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Ethna’s friend

Identifier

002517

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Going Home – Colm Keane
Ethna from County Cork who now lives in Dublin, recalls a dying friend.

I went in to see her in the hospital. She used to be gazing into space and lying in the hospital bed very ill. She had cancer and she was in her late 80s. She was just inside the door of the ward, with a curtain around her. She used to look as if she was waiting to move on and had lost all hope. I tried to cheer her up even though I knew I was wasting my time. I was saying, 'You'll be home soon.' She used to say, 'No, I won't. I don't want to go home.'

One day she said to me, 'My husband is waiting for me.' I thought she was hallucinating. He was dead ten years, or so, at the time. He had died from emphysema. They had been very close and idolised each other and she really missed him. I didn't want to say he was dead so I just asked her, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'I've been talking to him.' She told me he was down this tunnel which had flowers in it. Her husband was standing there and he said, 'I'm waiting for you. You've been long enough away.'

…. He was waving to her, calling her, beckoning her, it seems. She was looking straight at him.  Prior to that I thought she might have only been wishing to die. She had nothing much to live for and she didn't want to go home. But she was sure of what happened - her husband stood there and he was waiting for her and she couldn't wait to see him.

She was very sound of mind when she said it, and very lucid. There was no rambling. She then said to me, 'I just want to die. I wish I could go now. I don't know why I'm here.' She was livid that she had to live any longer. I said, 'It has been a long time on your own, hasn't it?' And she said, 'Too long.'

She knew she was going home. She said she would meet her other family there as well. She was smiling as she waited to move on. She wanted her body to give up and go. She really gave up after that and she died about three or four days later.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities