Joan Borysenko’s Deathbed Vigil For Her Mother


Joan Borysenko

When I interviewed Joan Borysenko for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. I asked her to tell me about her experience at her mother’s bedside the night she died. Here is an excerpt from that profoundly moving story:

Not long after that, we started the countdown because she was getting weaker and weaker. In the middle of the night, my twenty-year-old son, Justin, and I were sitting by her bed meditating when I suddenly had a very profound, very realistic vision. I was a pregnant mother giving birth, but I was also the baby being born. Throughout the vision I was perfectly lucid, and I was in my regular state of consciousness as well. I thought, How remarkable. I’m in two bodies and I’m conscious of being in both. And it occurred to me that that’s what the consciousness of God is, and that it’s present in every human being. Then my consciousness switched totally into the baby being born, and I found myself coming down a long dark tunnel and out into the light. Once I was in the light, I saw my entire relationship with my mother unveiled on an infinite number of layers. I saw that it had been absolutely perfect, and that we had learned lessons from one another that had made us both more courageous and compassionate. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this woman. I also felt the circularity of things, that she had given me physical birth and, in this moment, I was giving birth to her soul as it was leaving.

When the vision was over and I returned to the room, my vision had changed. Instead of seeing things as solid objects, I saw everything as energy—it looked like everything was made of light and interconnected. And I saw that the energy of her now lifeless body was the same as the energy of the bed, the ceiling, the floor. I looked over at my son, who was sitting on the opposite side of the bed. It looked like he had a halo. He was crying. He looked at me with such a soft look in his eyes and said, “Mom, the whole room is filled with light. Can you see it?” I told him I could, and I moved around the bed and sat next to him.

He said, “I just had a vision. You must be extraordinarily grateful to Grandma Lily.” I said, “Yes, I am. For the first time in my life, I really know what gratitude is.” He said, “What I understood in my vision is that she was a very great soul, and she came to Earth not for her own purposes but as a gift to you—so that in resisting her, you could become who you truly are and you could develop the gift that you have to give to other people.” At that point, Justin and I fell into one another’s arms and began weeping. I said to him, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a mother. Will you forgive me?” “Of course,” he said. And then, almost jokingly, he added, “You know, what I saw in my vision is that you must have wounded me in just the right way so that I could develop my own strengths.”

Click here to view all my posts related to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

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Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

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Want to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 40-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
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• chapter excerpts
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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