Mademoiselle Stella from Chiari (Italy) sees Bertie who had died half an hour before
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery: After Death – Camille Flammarion
The apparition described below appeared half an hour after death. It is among those which bear the most convincing- stamp of authenticity, and which are best explained by mutual sympathy. Mademoiselle Stella wrote from Chiari (Italy) on January 18, 1884:
'When I was about fifteen, and was spending my vacation at the home of Dr. J. G-, I formed a close friendship with my host’s cousin, a boy of seventeen. We grew to be inseparable. We worked together, rode horseback together, and shared the same amusements like a brother and sister. He was in very delicate health; I took care of him, and we never spent an hour far from each other. I am giving you all these details to show you that there was no trace of passion in our case; our relations were like those of two boys.
One night they sent for Monsieur G-, to examine his cousin who had suddenly fallen seriously ill with inflammation of the lungs. The poor boy died on the following night. I had been given no hint of the danger in which he was, and was not disturbed in the least about him.
The evening he died I was quietly reading, when the door opened and Bertie, my friend, came in I got up abruptly to push an arm-chair over to the fire for him, for he seemed to be cold and had no coat, although it was snowing I began to scold him for having gone out without wrapping himself up well. Instead of answering, he pressed his hand to his chest and shook his head. I interpreted this as meaning that he was not cold, that his lungs hurt him, and that he had lost his voice -a thing which sometimes happened to him.
As I was still reproaching him for his imprudence the doctor entered and asked me to whom I was speaking. I answered:
“To this poor boy without any coat, who has a terrible cold. We must lend him a coat to go home in."
I shall never forget the horror and the stupefaction depicted upon the good doctor's face, for he knew (what I was ignorant of) that the poor boy had died half an hour before, and he had come to tell me of this.
His first thought was that I already knew, and had gone mad. The doctor made me go out of the room, speaking to me as though I were a little girl. For some moments we talked to each other at cross-purposes. At length he explained that I had had an hallucination, an optical illusion; he did not deny that I had seen Bertie with my own eyes, but he gave me a “most scientific" explanation of this vision, fearing to frighten me or leave me with a painful impression.
As for me, I am sure of what I saw. I was reading an amusing book, and I clearly remember that I was laughing with all my heart at some absurdity of the hero at precisely the moment when the door opened.