In January we published an article on near-death experiences. I wasn’t sure how the community would respond because I realize this can be quite a controversial subject. However, I then read an article on DailyMail that talked about how survivors “feel” their deceased loved ones for some time after their death.
Here are several sections of the article reprinted:
We never forget our loved ones once they have passed away – but some of us are left with more than just our memories. Recently, the Mail reported how a study had found that as many as six in 10 people who have lost a partner will continue to see, hear or sense them in some way.
Researchers said that these so-called ‘hallucinatory experiences’ — for example, seeing a loved one in their old chair or hearing them call your name — were far more common than we might think, but many bereaved people are reluctant to report them.
Dozens of you responded to say that you had, indeed, had contact with partners, friends and even pets after death.
But you did not always agree that cold science could explain away such experiences . . .
Father Comforted Me During Sickness
“During the worst five days of my serious illness, my late father appeared in a recurring dream on five consecutive nights. During the dream we laughed like drains together. These dreams were very comforting.
My mind was doing what it could to get me through a hard time. Some might say the old boy was helping from the ‘other side’, but there’s no reason why I should believe this.”
Was Dad Waiting For My Dying Mum?
“In 2005 I was caring for my mother in her final weeks of life. She was terminally ill with cancer. My mother was a non-believer in religion, ghosts, the after-life and anything she’d consider ‘soppy nonsense.’
Two days before she died, she was in a bad way, bedridden, her pain managed by morphine. She was lapsing in and out of consciousness. I sat with her constantly.
One evening she suddenly became lucid and pointed towards the end of the bed. ‘Joe,’ she said, the name of my father, who had died 12 years earlier. ‘What, Mum?’ I asked her.
‘He’s here, waiting for me,’ she told me. ‘I can see him.’ She looked happy and serene.
I still don’t know what to make of it. Cynically, I could say it was the drugs, but it did seem very real to her and I witnessed no other visions or imaginings. I wonder?”
– Mrs. J. J. M.
My Tears Were Stopped By A Smile
“My husband died in an accident at 28, just three months after our wedding. Not 24 hours later he came to me. I saw his arms outstretched and his massive smile.
It was a huge comfort. It was the only time I stopped crying for a few minutes during the first few days.
I felt his presence many times in the months after, but never saw anything like that again. It still comforts me three years later.
I’m not sure what I believe in terms of God, religion or the after-life, but this happened and I can assure you that it was as real as you and me.”
These are just some of the responses that were published in the article. As a health care professional, I hear stories like this all the time. What is interesting to me is that these experiences happen to a variety of people with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. No matter how science tries to explain these experiences (reactions of extreme grief, etc.), they are meaningful to the people who experience them.
It reminds me to be mindful of the people in our care and the people we interact with on a daily basis. I often tell my kids, “Always treat everyone you meet with respect. You don’t know what they’ve been through.”
To learn more about how Schoedinger helps those who are grieving, visit our website www. schoedinger.com/grief-and-healing/.