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Sixteen Minutes ... When One Breath Ends, Another Begins

                                                                                        - by Roland Comtois



Grief, as you know, is what happens when someone we love passes on.  A turbulent unsteadiness takes hold of us as we weave through the peaks and valleys of loss trying to regain some semblance of who we were before our world was turned upside down.


I have dedicated my life to those dying, grieving and seeking counsel from spirit. Yet, I too, have experienced this same turbulent unsteadiness.  How we grieve the loss of a loved one is a process uniquely our own. No one can tell you how to grieve, but in sharing the story of my own journey with the loss of my mother, I hope that you can see light through your pain and sorrow of grief. 


What follows is an excerpt from "Sixteen Minutes," a real-life journal I wrote about the last 16 minutes my mother and I spent together before she passed a year ago this November, chronicling her words, my feelings and our shared memories. Designed to be a pocket book of comfort and healing, it is scheduled for release in Spring, 2013.


Shortly after Mom passed I waited with anxiety and trepidation, as with most grief-bound people do, for her walk into the light.  I wanted to know it all immediately.  But, in time, all that we need to know will be ours to revel in.  A morsel of love will shine on the dimmest day, brightening the sorrow with the heavenly light of peace, and then, and only then, will we know the truth.  The deep truth is that their love for us will be the guiding force through our life experiences.


My faith has taught me that in our last hours of life and in the first moments of death, angels and loved ones come to guide us toward the universal loving splendor that adorns heaven. Simply stated, they guide us “to the pearly gates.”  I knew that Mom would, joyfully, see this as an adventure once her fear had abated and when she realized that she, too, can see, feel and experience the ones she loved so dearly.  Mom’s fears left the moment her breath began in heaven.  All of us who walk amidst compassion, kindness and lovingness find the heavenly domain beyond the final physical moments of life, and somehow see life anew.


Occasionally grief peeks in with its weary head, but in time grief gets quieter as you embark towards acceptance.  Soon the peace and knowledge of everlasting love will stand in the foreground as a constant reminder that you have weathered the storm of sorrow.


In our humanness, we cry when someone passes away.  It’s what our body does to expel the grief.  You have every right to cry, to feel the pain of loss and then to release the pain.  Once the pain begins to release, you must always make room within yourself for love.  Fear, grief and pain are on one side of the spectrum.  Love, joy and freedom are on the other.  In time, and in healing, you will see your way back to love, back to peace.   


                                                                For more information about Roland Comtois go to

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