Helping my old friend Jimmy pass on...

Helping my old friend Jimmy pass on...

by Kelvin H. Chin
Life After Life Expert, Overcoming the Fear of Death Foundation

The first time we met in this lifetime anyway, was a few weeks after I started dating his daughter. I guess it was a big deal, but I was so relaxed meeting her parents, maybe it’s my decades of life experience, maybe it was something about my connection with them. But the very first thing I said to Jimmy after I shook his hand in his kitchen was, “You’re so tall, how did you pass the flight exam?” 

Jimmy was 6 foot 4, a Cobra attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam. His eyes immediately lit up, then he proceeded to tell me the story of how the Army doctor examining him, told him to crouch down farther and farther until he said, “Good, you’re 6 foot 2 — just made the limit!”

And so began a connection with Jimmy on our mutual experiences in the Army. I had been teaching meditation in the U.S. Army in Korea after Jimmy was in Vietnam. Later that night at dinner, I mentioned a General in charge of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea who had learned to meditate while we were teaching at the DMZ. I pointed out that “he wore 2 pearl-handled revolvers...” (obviously, non-Army issued). And Jimmy immediately blurted out his nickname “Gunslinger!” — I said, “How did you know?!” So we had that in common turns out, Major General Henry (“Gunslinger” or “Gunfighter”) Emerson had later been Jimmy’s commanding officer at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Small world.

As Jimmy’s brain cancer progressed, and as his health failed quickly, Kim and I moved into Jimmy and Donna’s house to help care for him. He soon became almost bedridden and late one night at 4:00 AM when he was trying to get to his walker, he fell to his knees, and I helped his wife Donna lift his 275-pound body back up into his bed.

That morning I taught him to meditate, and while I was kneeling next to his bed so he could hear me more easily, he put his hand on my head and gently stroked my forehead just before I taught him. Afterwards, we talked about death, and his views and beliefs about death — we shared our thoughts on the subject. And he told me more Army stories, this time about his tour of duty in Germany after Vietnam, and about his Russian-born crew chief.

About a month after that, on Thursday September 24th, several old friends in Austin came to visit him, and in their own ways said goodbye. One had known him since he was in the second grade 30 years ago, and is still Jimmy’s son Chris’s best friend — who told me he thinks of Jimmy and Donna as his second parents. 

Ten days earlier Jimmy had already been through the stage of “seeing people on the other side,” and now he was at the stage of not being able to articulate much at all, mostly staring off into space with his mouth agape. But, as many people do as they near the end, Jimmy rallied, and was able to say a few words to this friend before lapsing back to the other side. 

After he left the room, I stayed, and stroked Jimmy’s head, did some energy work, some energy balancing on his head with one hand while holding his hand with my other hand. Then he squeezed my hand and pulled it towards him, pulling my head down — I thought he wanted to whisper something to me. But instead, he slowly kissed me on my cheek. And I looked at him in the eyes, and he was looking me right in the eyes very clearly without that far-off look that had become the norm in those recent weeks. And his eyes teared up — and I cried.

Through my tears I told him that he was going to be all right, and that he should not worry about his wife Donna, or Kim, or Chris. I told him I would look after them, and that many people would look after them. And if he needed to let go, that he should let go whenever he needed to. And very clearly, he looked at me and said, “But I’m not ready to go yet.” And I said to him, “Then you don’t need to go yet, no one is rushing you. Take your time. But when you’re ready to go, don’t worry about anybody, everybody will be fine.” And even more tears welled up in his eyes...and in mine as well.

Those were the last words I ever heard Jimmy speak. The next three days he started exiting his body even more, and then on Monday, September 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM, he left his shell behind. Quietly, peacefully, with us by his bedside.

For me, it was clear from the start that I needed to be there not just for the family, but for ease his transition — and to rekindle my old friendship with him.


Kelvin H. Chin is a Meditation Teacher, Life After Life Expert, and Author of “Overcoming the Fear of Death.” He learned to meditate at age 19, and has been teaching Turning Within and coaching others in their self-growth for 40 years. He helps people understand their life challenges through their individual belief systems, and helps them find their own solutions. His past life memories reach back many centuries, and he accesses those memories in his teaching and his coaching in the same way all coaches draw on their own available experiences for perspective and effective analogies. He can be reached at or