June 2006 Page 21
by Mariles Lastrilla
I have three stories to relate: Deathbed visions my maternal grandfather and grandmother had, and the deathbed vision of my paternal grandmother.
I'll start with the story of my maternal grandfather. As he lay dying in the hospital, he asked about these other people that had been coming in to visit. Puzzled, family members asked what he was talking about, and he described an old man with bandages on his hands, and a dark-skinned man. No one knew what to make of this, because nobody else had seen visitors of this description ever visiting. One afternoon, a son-in-law dropped his wallet, and papers fell out, among them Catholic estampitas, or pictures of saints. My grandfather pointed and said, "You have pictures of my visitors!" One estampita was of Padre Pio, the priest who had stigmata (hence the bandages on his hands; the other was a picture of Saint Martin, a saint my grandfather often prayed to for intercession). These stories spread around the hospital, and soon various priests and religious sisters started popping around to visit, because they had heard that a holy man was dying. My grandfather was a very prayerful, honest, peaceful and loving man. He had 12 children and was never rich, but always had faith that God would provide, and these events as he lay dying gave his family great comfort when he passed on.
My second story is of my maternal grandmother, the wife of my grandfather in the above story. She lived on for many years. Her youngest son, the twelfth of her children, died suddenly, but we did not tell her. He lived overseas and had more or less lost touch with the family (he was sort of the black sheep). We figured it would just break her heart to know. It was a case of "what she doesn't know wont' hurt her". She eventually became bedridden, and lost the ability to speak. As she died, though, the nurses said she called out a name, and the family quizzed them, at first asking, "Was it Joaquin?" (my grandfather). They said "no," it was another name. After mentioning several names, all with negative results, someone asked, "Did she say Perico?" (the youngest, already deceased). Both nurses exclaimed, "That's what she said!" My grandmother did not know Perico, her youngest, was dead, but we all believe he came to collect her to join him in the afterlife.
My last story is about my paternal grandmother. She had had a series of strokes, was bedridden and had lost her ability to speak. She died late in the night, and a personal maid was with her. this maid had been with the family for over 30 years, and so was part of the family. My grandmother grabbed her hand and would not let go, and started calling out, "Peping!" (my deceased grandfather's nickname). Shortly after, she passed away, and only then let go of the maid's hand. Again, we believe a relative, in this case her deceased husband, came to collect her to come with him to the afterlife.
you have a paranormal tale to tell?