Saying Goodbye to Mom and the Christmas Miracle

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It was a week before Christmas and my dearly beloved mother was in a coma. She was dying of cancer and had been unconscious since early that afternoon. It was the third night in a row that my wife and I had made our two hour trip to come to my mother’s house to say  ”goodbye” to her.

The hospice doctor had told me three days earlier that he believed that mom would pass away at any time and that we should visit her to be with her when she passed. So, for those three nights, we would make our trip to be with her and wait for the dreaded moment to come.

Leaving her house each night was very heart wrenching because I was never sure if it would be the last time that I would see her alive. I had always made it a point to tell her that I loved her each time I left her, so that I could always say, that that would be the last thing I told her on this earth if she passed away.

Like I said earlier, it was the third and last night we were with her and she was just in a deep, deep sleep. It was such a strange and surreal feeling, standing their watching my mom take in very slow breathes with her oxygen mask on her face. All of her hair was gone and she was just a shell of the beautiful and delightful woman that was my mother.

As the night wore on and the time got later and later, I grew more and more saddened by the fact that we would have to leave to return home. Finally, around midnight, we decided that it was time to go home. We had to be home for our two little boys in the morning.

I remember thinking that I wanted to SAY goodbye to my mom just one more time but I knew that I could but she would never hear it. So, with a heavy heart, I leaned over my mom, placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and said, “I love you mom.” Then I whispered to her, in almost a prayer-type request, “come on mom…wake up one more time. Please? Just once more?” But my request fell upon deaf ears and she never woke up. My wife then sat on the side of her bed, held hand ever so gently and began to say her goodbyes.

Suddenly, my mother opened her eyes, took off her air mask and said, with a voice as clear as could be, “what is everyone doing here? I am fine! I have just been sleeping. I am going to be fine.” It was simply fascinating experience. Here was my mother who had talked, just the day before, with a weak, raspy voice that was caused by constantly having the mask on and inhaling the oxygen 24 hours a day, and now she was totally awake and not only sounded like she was totally healthy but acted like it as well.

I stood there mesmerized and the sudden turn of events but I was also so very thankful…I could now SAY goodbye to my mother and share my feelings and last thoughts with her! After telling her the things that I wanted to tell her, giving her one last kiss goodbye and telling her how much I loved her and for being such a terrific mom, we got ready to leave. I felt truly blessed and thankful that my “whispered prayer” was answered. My heart was filled with joy knowing that God had given us a Christmas miracle…my mom.

Soon after we left, she went back to sleep and never woke up again. Later the next day, surrounded by friends along with her childhood best friend, she quietly passed on from this world and touched the face of God.


  1. This brought me to tears! God is so good. He truly is near to the broken hearted and hears our prayers. Thank you for sharing your special Miracle with us.


  2. As a volunteer with hospice, we are told that the person in the bed who appears to be asleep actually can hear everything that is said in their room. So, speak with them just as you always would. How wonderful for you and your family that your mom woke up and granted your request. A wonderful end of life story. And a hug to you, for I am sure that you are missing her at this time of year.


  3. Thank you so much for sharing. My dad died the morning after Christmas. Although my experience was quite different, I can relate to that surreal atmosphere or feeling. The presence of God – no doubt.


  4. Beautiful story Coach. What a special memory to have gotten your wish granted to say goodbye to your Mom while she was awake. God works such wonderful miracles in our lives,


  5. What a touching and bittersweet story to share. I am sorry for your loss and happy you had your chance for proper good-bye. May you hold her in your heart fondly and be at peace at this holiday time.


  6. This was beautiful! Having just lost my own Mama P in october, I can totally resonate with this feeling! Im glad you had that last positive moment with her, and love that you could see the positives through your pain. Merry Christmas!


  7. No words can express how I am feeling after reading this beautiful story. It is true that people in comas can hear everything. Mom gave you one last time to tell her how you felt. She is looking down and smiling at the one last precious moment she had with you and you with her. Good bless you all.


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