[Many people have asked about my story of helping my mother to make her transition a few years ago.  I humbly offer this example if it will be of service to your journey also. Many blessings for a truly awesome, joyous sharing….

Tibetan Bardo:
The Great Liberation through Hearing While in Transition

Adapted for the vernacular by Vincent Bridges  Print friendly version

My Mother’s Metaphysical Transition
written August 3, 1997
by Nancy Kimball Baumgarten, Jr.

What an incredible journey I had to Wisconsin where I was able to be with my mother  for the last week of her life here…. I can’t tell you how beautiful and wondrous that experience was.  Each day as she lived more and more on the other side, incredibly she was able to tell me where she had been, whenever she woke up to ‘here’ for a moment….


My brothers, Charles and Ted,  have lived near Mom for years and have been her major assistance for a long time. She has always had a powerful will and was determined to live as normally as possible. She was always known at the oncologist’s office for bringing jokes and a smile. The last 6 months perhaps, Mom has had home health care nurses check in once a day. When it started to become a 24 hour a day requirement, my brother, Charlie called my sister, Louise (Bunny), who was able to fly up to Wisconsin immediately. I got up 5 days later to join in taking turns.


At the beginning of my week with her, Mom was conversing about everyday things, though very tired.  Within a couple of days she was more sleeping than not, but would wake up to any visitors and talk amiably with them.

Slowly, Mom’s conversation started including comments that only made sense seen from the dream world, or so I thought.  She asked me  one day, where did I live, did I have a house and did Charlie, my brother have a house?  She was worried about us!  I let her know that we were fine and not to worry, she had taken care of all the things she needed to.


Another time she woke up to tell me that the people ‘over there’, pointing out the window to across the courtyard to the nursing home wing  of the Scandia complex (she had her own apartment in a Retirement Village), were “standing around waiting for the change.” She said, “Nancy, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing, I didn’t want to stay there.”

“Oh, that’s good Mom, that’s not where to be, then. Have you seen any friends when you’re not here?”


Then again, “Nance, why aren’t they here yet?”

“Who, Mom?”

“I thought Geoff and Julia were coming.”

I had only been up there a day or so and thought possibly I might not know about it, but thought not, so I said, “I didn’t know about  that, Mom, maybe that was in your dream state?”

“Oh, is that what it is? Thanks.”

Yet again, Mom would wake to say she needed juice and lunch and then asked me to turn back on the movie.  “Mom, I didn’t have a movie  on, but you probably did.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, well, where is that?  I want to watch it again.”

“I think if you just close your eyes it will be back in front of you.”

“Oh, okay, thank you.”  I can’t tell you how surprised – and then again, not surprised, at how continuously polite Mom was that  entire week at every explanation given to her, Even when I thought she was speaking to me from more the Soul level than otherwise.


Another time, I came in the room to find her sitting up and looking as though she needed something.  I enjoyed just sitting quietly next to her, almost as if waiting for a bus, just savoring the air and sunshine.  She had mentioned several times that she “missed” us or felt left alone, when either Bunny or I had been gone maybe 5 minutes. So we spent our time together, when I thought she was awake (to this reality), in a sort of time-out-of-time space, just being.  But this time, she said, “What do you need?

“Oh, Mom, I’m just enjoying being with you.”

“Well, would you mind terribly, I don’t want to be bad company, but I want to go back to my story.” I assured her that that was just fine.

So I started asking her who or where she had visited, whenever she came back to ‘here.’  She never said she had found a friend or  seen any particular light or angels or guides.

One time she did say that she had been thinking about all the things that she should have done and hadn’t – not with emotion, just  factually.  “Mom, I want you to know, that I know that for your whole life you did the best you could with what you knew at the time.  I Love you and I forgive you for any imperfections and I know that  everyone does too.”  Then, Mom said, while looking at me with her eyes open, “The lady with the Book says that you should go to bed early,”  and switched her eyes to the left and behind me! [I had had pneumonia for over 2 months this spring and knew I should be caring for my immune system very carefully.]


Another time, she ‘woke up’ to ask, “Where am I?”  By now I had caught on that Mom incredibly was making the transition to the  spirit world carefully, over several days, checking it out, going through the Records all while still alive, and was able to come back to ‘here’, knowing full well who any of us were. So, when she asked where was she, she was not being mentally confused, she just needed a reference point, a compass bearing to her new multidimensional shifting back and forth, since she had been doing so much traveling.  I simply said, “Mom, you are in 3-D reality on planet earth,  where you have been living for the last 75 years, but when you close your eyes and leave me, you have been visiting various aspects of the spirit world.”

Again she said, “Thank you.”


Later Mom did start telling me or Bunny, that she was scared, she didn’t know where to go or what she was supposed to do.  So again I would ask her if she had asked for someone, maybe Granddaddy, to come get her, but she said she hadn’t seen him.  “Well, I’m just glad you keep coming back here until we find where you are supposed to go.”

Finally Mom said, “I’ve been all the way around and came back here because I couldn’t find the right place.”  Nurse Louise, the  weekend nurse, who used to work in Hospice and who came over later that morning, was quite wonderful in her understanding.  She said very warmly to Mom that she has had a wonderful time knowing Nancy, and that  she didn’t think she would see her again in this world until she went to live in the Spirit also.  When Mom reiterated that she didn’t know where to go, looking straight at Louise. Louise said, “Well, I haven’t  been there myself yet, but look for the Light and any friends who can help you across. What about your father?”

Moms face just melted into the warmest smile and she said, “Oh, I loved Daddy so much.”  But she still hadn’t seen him.

“Just let it all go, Nancy; it will be all right. You don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine too.”  Again Mom thanked Louise.

[L.E.M. had seen Granddaddy and Granny one evening while we were playing chess several years ago, who told her then that they were both  reincarnated, in different parts of this country; but I had assumed that Granddaddy could sent his higher Self to greet Mom, since she loved him so.  Guess I was mistaken, or perhaps because she apparently  didn’t ask for him, that that may be why he didn’t come??]

Many times during those days, I stroked Mom’s face and her hair, and told her I loved her; today she did the same to me, and I told her  not to worry, that she was right not to go with any one whose energy didn’t feel right – just to trust that the right people would come to get her.


On Monday morning, another wonderful, insightful nurse, Darlene asked her if her friend Joe Rosner, who had recently died in an accident,  was around anywhere ….  A slight ‘unno’, was all that Mom communicated.  Darlene told me that sometimes people who had spent years away from religion, would revert to their earliest training and asked if she should ask Mom whether she might want a priest. I told her she was welcome to discuss anything with her, though I felt strongly that Mom knew her own mind in that regard. Mom shook her head no, when asked.   So, gently Darlene told Mom, ‘Okay, you can let it let it all go now, you’ve organized everything and done what you needed, all will all be all right.’

….that was the last time Mom spoke or awakened to here.  I had shown my copy of the Bardo to Darlene earlier the last week. She was excited about it and had asked for a copy for her other patients, as she had been reading the Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dying herself.  This copy had been colloquially restated by a friend of mine, Vincent Bridges, a psychotherapist and student of ancient mysteries, to reflect the western experience.  It was supposed to be read to the person in transition only near the time of transition, to remind them how to get out of the body.  I had been waiting for the right time all week and Darlene told me that that time was now.

So at 11:30 am Monday morning, I told Mom out loud that I was going to read her a poem from the Tibetan.  She was no longer opening  her eyes or communicating, yet she moved her hands to her mouth at my strong voice, then relaxed as I continued reading …

L.E.M. saw her spirit out the window in the afternoon, when she was brought over by our friend, Darlene to take me for a swim.  That evening, both Charlie and Ted stayed the night along with me, and I slept next to Mom on her double bed … a peaceful sense of waiting.


Next to her, I talked in our minds about going to the other side, not to feel worried and that I was here; not to emotionally hold her  here, but to assist in any way I could.  At midnight, her breathing not having changed one iota from many hours before, just as strong and steady, I mentioned that I had a friend, Bonnie ‘Yanttay’ Mott, 70  years old, who has had 2 experiences with almost dying. Yanttay had told me before I came up from North Carolina that she knew how to cross over and come back safely, and that she knew that she could send her higher Self to aid others in the transition. “Mom, she is a very dear friend whom I trust completely; I want you to trust her; I want you to go with her.”  And I simply introduced Mom to Yanttay through Mind.


At 6 am, having woken several times in between, I woke yet again to find Mom not having changed breathing at all; I could sense her out of  her body on the ceiling.  I just had to laugh (not out loud for fear of waking my brothers) and spoke through my mind to our wonderfully strong-willed mother with the strongest intent I ever remember speaking  to her (unthinkable!): “Now, MOM, I KNOW you are not in your body, I can feel you up on the ceiling. Yanttay is here with you, what are you doing here? I want you to go.  Now I am not particularly rushing you, I don’t want you to be afraid, but I sense my friend is here and you have help; I don’t remember how to go with you past a certain point, but Yanttay knows how and she is waiting.  I must leave by noon to go back south, and I DON’T want you to get stuck!!   

“Oh, by the way, I want you to look down from where You are up on the ceiling, down at your physical body next to me on the bed  –  see,  the You who is Spirit/Consciousness is NOT in that body, You are on the ceiling. Now look carefully and you will see a silver chord going from the body to you.  It is similar to an umbilical chord as you might think of it.  It is the last connection between your physical life as Nancy Kimball Baumgarten and your much larger Self as Spirit. All you have to do now is to cut that final chord. Not before you are ready, nothing to be afraid of; just I need to remind you that it has to be done before noon, if you still want me to be here.” “If you don’t know how to do that, you can call in St. Michael the archangel, who wields a  great sword, but really it only takes a statement of intent. You can simply visualize it separating…”

Again, I fell back soundly asleep, to wake with a start an hour later to the steady, calm sound of rain, the first in weeks, and the  realization that Mom’s breathing was almost not.  “You’ve almost done it, Mom!” And I felt such a warm glow in the room and such a peaceful feeling.

I woke Ted to let him know that it would be soon.  In the time it took to walk through the doorway and back, Mom cut the chord completely. “Congratulations, Dearie!!”


With Darlene, Vincent’s wife, driving us down the highway, I sat in awe-filled silence, with gratitude and finally, the overwhelmingness  of the days events. L.E.M. gently touched my shoulder and blessed me with her knowing, with what she had seen and heard the few hours before:

…5 hours after Mom transitioned out, while I was mundanely packing the car, Mom was seen by L.E.M. in the beautiful blue sky of the day,  surrounded by so much bright light that she could hardly see her face, and L.E.M. saw Yanttay next to her. “Dearie said, tell Nancy thanks for reading the Tibetan Bardo to me, I needed to know that.”


On Saturday, 4 days and 1500 miles later, with L.E.M. having flown off  to Washington to her truly ‘of-the-things-of-God’ godmother, Linda Iribarren, I was having lunch with Yanttay at a Chinese restaurant. I wanted to let her know how incredibly precious and helpful her higher Self had been, and the complete gratitude I felt about the whole experience; that I felt in my heart that I had never done anything so useful in my life as that, and how much like childbirth it felt – even more miraculous, if that’s possible.

All of a sudden Yanttay was taken aback by hearing a voice she didn’t recognize (she, like L.E.M., has the gift of clairaudience and  clairvoyance) saying to her, “Thank you so much for your help, Yanttay, and I’m glad the two of you are together today.  Tell Nancy how grateful I am for her telling me about the silver chord. If she hadn’t, I would still be comatose in my body.  It is so very wonderful where I am now; it is so wonderful to remember who I really am.  I needed the memory to return to my original level of Awareness.  If Nancy had not told me those things, I would not have been able to get back to this point.”


With a trembling, glowing heat, tears of joy poured out of both of us.  I wanted to fall on the floor and curl in a ball with the  fullness of the implications.   “Yanttay, how many millions of people are never taught these things?” – and I saw 30 years of my study of metaphysics, my personal search for meaning, culminated in one fantastic week.

“She was a very strong minded, powerful woman with a deep voice, was she not, Nancy?”

“Oh, YES. Well, not that Mom expressed that power in any traditionally spiritual way.”   

“Well, I am telling you that this is a most powerful Being I’m feeling.“ Yanttay said she intuited that Mom was a very special,  knowledgeable Old Soul, that she hadn’t been here this time to express that part; that one of her missions in this lifetime had been to bring forth her daughter, Nancy so that Nancy could bring forth the  granddaughter, L.E.M..

“Spirit is letting me know that this is how it works – that you needed your mothers genes to do this. Because, the knowledge of an older  Soul comes through the mother’s genetic line. Oh my, it is such an honor and a privilege to go into your mothers vibration. I feel that we have been together many times and am very grateful to be with her again.”

We remembered that we were sitting in a busy restaurant, and we came back into the mundane – and got ready to go see the movie of Carl  Sagan’s book, Contact.


 Several months ago, Mom and I had one of our extremely infrequent conversations about universal meaning, if you will.  She was  remarking that she still, after 35 years having left the Catholic Church, did not like the term God because of the personal and limiting implications that has been put on it.  She stated that she was very aware  of the Order in the Universe, and I commented that I have used Buckminster Fuller’s term, Intelligent Infinity, for years for that same reason, though in the last couple of years I had resumed using the generic,  universally understood term, God, because I no longer felt the need to react against others interpretations of Infinity.  Mom commented that Consciousness of some sort is implied in order to create ‘Order’ in  our Universe.


Over a year ago Mom and I were discussing L.E.M.; Mom was  worried that she would be ridiculed and have a horrible life if anyone knew about her extended sensory capacities.  I explained that at this time on this planet there is such a difference from years ago, that  there are many places where her abilities are not only respected, but sought after.  That in fact I was more protective of her for her growing up naturally without hangers-on, the groupies who bring no critical  discernment to their searchings, than over any witch-hunt a la  the 17th century.  She grilled me at the time, “Really? you mean there are really Universities (other than Duke) and schools now that study parapsychology etc. – well, that is Okay then. But Nance, just be careful.”  

 ‘Oh, YES Mom, you see how even she knows – she is the consummate soccer-playing kid all at the same time.  And Mom, she couldn’t have been here without you, without your own intuitions and creative endeavors and searching mind that you passed on to us (she’s always known about us kids); I’ve been wanting you to tell me about where this all came from.’ 

 And she told me that one of her only recollections are of her grandmother, her father’s mother, who it had been known, had very strong  intuitions, such that she got up in the middle of the night and ordered a carriage to take her up to granddaddy’s boarding school, hours out of New York City – to get there in time to find out about his emergency  appendectomy!

 AND, I’ve been meaning to ask my aunts and uncles if they or their children have had this particular knowledge passed along to them, or  know any other stories?


With extreme Gratitude and Recognition of those who brought their own Wisdom:

    • To Darlene and Vincent Bridges, memory-holders,  who handed me the Bardo at just the right time;
    • To Darlene, the Nurse and to Louise, the Nurse who both have hearts and Souls clearly in the Light, offering just the right words both to their patients as well as to the families to guide us in knowing how to BE, in these most remarkable of times.
    • To Yanttay Mott, who knows her own knowing through many trials in her life and offers that most valuable a gift  to others;
    • To Bunny, Charlie, Ted for holding their own knowings and offering me the same.
    • To my metaphysical teacher, Gerry Demate Hatcher, who was the way show-er through most of the studies of what I  was able, 25 years later, to offer my mother;
    • To my sister-in-spirit Linda Iribarren, for my ability to ACT on all of the above and to raise my daughter with  Understanding, if not direct memory of the Ancient Universal Mysteries.
    • And to my daughter and teacher, L.E.M. who LIVES Multi-Dimensionally as a shining example, and is a tribute to  the Wisdom of her Grandmother.

  God, by any other name is still ALL THAT IS in which we live and have our BEING.

Recorded by Nancy Kimball Baumgarten, Jr
August 3, 1997

Tibetan Bardo: print friendly version