Felix Fossato of Turin hears the cry from his sick sister
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery, At the Moment of Death; Manifestations and Apparitions of the Dying – Camille Flammarion
Letter 779 from Felix Fossati October 1899
In 1862, I was an engineer and lived in Alessandria, Piedmont, and my family – that is to say my father, my mother, my brother and three sisters – were living in Turin our native city.
As I dearly loved my family – who also loved me dearly – I went almost every Sunday to Turin to have dinner with them; the distance was only two hours by train [90 kilometres] and this Sunday reunion was always a celebration.
On a certain Sunday in November, I had gone there as usual; I had found all my family in good health, particularly the youngest of my sisters, Louise, an adorable young girl of 18, whom I especially loved. I was her godfather and was 14 years older than she. She had a very good disposition, she was a beautiful, slender brunette and in splendid health. On that Sunday she cheered us during dinner with her good humour, her witty sallies and after the meal with her soata on the piano, which she played rather as n artist than a mere dilettante. I thus had no reason for anxiety as to her health and I went away without worries of a y sort.
The following Wednesday, about 1 ‘o clock in the afternoon, I was seated after lunch beside the hearth on which a good fire burned.
It was a misty day, with a fog one could have cut with a knife, a coldness that chilled you to the marrow. I had dozed off and had slept perhaps a quarter of an hour when I heard, very distinctly, the voice of my sister Louise calling to me in tearful tones saying
‘Felix, Felix, help me, help me!’
I woke up with a start, completely upset and in spite of my efforts to persuade myself it was a nightmare, caused perhaps by indigestion, I remained very much disturbed. I was alone in my little bachelor apartment, with the doors and windows closed.
The next day I wited anxiously for thr mail from Turin, which I received regularly in the middle of the week; but contrary to their habit, neither my mother nor my sister had written to me.
A letter from my brother informed me, with much circumspection, that poor Louise had fallen ill, suddenly attacked by a severe fever and that her condition had caused them extreme uneasiness.
I left at once for Turin, where I found my parents deeply distressed; the malady was growing worse and our physician’s diagnosis was a dangerous case of typhoid fever. My sister’s robust constitution enabled her to struggle with the disease for eight weeks, but in spite of the care lavished on her, she succumbed on January 24th 1863………….
It was 37 years ago that I heard this cry of my poor sister and I remember it as though it were yesterday. I have passed many tribulations in life, but no sorrow equalled that one