THE PHENOMENON OF deathbed visions has been known for hundreds, even thousands of years. (See related article.) Yet it remains unexplained simply because what happens to us after death is still a mystery. But if we are to take the experience of deathbed visions at face value, they may provide glimpses of what awaits us once we pass this life.
Here are some true stories received from readers:
MY MOTHER'S DEATHBED VISION
My mother had been in and out of hospitals over the last year, near death at each admission. She was coherent and not delusional. She had congestive heart failure and lung and kidney cancer spread throughout her body. One morning in the hospital room, about 2 a.m. when all was quiet, my mother stared out the door of her room and into the hall that led to the nurse's station and the other patient's rooms. I said, "Momma, what do you see?" And she said, "Don't you see them? They walk the hall day and night. They are dead." She said this with quiet calmness. The revelation of this statement might send fear into some, but my mother and I had seen spiritual visions many years prior, so this statement was not a shock for me to hear, or for her to see. I, however, this time, I did not see them. This small conversation was not mentioned again.
Her surgeon said there was no point in treatment as the cancer had spread throughout her body. He said she might have six months to live, at the most; maybe three months. I brought her home to die. She passed four weeks later. The night of her (unexpected) passing, she was restless and anxious. Although my mother was a spiritual person, she had been in denial throughout her illness and declining health. She did not want to die, therefore she would not acknowledge the prognosis or her condition. She always talked as if she were going to get well and making plans of things to do in the coming Spring.
About 7:30 p.m. she asked to be carried out to the enclosed front porch. It was winter and cold. But, she insisted and by this time, I would not deny my mother any request. I wrapped her in blankets and made her as comfortable as possible. My mother was an invalid and could not support herself in anyway without help. A few minutes before 8 p.m. she said, "I have to go. They're here. They're waiting for me." Her face glowed and the color returned to her pale face as she attempted to raise herself and stand up. Her last words were, "I have to go. It is beautiful!" And she then passed at 8 p.m.
Several months later, the alarm of my alarm clock (set at 6 p.m.), which was broken and had no batteries in it, went off at 8 p.m. sharp. I could feel the presence of my mother and her amusement at achieving such a task and bringing it to my attention. A year and two months to the day of my mother's transformation, she appeared standing in my kitchen as whole, healthy and young. I was surprised, knowing she was dead, but so happy to see her. We embraced in a hug, and I said, "I love you." And then she was gone. She had come back to say a final good bye and letting me know in thought that she was happy and okay. I know my mother is finally home and at peace. - Moon Sister
ALL THE VISITORS
My mother died of cancer three years ago. She was at home lying on the sofa where she wanted to be instead of in a hospital. She didn't have much pain, only oxygen to help her breath, and she wasn't on any drugs. The last day of her life, she looked around and asked who all the people were standing around looking at her. Only my dad and myself were in the room. I often wonder why she didn't recognize anyone, but hope they were relatives or angels. Also, one of my friends who died saw angels and was reaching toward them. Yet another saw something he said was so beautiful, but didn't say what. I find this very interesting and comforting. - Billie
VISIONS OF THE HOLD MEN
I'm writing from Turkey. I have Islamic faith like my father. My father (may he rest in peace) was lying in a hospital bed, dying of colo-rectal cancer. He had two experiences and I had one.
My father: Only a few days before his death, my father saw in his dream some of our deceased relatives, who were trying to grasp him by the arm. He forced himself to wake up so that he could escape them. My father was awake. Suddenly he murmured the verses uttered by the imam at the prayers in a mosque prior to a dead man's burial, "Er kishi niyetine." This Turkish expression means, "We hereby intend to pray for this dead man lying in this coffin before us." I was quite upset and asked him why on earth he said such a thing. He replied, "I've just heard somebody say these!" Of course there was nobody who said so. Only he heard it. He died a day later.
Me: In our belief we also believe in some holy people ("shieks" as we call them) who act as outstanding religious figures. They are not prophets, but are superior to us in that they are closer to God. Back to my story. My father was unconscious. Doctors prescribed some medicine and told me to go out to a pharmacy shop and buy them. (It was probably because they wanted me to leave the room so that I would not see him die.) I prayed to God and called my shieks and begged, "Please come and watch over my beloved dad when I'm not here." Then, I swear I saw them appear (I'm in tears now while remembering and writing these) at his bed, and they told me, not by their mouths but by some telepathic means, "All right. You go now." Then I went out to get the medicine. He was alone in the room. But I was relieved that my father was in their holy hands. And when I got back, only a quarter of an hour later, there were three nurses in the room, who stopped me at the door and kindly asked me not to get in. They were preparing my daddy's dead body to be sent to the hospital morgue. - Aybars E.
Next page: "Uncle Charlie! I Can't Believe It!"