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The night my great-aunt Odette passed away

Identifier

021509

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination

Background

Remember an hallucination is the super-imposition of a spiritual image over a sensory image.

A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Drs Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

'Ali' gave us this wonderfully observed and detailed account of the death of her dearly loved great-aunt. The detail in this account must raise the question of whether, if we were taught about these phenomena, many more of us would be aware of their existence and thus more likely to observe them. It is a fundamental psychological principle that we tend only to see things we expect to see, and on which our attention is focused.

Ali also echoed what many people have told us about the reactions of people to whom she tried to talk about what happened, and how painful and frustrating it is to have people deny the experience and doubt the evidence of your eyes, your ears and your intuition.

There was what I can only describe as a white light or form around the top of her head and face area. Her face looked so radiant in all that very bright light. I felt unable to move any further to be closer- to her, I'm not sure if this was because I physically could not, or perhaps because I knew that this was such a special, significant and sacred moment, that it would be wrong of me to intrude. Something deep within me told me that this was the moment she was taking her 'leave' of this world. I knew that I was probably witnessing the 'moment' - her spirit or soul, her inner being, leaving her body!

I have never been present at somebody's death before and was not sure or prepared for what to expect, but somehow when it happened, everything just fell into place . . . I don't know how long this vision lasted; in reality it was probably just seconds, but it was just so mind-blowing that I felt as though I had held my breath for the entire moment, not wanting to disrupt it in any way! Her hair seemed to be standing on end, as if the force or the pressure was lifting or blowing it all upwards, towards the top of her head. This light or form gradually disappeared from around her head and face area and what remained was what I can only describe as a 'total stillness' in the room. I calmly walked over to her side, kissed her and wished her a safe journey. I knew she was no longer there, the room felt so empty. Although it had been empty on many occasions prior to her death, there was definitely something 'different' now . . . as though the essence, the energy that had been there previously, had taken its leave too. I guess this is what death does!

I have not been able to talk about what happened, or rather what I witnessed, on the night my great-aunt Odette passed away. . . I wanted to talk and talk about it, but not many people in my world are prepared or willing to listen . . . One particular response I received, from a family member was, 'That's not right, that doesn't happen' . . . to completely deny my 'experience' I found very hard to accept.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Neffy Limb