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Observations placeholder

African nurse meets her dead grandmother



Type of Spiritual Experience


The description calls it an NDE, but this classification is not correct, it is more like a lucid dream with possible out of body.  It would have been interesting to know what she was ill from.

A description of the experience

The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences – Dr Penny Sartori

The following example was told to me by an African nurse who had heard a talk I had given on my research. She was very reluctant to talk about her NDE at first. After a few months she reported:

I had not been well for about two days. It was nothing specific, just unwell, a bit of a headache. On the day that it happened my mother said that I looked tired and I should go and lie down. She told me not to lock the door of my room. I had my own bedroom and usually I locked the door when I went to bed. I went to lie down and drifted into a nice sleep. I don't know how long I slept for but I woke up and my mother, father and sister were all in my room crying.

I’d been in a very nice sleep, very comfortable. I could hear my mother’s voice very far away. It was almost like a whisper but I could tell it was my mother's voice . . . like she was calling. There was an image and I knew this was my mother, but it wasn't a full image. I could see her figure but it was blurry and I couldn't make out any features - I just knew it was my mother. I couldn't wake up; I couldn't respond to her calling, I was trying but I couldn't. I was thinking to myself, 'I need to wake up but my body won't move.'

My whole body was too heavy for me and I couldn't move it. Then suddenly I was floating but floating towards my mother, where her voice was. It took a long time, the whole process was in slow motion.

On the opposite side to where my mother's voice was, I could hear my grandmother’s voice. I could see her face but not her body – she looked younger than when she died. She was smiling. It was my mother's face that looked upset. I could see her face but not her body.

When I looked at both my grandmother and mother I went towards my mother as she was crying and calling me but my grandmother was smiling.  I went to my mother as she was distressed and seemed to need me more. My body was struggling to wake and move; I needed to go to my mother then I had the floating feeling and I was going to where my mother was I don't recall making contact, just floating towards her

I can't remember anything else, just waking up with my father leaning over me. My father had been shaking me for a very long time to wake me up. To my family I had been completely unconscious. I was not making any movement at all but in my mind I felt that I had made some movements. They all thought that I was dead.

I later learned that my mother was the first to come and check on me, she called me and started shaking me but there was no response.

She called my father; they were both shaking and calling me but there was no response and I didn't make any movement.

When I woke up I felt really tired and just wanted to go back to sleep again. They wouldn't let me go back to sleep - they were too scared. For the next three nights my mother slept in my room and my mother woke me up each night because I had gone into a very deep sleep. Every time she woke me she could tell by my breathing that I was going into a very deep sleep. I don't know if these are connected to that experience but I was having very strange dreams at the point of waking.

The first time I was in a deep ditch and my mother was trying to get me out, then I was trapped in a car and my mother was trying to get me out; I can't remember the third dream now. Every time she woke me it was taking a long time for me to wake, much longer than usual.  I didn't think anything about it until I heard you talk about them.

My mother always stopped me talking about that time because it frightened her so much; I was never allowed to talk about it. The only other person I told about it was my sister but that was years later. We were talking about the time I wouldn't wake up and she said that I’d scared the whole family and then I told her about what I remembered. I never attached any significance to it; I just put it down to an odd experience.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps



Dreaming and lucid dreaming