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The parallel worlds the dying seem able to inhabit

Identifier

021257

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Love is the Link – Dr Pamela Kircher

The following fascinating and detailed account from Barbara Cane shows very clearly the parallel worlds the dying seem able simultaneously to inhabit. Barbara describes the last days of her 90-year-old mother, in hospital and dying of pneumonia at Christmas 2005. As the various members of her family visited her she was able to talk to them very calmly and clearly and was totally 'on the ball’.

She talked to her grandson about his plans for the future, how proud she was of him, and how she wanted him to be settled with a good partner as she had been. During all this time her heart and oxygen levels were being monitored and were steady.

During the hour or so he (her grandson) was with her she occasionally mentioned that she was aware that people were watching over her, and that they were in the gardens surrounding the hospital. She couldn't describe them, as they were behind the bushes, but she knew that they were there to help her 'if her head fell forward’.

She said to my son that she also saw 'Dad' in the hospital room (as she used to call my father), and wasn't bothered by this. My son looked at her medical attachments and saw no fluctuation in the readings of the medical instrumentation. She would then continue talking normally to him.

When my daughter arrived, shortly afterwards, she too had a really good visit. Her medical responses were calm and steady, and when she referred to, and saw, 'these people' her heart and oxygen levels didn't move. At this time 'the people' were in the ward, but near the inside of the windows. She was very calm and explained that she knew my daughter couldn't see them - but would understand when 'her time comes'. She calmly waved and spoke to 'these people' and, introduced them to my daughter - as if they were talking to her. She would then carry on discussing Christmas and other aspects of normal life.

I joined my daughter after an hour at the hospital and we both sat chatting to my mother. She spoke to me about my life, remembering vividly situations and many memories. She spoke to me about my future - all interspersed with references to 'these people' who were now at the end of her bed. She told us that she wouldn't be there the next day as 'these people' would pick her up when she fell and, take her on a journey. We were slightly spooked at her comments, but she was totally at ease.

By about 5 p.m.  that afternoon 'these people' were sitting on her bed next to her granddaughter, and she was having a three-way conversation with them. She then dismissed her granddaughter and told her to go out and enjoy herself as it was Christmas Eve.

Her granddaughter left the ward, but in fact waited in the car park for her mother to join her. It was about 45 minutes later that I arrived, and we walked into the ward together. The curtains where around the bed. We looked at the monitor and it showed really high blood pressure and oxygen levels of about 80 per cent. We went straight back to the nurses' station to find that they were in the process of phoning us, to tell us to return to the hospital as my mother had had, a 'turn', probably a heart attack, and they were waiting for a doctor.

We returned to her bedside and a nurse took her hand to try and wake her. She opened her eyes - but didn't really seem to see - and said, 'I've had a wonderful life' and closed her eyes. We telephoned my husband and my son to come back to the hospital, and we were all around her bed when she died peacefully at 9.55 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble