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Flying home from the east coast last week I ended up talking to the woman I was sitting next to for the last 3 hours of a 5-hour flight. Her name is Carol.

What I want you to know is I’m not much of a conversationalist on plane flights. I prefer to just read, sleep or watch a movie to pass the time. Chatting with the person sitting next to me for an extended period of time really isn’t my thing – until this last flight, apparently.

The TV Shuts Down

It started because my TV screen suddenly shut down on me. I looked over to Carol’s screen and it was still working. So I tried a reboot. Nothing. Then I noticed her screen shut down. She looked over at mine and I said, “Mine’s down, too.”

Another passenger mentioned to the flight attendant that their screen was down. The attendant tried to get the screens back online with no success. So Carol and I started talking. What surprised me was how easily and quickly we moved into a more in-depth conversation.

End-Of-Life Doula

Carol is a climate scientist which fascinated me so I got to pick her brain quite a bit about this. She asked me about the work I do and aside from sharing about my coaching and hand analysis work, I also added that I was an End-of-Life Doula.

Now if I’m being perfectly honest, I hesitated to share that I do End-of-Life work. I mean, for all I knew, it might have shocked the hell out of her.

She’s a climate scientist!

It was enough I mentioned hand analysis! To add death work to that!

She could end up thinking she’s stuck sitting inches away from someone who reads hands and then coaches them about their impending death!

A tri-fecta in the worst way!

Seriously! You just never know how people are going to process what’s being said by someone they barely know!

Did I mention she’s a scientist!

Okay, maybe my thinking was a bit off kilter but better safe than sorry, right?!

Nonetheless, the words End-of-Life Doula came out of my mouth and there was no turning back.

The Tear Filled Eyes

When I looked at her after saying this, she was looking down slowly shaking her head.

Oh God, I knew it! Shoulda stuck with just the coaching.

Then she looked at me with tear filled eyes. She gently touched my hand and shared that she lost her mom a few months ago. Carol was with her during the last week she was actively dying in the hospital and expressed how difficult it was for her.

Not for her mom, but for Carol.

She didn’t understand most of what was happening during her mom’s dying process and there wasn’t anyone who took the time to explain things clearly.

Then she said, “Can I tell you what I experienced and can you answer some of my questions about it?”

In that moment my heart just swelled with love and compassion for her and I said, “Absolutely!”

That conversation took us all the way through the last two and a half hours of the trip. Right to the moment the plane pulled up to the gate.

The Universe’s Magic

Before we stood up to depart she said, “Linda, I truly believe the Universe put me in this seat next to you. My work paid for me to fly Business Class but there was a mix up so I ended up in coach.”

We walked off the plane together and she still had another flight to take her home to Australia. As we hugged good-bye like old friends she said,

“Understanding the dying process now and knowing I did things in the best way possible for my mom, has given me complete peace with her passing. That peace wasn’t there until this moment. Thank you.”

With tears in my eyes I headed to baggage claim marveling at the Universe’s magnificence.

We just never know why things happen the way they do until it’s time to be revealed to us. How much time must pass before that reveal is as much of a mystery as the way the Universe works its magic.

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Linda Salazar

Author Linda Salazar

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