My mother’s favorite Christmas hymn was always O Holy Night. And so, when she lay in a hospice residence at the age of 80, taking her last dying breaths on December 7, 2006 (eleven years ago tomorrow) and I heard this version of O Holy Night come on the radio playing softly in the background, I felt somewhat of a saintly presence. To have this beautiful and elegant Christmas hymn, her favorite, usher my mother into the arms of Jesus, was beyond comforting to me. I remember shortly after her death, telling a clergyman that when I realized my mother was in fact actively dying and further realized that O Holy Night was on the radio, I experienced a rather bizarre and strong warm tingling sensation all throughout my body. I was told it was likely the angelic presence in the room. And though my mother was in fact dying, the feelings of peace and comfort I felt at that moment far surpassed any sad feelings I had. To this day, I can’t listen to this song without tears.
As a side note, as I was finishing this post, I heard this version of Celine Dion’s O Holy Night playing on the radio in the next room. Don’t you love it when things like that happen?