A shared experience of a loved one's death
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
The Wisdom of Near Death Experiences - Dr Penny Sartori
Accounts of empathic experiences remain sparse. This first example was given to me by a man who contacted me after reading a newspaper article about my research. The following is from two independent phone conversations I had, with him and his daughter.
Husband: This is a very strange event that I find difficult to describe. I'm not even sure exactly what happened, but it was something very 'unusual’ - for want of a better word. My wife died in 2004. I was with her, as were our son and daughter; we'd been with her 24 hours a day. The day of her death I knew it was close. Myself and my son were holding her hand and my daughter had her hand on my wife’s forehead.
My daughter said, 'Mum is walking with a group of people. No, she's stopped, she's going back; no, she's going to the people . . .' then I saw this very bright light and a tall person stepped forward out of the light. I was watching this as if from my wife’s eyes. This tall person was holding his arms outstretched as if to greet my wife and welcome her. She walked further along this path until she reached this tall man. He was waiting there as if to give her a welcoming hug; there was a sense of peace and love. There had been such sadness leading up to my wife’s death then this happened and we were left almost elated. I can't explain it. In fact the nurses and ward sister must have thought we were very insensitive because we all felt this sense of elation and happiness. What should have been a sad event for us all left us with big smiles on our faces and a sense of happiness, knowing that she had gone on to something else, if you like.
Don't get me wrong, we were all upset that she’d died but that experience just took all of that sadness away and replaced it with an inexpressible feeling of ecstasy and joy.
Daughter: We both had a slightly different experience of it. Dad 'saw' it as if through Mum's eyes but I'm not exactly sure what I experienced. Whether I saw this or it was a picture of it in my head I don't know. Mum was unconscious and I had my hand on her head.
My brother and I were willing her to go. All of a sudden I could see her walking into the distance on a path. She was right in the middle of this path. It was like a summer’s evening and around her head was like a sun. On her right-hand side I could see the silhouette of some people. Her eyes were closed during all of this. Dad sobbed and I looked around and saw this tall person - I don't know who he was.
She walked towards him on the path. When she reached him he took her into his arms as if in a warm welcoming embrace that was full of love. Mum's breaths got shallower and then there were no further breaths and the image or scene disappeared. I don't know what it was but Dad saw it too; my brother didn't see anything, though. It was all very vivid. I was left feeling calm and more accepting of Mum’s death.
I'm not as frightened of death as a result of what I experienced'.