Who was the man, kneeling by the bed side when we came in
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
The Art of Dying – Drs Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick
It was the morning of 7 November 2006 when my beloved mother passed away. A care assistant was waiting at the door for us, and as we went into the room I saw a couple of female care assistants at the end of her bed and a man in a suit kneeling by the side of her bed. They all left the room, and we just had time to kiss mother and tell her what a wonderful mother she had been, that we would be OK now and it was time for her to go. A couple of minutes later we noticed that her shallow breathing had completely stopped.
The care assistants told us they had kept saying to my mum, 'Hold on Edith, your daughters are coming back', and they felt that she had hung on until we got there.
I happened to say to my sister 'Who was the man, kneeling by the bed side when we came in, was that the vicar'?
She said, 'What man?'
I said, 'The older man, in the suit.'
She said there was no man in the room. She asked when had he left the room and I said I didn't really notice, but assumed he had left the room when the female care assistants left, so we could say our goodbyes. I did not know the man but did not feel any creepiness about him - it just seemed natural he was there. I wish I could say it was my father who had come for her, or someone else we loved who had passed on, but it was definitely no one I knew.
My father died three weeks ago, and two days before he died (I had been told that there was nothing more that the doctors could, do for him and he knew himself that he was dying) I was sitting in the small room in the hospital with him, when I became aware of a figure standing behind me.
I could see his (I think it was a man's reflection in the glass window in front of me. I was so very aware of a presence and looked round to see who it was, but he was gone and I never saw him again. I then began to explore what it might be and spent some time looking at the window and trying out different movements, to look for reflections and to try to ascertain a more mundane explanation for what I saw. However, it became very clear that there was indeed someone in the room with us.
I’m a minister of religion and thought that I might have seen Christ but my more immediate reaction and thoughts at the time were that a relative of my dad's had come to accompany him on his last journey. I felt this very strongly.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble