Cash, Johnny – Relates the story of his dying brother Jack
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Cash – The autobiography of Johnny Cash
Daddy said, ‘Jack been hurt on the saw, and I’m afraid we’re going to lose him.' Then he cried. It was the first time I'd ever seen or heard him do that. He only cried for a little while. Then he said, 'I came home to find you. Jack's in the hospital in the Center. Let's go back there and see him. We may never see him alive again.'
We did see Jack alive. He was unconscious when we got to the hospital, knocked out with drugs for the pain, but he didn't go right ahead and die. On Wednesday, four days after he'd been hurt, all the church congregations in town held a special service for him, and the following morning he had an amazing revival. He said he felt good, and he looked good. There he was, fine as you please, lying in bed reading his mail - he'd gotten a letter from his girlfriend- and laughing happily. My mother and father and I thought we were seeing a miracle. Jack was going to live!
Old Dr Hollingsworth knew better. He'd operated on Jack when they brought him in, and he kept telling us, 'Don't get too much hope, now. I had to take out too much of his insides, and ... well, there's nothing left in there, really. You'd better get all the family home that wants to see him before he goes.
We did that - Roy was in Texas, I think, and my older sister, Louise, was in Osceola, Arkansas - but we still hoped.
Not for long.
On Friday Jack took a turn for the worse, and that night we stayed at the hospital in beds Dr Hollingsworth had arranged for all eight of us: Daddy, the three girls, the three boys, and Moma. I woke up early on Saturday morning to the sound of Daddy crying and praying. I'd never seen him pray before, either. He saw me awake and said, 'come on in to his room. Let's say goodbye to him.' We went in there. Everyone was crying. My mother was at the head of Jack’s bed with my brothers and sisters all around. Daddy took me up to the head opposite my mother, and there was Jack talking crazy -'The mules are out, don't let' em get in the corn, catch the mules!'
But suddenly he grew calm and lucid' He looked around and said, 'I'm glad you're all here"
He closed his eyes.
'It's a beautiful river, 'he said' It’s going two ways - No, I'm not going that way "
' Yes' That’s the way I'm going... Aaaaw, Moma, can't you see it?'
‘No, son, l can't see it,' she said.
"Well can you hear the angels?'
‘No, son, I can't hear angels.'
Tears came from his eyes. 'I wish you could,' he said. 'They're so beautiful ... It's so wonderful, and what a beautiful place that I’m going.'
Then he went into a rigor. He had intestinal poisoning, and that stuff came out of his mouth onto his chest, and he was gone.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans