life you know yourself and the object of Him above.’
When I asked her whether she knew me, I immediately awakened.
Do you not find all of this strange, Theo?’
I did not know what to make of it.
For that matter, he did not wait for my answer and continued:
‘As far as I know, she knows me.
I do not know who she is, but that is not important.
The main thing is that there is someone who is watching over me.
I feel her close to me.
I have my suspicions, but I do not dare to think about it.
Someone is waiting for me there, Theo.
If God is that good to me, I hope to be able to tell you after my death.’
His voice had become progressively weaker, his last words were barely audible.
I had to bend over in order to hear them.
Now he was lying motionless, he was completely exhausted.
According to him, he had another month to live.
I looked at his sunken face, his thin hands.
He was only a shadow of his former self.
Another whole month?
I started to doubt the truth of his words.
But only the following morning, he was lively, vigorous.
He beckoned me cheerfully to come to him.
‘I have news, Theo.
Just listen.
Last night I saw her again.
Now she was standing next to my bed and helped me get to sleep.
When I asked her who she was, she did not answer, but she let me feel that I would soon know that.
She did say: ‘When the month has passed, you will have been with me for five days.’
Theo, help me work it out, it is now the seventh, take away seven from thirty-one, that leaves twenty-four, take away five from that, that leaves nineteen days.
So I still have nineteen days to live.
What do you say to this, Theo?’
Nineteen days.
Nine ...teen ... days he would still be with me.
My heart sank.
I mumbled something, I said that I had something to do and left the room.
But I soon went back to him, I scolded myself for my weakness.
‘You must be strong, my son.
I would like to stay with you, believe that.
But I will have to go.
We cannot do anything about it.
Will you be strong?
One day we will be together for eternity.
And you will feel me everywhere, when I am there; I will help you in everything, if God allows me this.’
A moment later he said:
‘I also saw you last night, Theo, you were walking outside.
You were carrying a weapon.
That is strange, as you are not doing your national service.
But it must have some significance.
I will find out at some point.’
When father also told the doctor that he still had nineteen days to live, an interesting conversation between them followed.
Since he knew how calm, almost happy father was at facing his death, he could speak freely.
‘Well’, the doctor said.
In a clear and business-like way, he outlined the course which the illness should take to his knowledge, and then expressed his conviction that father had not longer than five, six days at the most, to live.
And he supported his claims by summarising a few similar cases from his many years in medical practice.
Father was smiling while he heard him out and his voice certainly sounded as convinced as that of the doctor, when he said: ‘Believe me, doctor, your knowledge fails here.
Even if your science tells me a hundred times that my heart has to give way very soon in this condition, my feeling tells me that you are wrong and that my heart will carry on for longer.
It will only stop beating after nineteen days!’
When the doctor added, disturbed, that he really did know what he was saying, being a doctor, and only let himself be led by his pure science tested in practice, father answered:
‘What does your science know about the laws which reign in God’s universe?
My heart will not stop beating any earlier than those laws allow.
In order to beat, it will draw strength from the universe which is full of powers, which we do not yet know about.’
The doctor interrupted him at this point.
Again, he said, as a doctor he was responsible here, he simply forbade him to say one more word now.
Otherwise he feared that father would become exhausted, which could be fatal at this stage.
And father smiled again.
‘Are you not too sure of yourself, father?’ I asked him, when the doctor had gone.
‘In the past ...’
‘In the past we were also made fools of, do you mean, son.
Oh, it is very different now.
Then we had to receive it, now I am experiencing it.
As surely as I know that my end will come early in the morning, as surely I know that it is the truth which I am experiencing.
The woman who is now with me constantly says that it is a great mercy to be allowed to know, and I recognize this and thank God for it.’
After the solemn, very learned words of the doctor about father’s condition, my doubts returned.
How often had we not been cheated before at the seances, now father was receiving his wisdom from that world again; who could say that he was not being cheated now as well?
Father must have sensed my doubt.
‘The facts will prove who is right, Theo, the doctor with his knowledge or me with my intuition.
Hold your judgement until then.
Then your faith will perhaps become stronger!’
I wanted to get up and told him that he had to rest again now, but his eyes hold me and he asked me urgently to stay.
‘Believe me, Theo, I know what I am doing.
I know how much strength I still have left.
I want to use the days ahead of me to talk to you.
Give me that chance, Theo, listen to me, it is the only thing which I ask of you.
I still have so much to say, the woman tells me such a lot and it concerns you just as much.’
‘Who is she?’ I asked, and proved to father with this question that I had decided to believe him.
He thanked me with a smile.
Then he continued in a serious tone: ‘I am pleased that you want to listen to me and are not following the doctor’s advice to leave me in peace.
Who is she?
Now I can tell you, but where will I find the words to explain the feelings which are now going through me.
She lives on the side beyond, in the spheres of light, she is very young and beautiful and especially very sweet.
When I see her, I feel myself.
What does that mean, Theo?
Being one in everything, in your thoughts and feelings, in complete unity with another being.
It is the greatest thing which God can give us.
She is my twin soul, Theo.
I am like her and we belong together for eternity.
You will now be able to understand too, why I still love mother and really love her, why I am grateful to her.
Mother did me a lot of harm, she did not leave any stone unturned to cause me pain, but now I am pleased about it, because it has brought me to awakening.
Because of her I have been able to prepare myself for my twin soul.
In addition, I had to make it up to mother, the books taught you that we have lived several lives on earth.
In those lives I hurt mother, I therefore activated laws and it is these laws which now placed me beside mother again.
I was making it up to her.
There was no love, no real love between us, but we decided to get married anyway, it was these laws which brought us together.
Mother went her own way, separately from me, after all, no higher feelings connected her to me.
When I had paid for my faults as a result of my suffering, mother left me, the laws had been dissolved.
Now I am grateful to her for everything.
As a result of the blows she dealt me, she opened my soul.
And after she left and released me, I got the time to work on myself, to prepare myself for that world, which my soul was already longing for.
If she had not left me, my life would have been a hell and there would have been no question of this preparation.
She who is my soul was already with me all those years.
She helped me to bear it and awakened me.
She was also the one who brought us wisdom as master Johannes.
But she did not take the least trouble to stop us from ending the seances when we felt we were being cheated.
She thought that what she had passed on to us was enough for us.
She took everything into account.
Consider that if she had elevated me higher and higher during those years, my longing for that world, for love, and warmth would then have been unbearable.
For you there was less danger of that, your doubts shut you off from that.
However, now, in the final days of my life, she is revealing herself in all her love, and now I can bear everything, because my spirit is already living in that world and I will continue to live there soon, in a matter of days.
My God, Theo, everything is so wonderful, if only I could give you and other people a glimpse of it ...!’
He had closed his eyes and now lay almost motionless, talking had clearly tired him out.
I continued to sit quietly by his bed and thought about everything he had said.
My doubt, yes, my doubt, seldom left me.
I could simply not believe as deeply as father.
The ease with which he accepted everything from that side surprised me.
Even if his words sounded so credible, they did not immediately convince me.
The book in which I had read that it doubted the value of the phenomena had not failed to affect me.
I remained sceptical, and that is why the books which father gave me to read, awakened numerous questions in me and all father’s talk could not get rid of them.
I looked up in surprise when father’s voice started to speak again and he showed that he had followed me in all my reflections.
‘If you could believe that, you would be living in paradise, Theo, just like me.
However, you must not continue to carry your questions around with you, son, that would be the wrong thing completely.
Put them out of your mind and definitely do not go to sleep with them, you will not rest then, but you are asking questions which must remain unanswered, because your doubt closes you off to the answers.’
Since the doctor had announced that father still had five, six days to live at the most, twelve days had already passed.
His and my surprise grew by the day.
Father’s heartbeat had just about disappeared, but he lived and even talked, often for a long time and always completely lucidly.
‘It is all so simple’, he explained to me.
‘My heart has to continue to beat, because the laws demand this.
And she, my soul, lives in me, she feeds me with her strength and her knowledge.
That is how I know that I will be able to reach you after this life.
As long as you are open to me, my son, because otherwise I will be powerless.
I am open to her and my feeling tells me immediately and infallibly that it is her.
You will have to know it in order to know that I am speaking the truth.
She says that everyone can experience this, everyone who opens himself with sacred respect, with humility, will receive help and wisdom and love.
And if this does not happen, then that also has a reason.
Do not doubt the facts, Theo, you will see, they will tell you that I am right.
So bow your head and hold on to the feeling that you will then experience and it will no longer be difficult for you to believe.’
One afternoon, five days before he passed over, he surprised me with the following words:
‘What a time, but what a time it is, Jack, don’t you think?’
Now he is delirious, I thought.
Where does he suddenly get that name from?
Before I could say anything, he already added:
‘Do you still remember that we both used to search for the same thing?
We both wanted to know.
You tried to find out what a person feels, what his soul experiences the moment that he is torn apart and enters death.
And I wanted to know exactly why a person is on earth, where he comes from and where he goes to.
I can now tell you that I know; however, you are still trying to find out.’
I listened with my mouth open, really anxiously, what kind of gibberish was he talking now?
He was delirious.
But ... was it gibberish, did a person who was delirious talk like that?
‘Or are you no longer searching?
But no, that is not possible, the desire to search must still be in you.
You do not lose those feelings just like that.
We really got to know that.
Only your father-in-law did not believe in it.
Your brother is a good man, he only has to make more effort.
That laziness of his is no good.
Time is pressing, isn’t it?
Your life is short enough.
But I would give that idea up, Jack.
What does it bring you, whether you know what the soul experiences when the body explodes.
Worldly wisdom perhaps?
Oh, no.
But I see you experiencing it anyway, it is strange.’
After this he was silent.
I looked at him and felt that he had gone to sleep.
After half an hour I came back to him and found him awake.
He greeted me with the following words:
‘Did you not love Angelica?
Was she not a sweet child?
Didn’t she have beautiful eyes?
She was named after that plant of the woods, do you remember?
Her wisdom was known far and wide.
I fell in love with her.
And now she is waiting for me.
How is it possible that Angelica is waiting?
Angelica from the herb garden?
But it is true, she is waiting for me on our own path in the woods.
We will then look for herbs and take them to the sick.
I will tell her that you are a good friend, Jack.
She must receive you, because I want it.
And she will receive you, Jack, because she loves me so much.
Her parents were against us meeting, but silently, we searched for each other in deep secret.’
Again that smile appeared on his lips, which I had seen there so often the past few days.
That smile remained, while he looked in front of him, in reflection, his eyes staring into faraway places unknown to me.
The doctor also came back late in the evening and examined father.
He shook his head, his heart was beating so weakly that it was barely audible.
How could this weakened, exhausted body still live, the good man was clearly wondering.
He looked at me, shrugging his shoulders, when we were standing in the hallway a little while later.
He did not say a word, but I clearly read the question in his eyes, would he still be proved right, after all?
Father had pronounced that he still had three days to live.
As if, living in that other world, he had not noticed the doctor’s visit, he continued to tell me without saying a word about him, with my hand in his:
‘Do you know, Jack, that it is Angelica who spread her wings over me?
Do you know that she is like a child Even now she still looks after her herbs.
But do not disturb her when she is concentrating on her task.
She does not tolerate that, and rightly so.
Only I may come to her then and those who are willing to show humility so as not to be conspicuous, out of respect for her work.
People lack respect for each other, Jack.
They have no respect for someone who is concentrating intently on a task.
Their egoism, or their curiosity makes them stamp on the most sacred feelings of another person.
Believe me, Jack, it is no small thing to know how you should approach a fellow being.
This is only easier for those who possess respect.’
It was silent for a long time after this.
I felt strangely moved.
What should I make of father’s words, but what was all going through his head?
In this way, confused by my thoughts, I sat at father’s bed, my hands still resting in his.
He had an expression of intense happiness on his face.
More softly than usual, but with a happy tone, he suddenly said:
‘It is blissful, Angelica, that you are holding my hands.
The garment you put on for me is beautiful.
I imagine your love.
Will we be torn apart again?
No, I do not want to think about that, I do not need to think about that.
I will always be with you from now on, for eternity.
My God, can a person bear such happiness, it almost hurts, but it is a sweet pain.
I am looking forward to walking in the gardens with you, Angelica.
Has Jack been yet?
Was it not he who knocked?
Jack is strange, there is always something.
I will undoubtedly have worries about him some day.
But I will not be able to help him then.
Angelica, my Angelica, you are beautiful and sweet, with you I have everything.
Would you like to sing your song for me?
Do it, I will listen and be happy.’
Father let go of my hands, he closed his eyes.
Was this still father?
His face radiated in an exalted manner, that was apparently because he was listening to beautiful music.
I could not hear anything, but experienced something of it, it made father’s face happy, I would never forget the expression on it.
That night, just like other nights, I slept on a settee, which I had brought to the sick room.
Above all expectations, I slept the whole night through, no rumour or fear, no horrible dreams disturbed my sleep.
Father greeted me laughingly when I opened my eyes.
‘You slept well, didn’t you, Theo?
No wonder, Angelica let you drink from her herbal drinks.
They work without fail, you know.’
A bit later that morning he said to me that I should engage a nurse.
And these words were another horrible reminder of the fatal date, which was now approaching alarmingly fast.
‘When the doctor comes, you must just ask him about it, about the herbal drinks I mean.
He will know about them.
Only he does not know about the preparation.
Jack does know.
Jack will come tomorrow and then you will see him.’
I suddenly felt that he was getting two people mixed up.
Jack, as he kept on calling me, and somebody else.
He soon rectified his mistake, because he continued:
‘That’s what happens, Jack, when you become older.
I am now thinking in the wrong way.
I am getting you mixed up, aren’t I?
I have so much on my mind now.
Angelica has been promoted.
Would you have thought that?
Now come on, say something.’
Just as he was speaking these words, the doctor came into the room.
I shook my head at him, worried, now father was delirious.
The doctor immediately took the patient’s pulse.
Father opened his eyes and asked in a lively tone:
‘And doctor?
I am going to be proved right, don’t you think?
Do you now believe that I indicated my time of passing over exactly?
As it happens, it is not my wisdom, but Angelica’s wisdom.’
I could no longer listen to it, my sorrow overwhelmed me.
I left the room quickly, afraid that the others would see my tears.
But father’s bell called me back.
I pulled myself together and went back inside.
‘Theo, Angelica wants you to stay here.
You must know everything, she thinks.’
I sat down on the edge of his bed, the victim of confused feelings.
But as if he had immediately forgotten about me, he addressed these words to the doctor:
‘I will tell you what the situation is, colleague.
We know too little about the human body, and about the soul, the essence of our being, we know absolutely nothing.
But how will we be able to cure people if we do not know about the soul?
Anyone who knows about the soul will also know about the body.
A person does not stop to reflect upon the soul, but he stares blindly at the body.
He does not know the causes of the illness.
In how many cases does he know the nature and the development of the illness?
A person trusts in his knowledge, his study, but I ask you, can a doctor trust in this?
This illness is fatal, his knowledge says, but the patient does not pay any attention to this and remains alive.
Oh, a small, insignificant case which is very common, nothing bad, better in two days’ time, the doctor diagnoses in another case, and before one day has passed, the patient has died.
In both cases the knowledge was not sufficient.
But who can know about the laws which are involved here?
Which scholar, which religion can tell us how the laws, which reign over life and death, work?
Angelica rightly asks here, what does a person really know about life here on earth and life in the hereafter?
Is there a single person on earth, who does not move, searching and feeling, helplessly, ignorantly, small and afraid, amongst the unfathomable mysteries, which comprise life and death?
There are thousands and thousands, she says, and one day people will know about them, but only when they see the relativity and the incompleteness of their earthly knowledge and in humility and complete submission, not with their senses, but with their feeling of wanting to listen to those who live where Angelica lives, on the other side of the grave.
They have conquered life and death and they know and experience the laws, which control God’s universe, for them the universe, people, the soul hold no mysteries.
You, colleague – I call you colleague, because it is me, I now know – shrug your shoulders at what I say.
You award your earthly knowledge more importance than my intuition, my feeling.
But your knowledge said that I still had five, six days at the most to live, however, my feeling, said nineteen days ...
It also says that I will pass over in the early hours of the morning.
It will become clear that my feeling, which received this wisdom from that world, judged more accurately than your earthly knowledge was able to.
Will it convince you?
No, even more convincing evidence would still not be able to achieve such a thing.
Is it any wonder then that God does not immediately reveal the extreme power of all His laws to His children on earth?
After all, they would get lost in them irrevocably!
Bit by bit, Angelica says, we earthly people will gain insight into the enormous universe.
And sensitive people will be the first to know, because they can be reached by the masters of the side beyond, on the other hand, the scholars will resist for a long time, hindered by the ballast of their human, therefore earthly, therefore incomplete knowledge!
Angelica says that I must stop now, the talking has greatly tired me.
All will be revealed the day after tomorrow, colleague.’
Considering this, the doctor left the sick room.
But in the corridor, when he was putting on his jacket, he shrugged his shoulders.
‘It is certainly remarkable what he is saying.
But it seems to me that it is nothing more than the delirium of a dying man.
They can say very peculiar things in this state.’
The following day father lay almost motionless, he did not say a word, he only opened his eyes now and again.
They were searching for me and a great love radiated towards me.
Now and again he whispered Angelica’s name.
I got the unmistakable feeling that he would not say much more and that he was preparing to go in all silence.
Deep in my heart I was pleased that he did not speak.
I could not get rid of the feeling that, despite all the beautiful pure words, my father was the victim of a delusion ...
Could it not just as well be the case that, in a delirium, he was recounting extracts from the many books which he had read not once, but at least ten times?
Did he intercept my thoughts?
It must have been the case, because now he opened his mouth for the first time that day and said softly: ‘I was far away, Theo, my son, but now I am close to you again.
But do not worry, I will not talk so much anymore.
Angelica says that you now know enough.
She asks you to remember everything I told you these past few days, one day you will accept everything!
Will you now stay close to me, Theo?’
The hours passed slowly, father lost interest in his surroundings.
He lay there with his eyes closed, his lips moved now and again, however, I could not make out what he was saying.
I did not take my eyes off his face, his beautiful, soft expression ingrained itself into my memory, I would never be able to forget it.
The intense, desperate sorrow which I had felt, when it was established that father would no longer rise from his sickbed, had subsided, a soft, smarting pain for the approaching farewell remained.
I would miss father every hour of my life, but as a result of the knowledge – because I did not doubt this – that I would see him again one day, the sharp edges were removed from my sorrow.
I had never experienced a deathbed before.
It seemed a mercy to me to be allowed to die like this, there was nothing terrible about it.
Serious, prepared, ready with himself, after having settled all the problems which life sent his way, overflowing with love for God and people, father was prepared to enter the new, eternal life.
The night began, father’s situation did not change.
The doctor had stayed, we sat quietly at father’s bedside, not tired, caught up in our thoughts.
Suddenly father’s eyes opened and he whispered: ‘Theo, my dear, dear son, now I have to go.
Angelica is coming to fetch me, she will take me to our own house.
Isn’t it wonderful?
Be strong, my son, and be joyous with me.’
And to the doctor he said: ‘Colleague, my time has come.
Angelica is right.
Just think about my words again.
One day there will also come a time for you that you will get to know God and His laws.
If Theo starts to draw, you must give him the envelope.
I will draw and write through him.
Oh, how tired I am now ...’
Deeply moved, the doctor and I knelt down, and when the light of the new day drove away the darkness of the night, father’s soul released itself from his exhausted body in order to enter eternal life.
The last utterance which we heard from him was Angelica’s name.
Her prediction had come true completely!