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There, bending over my son's cot, was my father-in-law who said, 'It's all right, I just want to say goodbye to the boy.'

Identifier

021401

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination

A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Dr Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

Here Keith Scrivener describes the night his father-in-law died. He had been very ill from stomach cancer for a long time, and during his illness Keith and his wife had taken their infant son, the old man's only grandchild, to see him as often as possible, as his spirits were always lifted by the child's presence.

The doctors said my father-in-law only had a few more weeks of life, but his death was not thought to be imminent. He was, however, incapable of moving by himself and had wasted away to almost skeletal proportions.

At that time my wife and I shared a double bed, with our infant son in a cot beside us. We all went off to sleep, but later I awoke suddenly; I was wide awake not sleepy or in a dreamlike state. There, bending over my son's cot, was my father-in-law, not skeletal but in his earlier healthy proportions. He turned to me and said, 'It's all right, I just want to say goodbye to the boy.'

Although he was by then in his fifties, my father-in-law looked far younger, radiantly healthy and happy. I looked at the clock and noted the time, then lay back in my bed, as nothing seemed strange about this nocturnal visit; in fact I was completely calm, as it seemed very peaceful and normal, and I was instantly asleep again. My wife [his daughter] had slept through this.

When my wife and I awoke in the morning, I told her about her dad's visit and what time it had occurred. Later, my mother-in-law contacted us to say he had died at the exact time I had seen him checking out his grandson. Neither I nor my mother-in-law had phones at the time, so there was no way I could have known he had died earlier.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Neffy Limb