Print this page

Observations placeholder

Suddenly the corridor filled with the brightest white light

Identifier

021620

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Drs Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

On 10 June 1997, my father and I were told that my mother had only hours or days to live. She was in the special heart unit, very ill. She rallied enough to be transferred to another ward.

About two weeks before she died, my mother greeted us on our daily visit with such radiance and happiness that we were astonished. When she told us her story, my father laughed it off, but although I was sceptical, I questioned her further. This was her story.

Elsie (aged 75) was in a single room at the end of a short corridor, leading to the nurses' station and the main ward. It was the early hours (about 4 a.m.) and she was unable to sleep after her oxygen tubes had awoken her as she turned in bed. Suddenly the corridor filled with the brightest white light, and a lady clothed in white, walked towards her. The lady was the most beautiful woman Elsie had ever seen. Although the light was bright, Elsie could see the lady very clearly. The lady came close and smiled, telling Elsie to go with her.

She took Elsie into a wonderful garden and the lady explained that, because Elsie had been ill for so long and had been so brave, she was going to be allotted a little more time to spend with her family. They went back to Elsie's room and the lady walked away.

My mother's whole being changed. She had her hair washed, cut and styled in her room for the first time, ate better and became more cheerful. During those last two weeks, most of her family had visited Elsie and she had particularly enjoyed the hours with her great-granddaughter. Knowing she would not see her for long did tinge her last days with some sadness.

She knew she was going to die but wanted to go home. With some urgency we organized that and on the afternoon of 3 July, Elsie finally went home.

At 8.55 a.m. the morning after she went home, Elsie died in rather traumatic circumstances, but I had the very distinct feeling that God had taken over her life. Elsie was not a very religious person, but she believed that the lady had been God's angel, blessing her with a few more days with her loved ones. It made such a difference to her in those last two weeks.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Margaret Booth