Madame Camille Selden - Heinrich Heine's death
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery, At the Moment of Death; Manifestations and Apparitions of the Dying – Camille Flammarion
Madame Camille Selden, Heinrich Heine’s intimate friend, perceived at the moment of death of the celebrated writer a singular manifestation
On that Sunday – February 17th 1856 – I had a strange waking. Towards eight o’ clock I heard a noise in my room – a sort of fluttering, such as that produced on summer evenings by the wings of nocturnal butterflies which come in through the open window and search desperately for an exit.
My eyes opened, but I closed them at once; in the first glimmerings of day, a black form was writhing, like a gigantic insect and seeking some way of escape.
Heinrich Heine – more French than German – died in Paris on February 17th 1856 between 5 and 8 o’ clock in the morning.
A cruel malady of the spine confined him to his bed during the last eight years of his life.
Madame Selden then recounted how she had hastened to his home, despite the cold and learned that he had just died. Marcel Baudouin has noted that this lady was a most intimate friend of Heinrich Heine. She published his reminiscences only in 1884, that is to say 28 years after the death of her ‘dear poet’ and after Madame Heine’s death.