A meeting with her dead mother and 'Jesus' helps resolve a dying woman's anger
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Love is the Link – Dr Pamela Kircher
An encounter with Jesus made all the difference to another hospice patient. She was a very angry woman in her forties who was absolutely devoted to her family of several children, most of whom were still at home when she contracted cancer. As her body began to be overcome by the cancer, she steadfastly refused to talk about her terminal illness to anyone, including her husband. She vehemently insisted that she was too young to die and that it simply wasn't going to happen. She was not finished yet and she didn't want to talk further about it.
Her pain was difficult to manage because emotional pain and anger intensify the physical pain of terminal cancer. In spite of multiple medication adjustments and multiple visits from the social worker and the chaplain, some pain remained, in large part due to her distressing emotional condition. When I prayed about ways to assist her in her pain, I got the clear feeling that she would be helped, but not in the usual ways that our patients were helped.
Two days later, she had a profound mystical experience that completely changed her attitudes toward life and her impending death.
In her mystical experience, she found herself in a beautiful meadow with her mother, who looked young and healthy though she had died severaI years before. She assured her that she would be with her and that she would be in a calm and peaceful place. She found herself relaxing and re-experiencing the love that she had felt for her mother. As she turned to the side, she saw Jesus with his arms outstretched and a loving expression on his face. The woman felt a strong pull toward Jesus. However, she remembered her family at home and realized that she had not yet told them "goodbye." She told Jesus that she was not yet ready to come, but that she would soon be ready. With that declaration, she found herself back in her body in her bed at home.
Over the next two days, one by one the children were called in privately to her bedroom where she told them how much she loved them and that she would be watching over them in her death in just the way that she had in her life. She spent time with her husband, helping him to prepare for her death and single parenting.
When she had done what she could to prepare them, she said that she was ready to go. Within a few hours she became unresponsive and then died peacefully the next day. The grieving process was much easier for her family because of her experience than it would have been had she died in confusion and anger, denying her imminent death.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans