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Observations placeholder

It was as if I was holding Vera's hand, and I was losing my grip of her



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Drs Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

Denise Hamilton told us the following story about her mother-in-law's death. Denise was very close to her mother-in-law, Vera, who looked on her as the daughter she had never had, and who was diagnosed with a brain tumour shortly before Denise and her husband were married. She was too ill to attend the wedding, but they visited her immediately afterwards, and Denise's husband asked her not to die until they returned from their honeymoon, on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Denise describes what she experienced one particular night:

I was awakened by a very vivid image in my dream, it was as if I was holding Vera's hand, and I was losing my grip of her and slowly her hand slipped out of mine and I then awoke immediately. I knew right away that she had left us. I made a note of the time and the day, but then I said nothing to my husband- there was nothing we could do in Maui, and it would only result in much sadness for both of us for the rest of our honeymoon. On returning to the UK, we were called, over the airplane speaker system to make contact with a member of the crew - it was a message from my mother asking us to call her. I did, and the news was that indeed Vera had passed away on Monday 17 April 1989. The time and  date tied up with my experience in Maui.

Denise knew that her mother-in-law was ill, so it is not too surprising that she should dream about her death, but again the timing, the vividness and significance of the dream imagery and the emotions it evoked suggest that it was more than this.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Brain tumour


Dreaming and lucid dreaming