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The elderly lady visited by her mother and 13 siblings . . . all deceased

Identifier

021323

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Drs Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

One elderly lady, who was completely clear minded, told me of her mother standing at the foot of her bed. She said she could see a lot of others behind her mother, but they weren't clear. She presumed they were her siblings . . . all deceased. She was the last survivor of a family of 13. This experience had given her great comfort, as her mother had died suddenly when she was 15 years old. She was then in her 80s. When I conveyed this to the medical staff it was dismissed as being probably 'the result of the drugs on board’. I have to say I always found this patient totally lucid and there was no suggestion of confusion from the staff's observations. I had enough experience in this field to know when someone was adversely affected by medication. I am saddened that people are not prepared to be more open 'minded about this. It makes people reluctant to share their experiences as they fear they will be thought of as cranks etc. The elderly lady who shared hers with me was lucid enough to say . . . 'I can tell you this because I know you won't think I'm mad!'

When I started to work in palliative care I was at best an agnostic but I cannot dismiss the many experiences I witnessed and those that relatives chose to share with me. One mother spoke very movingly but with great clarity of the moment she perceived what she believed was her young adult daughter's spirit leaving her body . . . and, she was a very intelligent and creditable woman.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble