Death: Jason Made Me Grow

Death: Jason Made Me Grow

“Is there anything I can do for you?” I asked Jason, my twelve-year-old, first born son.

“What can you do for me?  You just told me I was dying.”

I sat on Jason’s bed with him, doing my best to hold back more tears.

Mature beyond his twelve years, Jason answered my question after thinking about it for a little bit.  “Well, I guess I should write a will.”

I cried again and said, “Okay…” not believing my ears.  My brave baby was facing something no child expects to face. But he had my husband and I to be with him every step of the way.

Over the next couple of days, I eventually typed into my computer, Jason’s will.  After he reviewed it, he signed it.  It contained several bequeaths to his childhood friends.  Most of the bequeaths were stuffed animal and toys Jason treasured.  Shortly after he completed his earth mission, and we put his exhausted body to rest, my husband and I made sure the will was executed.

Coping With Jason’s Death

My head swirled with disconnected thoughts about what to do next.  Throughout his life we’d conquered each physical hurdle.  Each doctor visit, each emergency, focusing on finding a way to keep thriving through it.

It was by having God be a constant in our lives we did more than just survive through this catastrophe.  We loved our way through it.

We gave Jason the final news after he had a few relentless bouts of an irregular heart rate.  Eventually, we took him out of school.  He simply could no longer attend.

During the last weeks Jason lived on earth, Jase physically deteriorated.  The pediatrician arranged for Hospice to come in and help us.

One time when I was in Jason’s room he said, “Mom, don’t take me to a hospital.  I want to die at home in my own bed.”

“Okay.  No problem.”

I did my best to suck it up and remain brave in front of Jason.  I learned to cry in another room, away from him.  After all, it wasn’t happening to me.  It was happening to him.

You Can Never Be Fully Prepared For Death

I got to thinking about what I needed to do to prepare for Jason’s inevitable death.  Somewhere along the line, I decided I needed to learn more about estate planning.  Would we need to pay death taxes on our son?  The book from the library gave me the information I needed to know.

A reference in the book talked about something called a memorial society.  I contacted the local memorial society.  Our family joined this organization which serves as a watchdog enterprise to protect people from being financially gouged regarding burial and cremation needs.

At this time, our family was living in Washington State.  So, we joined the People’s Memorial Society.   Several chapters of the memorial society (now called Funeral Consumers Alliance) provide reciprocity membership throughout the US.  You can research them for your own needs at

I am grateful to this organization for their professionalism.  They provided forms to fill out about last wishes.  Using the forms, we knew exactly what Jason wanted for his last wishes before his death.

Jason was born with a rare genetic birth disorder called Marfan’s Syndrome.  People with Marfan’s have insufficient collagen.  This collagen insufficiency makes internal tissue almost see through.

Essentially, Jason’s tissues were like overstretched rubber bands that didn’t stretch back.  Abraham Lincoln is said to have had Marfan’s Syndrome.  Typically, a person with Marfan’s Syndrome is excessively tall and lanky.  He or she often has a pigeon chest, exaggerated scoliosis and aneurysms, usually in the heart.

Marfan’s is a silent killer for many who don’t know they have the disease.  Commonly, tall, lanky kids who play basketball go undiagnosed.  While playing ball, the weakened tissue and heart aneurysm bursts. Within minutes, the child is dead.

Back in the early 80’s when Jason had Marfan’s, it was very difficult to diagnose.   Nowadays, I think more people know about it.  Hopefully, there are fewer kids with Marfan’s playing basketball.

My husband and I were very lucky in that we have a strong relationship with God.  I don’t know how people get through traumatic life events without God in their life.

Eventually, Jason deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t get out of bed.  He was barely conscious.  On pain killers ‘round the clock, he slept for many hours. His death would soon be a reality.

What Happened Closer to The End

Toward his final days, he rarely spoke to anyone. Eventually he stopped eating.  When someone who is dying stops eating, you know the time is soon that he will cross over to the other side.

The time came for Jason to make his final transition.  At about 7pm on Father’s Day, June 19, 1988, Jason made a sound.  My husband and I had been sitting on the couch in the living room.  The living room was just on the other side of Jason’s bedroom wall.

After Jase made a sound, I went into his bedroom and talked with him for a minute.

“Jase, I’m here.  Do you know that I love you?”

“Uh, huh…” was all he could say.

“Do you love me?”

“Uh, huh…”

“Do you know that Dad and I are doing everything we can do for you?”

“Uh, huh…”

“Would you like something to eat?  Maybe a cheese tortilla and some orange soda pop?”

“Uh, huh.”

“I’ll be right back.” And off I went to the kitchen and rustled up his grub and drink.  I brought it back into him and he drank a little and ate one bite of food.  Often, right before a person is going to actually pass over, he or she gets a burst of energy like this.  Then, they go.  This was the case for Jason.

Dad’s Turn To Say Goodbye

My husband came in and said pretty much the same thing as I did.  We didn’t know that we were in the process of saying goodbye to Jason.

After we finished visiting with Jason, my husband and I both went out into the living room.  It may seem cold to say we didn’t sit by Jason’s bedside every waking moment, but that’s just not what he wanted.

Fifteen minutes passed and I felt prompted to go back into Jason’s room.  He had stopped breathing and his mission here on earth had completed.

My husband came in and we knew Jason had just been freed from his exhausted body.  But that was not the end of this story.

We called friends and they came and said goodbye to Jason.  Then, we called the memorial society and they came and picked up Jason’s remains.

Most of our family lived on the east coast.  We decided to wait to make phone calls early in the morning to allow family to sleep until 7AM east coast time.

For some reason, we just couldn’t sleep in our own bed that night.  Instead, my husband and I slept in living room recliners.  Alternating between crying and dozing off.  It was such an emotional experience we didn’t really know what we were doing.

Sleeping was almost impossible for me.  At one point, I got out of my recliner and I laid on the living room carpeting.  Our 1970’s home came with an ornately decorated living room ceiling with artistic molding and swirls.  Exhausted, I just laid there looking up.

Then, I heard Jason talking to me. He called my name.

At first, I thought I was imagining things.  But a mother always knows her child’s voice.

“Did you hear that?” I asked my husband.

“Hear what?”

“Jason.  He’s talking to me.”

“Well, answer him.  What’s he saying?”

“Jason, are you talking to me?”

“Yes, Mom, I’ve been calling and calling to you.  Why didn’t you answer me?”

“Well, Honey, I thought I was imagining it.  Is that really you, Jason?”

“Yes, it’s really me.  I want you to know that I’m just fine.  I’m finally free of my body.  It’s very light here.  Everything is good for me.”

Jason continued to talk in short, excited bursts.  My husband was listening to a one-sided conversation I had with Jason.  I’m grateful he believed me when I told him I was talking with Jason.

In Bill and Judy Guggenheim’s book, Hello From Heaven, they confirm that people do hear from deceased loved ones.  When our loved ones want to communicate with us, hearing is the most common way we connect with them.

The Guggenheim’s book gives a lot of personal stories about getting messages from deceased loved ones.  I recommend to my clients they get this book when I am working with them during palliative care for them or their loved ones.

Jason kept talking to me at various times.  One time, I was driving and he talked to me through one specific song as it came on the radio.  Somewhere Out There has been “our song” ever since.

Consciousness does continue after death.  I’ve brought many, many messages from deceased loved ones for many years.  After I heard the first message from Jason, they just seemed to keep coming.

Eventually, people still living would somehow find me.  They asked me to bring them messages from their deceased loved ones.  And I’ve been doing it since 1988.

Due to our brain design, women naturally are intuitive.  Some men are intuitive as well but there is a higher percentage of women being intuitive than men.  It’s just a part of the way the female brain is designed compared with the male brain.

One Response

  1. Julia Williams
    | Reply

    Oh Susan;
    Thank you for writing this for us.
    It is a beautiful story so, so sad, and yet there is hope and there is joy.
    Blessings to you and your family.

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