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Billy in bed six talks with his dead mother

Identifier

013075

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences – Dr Penny Sartori

'Billy' in bed six is on his way he'll be gone by the end of the morning. He’s been talking to his dead mother since three o’ clock this morning.' I looked up from my notepad. Were the other nurses trying to shock me or play some sort of joke on me because it was my first day on the ward as a student nurse? Everyone else was carrying on as if nothing out of the ordinary had been said. No one even looked at me.

After the hand over had finished I approached Billy's bed; he was lying down and looked as if he was sleeping. After a few minutes I saw him raise his arm as if he was calling out to someone. I got closer and heard him whisper something to someone not visible to me then he put his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes. I was called to assist the staff nurse with another patient. Throughout the course of the morning I continued to observe Billy making gestures to someone not visible and he began calling his mother.

He then began smiling, put his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes for the last time. As predicted by the nurse on the night shift, he had died before the morning was through.

This was my first encounter with death as a young nurse and I couldn’t quite get my head around how matter of factly the staff nurse on the night shift had predicted Billy’s death. I thought about that a lot when I finished my shift that day. That event stayed in my mind but it wasn't until a few years later that I gave death any real consideration. As my nursing career progressed I realised that patients calling out or talking and gesturing to unseen people symbolised fast approaching death and was commonly accepted by many nurses that I worked with.

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities