Savage, Dr Minot Judson - Psychics : facts and theories – 07 The death bed vision Edith has of the already dead Jennie
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Psychics : facts and theories – M J Savage
I will now relate a death vision that has about it some unusual features. These visions, of course, are very common. I have known many that were striking ; but generally there is no way of proving that they are not entirely subjective. The dying frequently appear to see and converse with their friends who have preceded them, but how can anyone tell that they are not like the imaginings of those in delirium ? I have in my collection two or three that have about them certain characteristics that are hard to explain on that theory. One of the best is the following.
In a neighboring city were two little girls, Jennie and Edith, one about eight years of age, and the other but a little older. They were schoolmates and intimate friends. In June, 1889, both were taken ill .of diphtheria. At noon on Wednesday, June 5, Jennie died.
Then the parents of Edith, and her physician as well, all took particular pains to keep from her the fact that her little playmate was gone. They feared the effect of the knowledge on her own condition.
To prove that they succeeded and that she did not know, it may be mentioned that on Saturday, June 8, at noon, just before she became unconscious of all that was passing about her, she selected two of her photographs to be sent to Jennie, and also told her attendants to bid her good-bye.
Right here is the important point to be noticed in this narration. Dying persons usually see, or think they see, those and only those that they know have passed away.
Edith did not know that Jennie had gone, and so, in the ordinary or imaginative vision, she would not have been expected to fancy her present.
She died at half -past six o'clock on the evening of Saturday, June 8. She had roused and bidden her friends good-bye, and was talking of dying, and seemed to have no fear. She appeared to see one and another of the friends she knew were dead. So far it was like the common cases. But now suddenly, and with every appearance of great surprise, she turned to her father, and exclaimed, "Why, papa, I am going to take Jennie with me ! "
Then she added, " Why papa ! Why, papa ! ! You did not tell me that Jennie was here ! " And immediately she reached out her arms as if in welcome, and said, " Jennie, I'm so glad you are here."
Now, I am familiar with the mechanism of the eye and the scientific theories of vision. I know also very well whatever the world knows about visions. But I submit that here is something not easily accounted for on the theory of hallucination. It was firmly fixed in her mind that Jennie was still alive, for within a few hours she had arranged to have a photograph sent her. This also comes out in the fact of her great astonishment when her friend appears among those she was not at all surprised to see, because she knew they had died. It goes, then, beyond the ordinary death vision, and presents a feature that demands, as an adequate explanation, something more than the easy one of saying she only imagined it.