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Tiira, Ensio - Raft of despair



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

Raft of despair – Ensio Tiira

I’d lost all sense of a second person being in the raft.  The guardian angel who kept me company after Ericsson's death left the raft with my own loss of hope.

Though the cool of the evening brought a little strength back to me I still could not sit up. I fixed my bed for the night, pushing the paddles together with the lifejackets over them.  The torch batteries had expired at last and I smiled with a foolish pride that I'd lasted the longer.

The night was a repetition of the day, some real sleep and a good deal of delirium. I believed I was dead and that I had been rescued and that I was having a great dinner. Again I was leaving the raft and awoke to find myself draped half over the edge.

The thirty-second day blends into the thirty-first. I don’t know where one ended and the other began. I have no recollection of the sunrise or anything that happened until the morning was well advanced. There was nothing by which I could measure the passing of time.

Life returned and the day began when despair changed into hope and I came slowly out of the gloom into reality. The change was spiritual, but the body responded. My nerves produced a final effort, my muscles worked and my mind co-ordinated. It was about mid-afternoon, very hot, no wind. A fair swell sluggishly moved the raft on the sea. I lay on my right side, completely conscious now, staring out across the water with only half-seeing eyes, when I saw a ship. It was a tanker going west, about three miles off. I forced myself on to my elbows and took the shirt lying by my side and waved.

The paddle was beyond my capacity. I couldn't lift it. But I must get higher. Up on the lifejackets and they would be able to see me better. I pushed one paddle against the side of the raft and inched forward until I was sitting on it. I waved more successfully now, but there was little strength in my back and repeatedly my head fell forward and my back slumped after it.

 To straighten my back and get my head up took another great effort, but I managed it and waved until the ship had gone down and there was nothing left to wave to.

The source of the experience

Tiira, Ensio

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