13 People Describe Their Experiences with Deathbed Visions
The phenomenon of deathbed visions has been known for hundreds, even thousands of years. Yet it remains unexplained simply because what happens to us after death is still a mystery. By reading others' stories of visions before death, we may get a glimpse of what awaits us after this life.
Here are some remarkable stories of death visions, as told by family members of the deceased.
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. "Momma, what do you see?" I asked. "Don't you see them?" she said. "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. This time, however, I did not see them. Her surgeon said there was no point in treatment as 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. The night of her passing, she was restless and anxious. 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, my alarm clock (set at 6 p.m.), which was broken and had no batteries in it, went off at 8 p.m. 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 goodbye and let me know 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 I 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 Holy 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 colorectal 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. 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 at his bed, and they told me 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 go in. They were preparing my daddy's body to be sent to the hospital morgue. – Aybars E. Uncle Charlie I found the subject of deathbed visions oddly reassuring as my Uncle Timmy died this morning at 7:30 a.m. He has been ill with terminal cancer for over two years now and we knew the end was near. My aunt said he knew it was time to go and asked his son-in-law to cut his hair and trim his beard last night, then asked to be bathed. My aunt sat with him all night. A few hours before he died he said, "Uncle Charley, you're here! I can't believe it!" He proceeded to talk to Uncle Charley right up to the end and told my aunt that Uncle Charley had come to help him over to the other side. His Uncle Charley was his favorite uncle and is the only significant other in my uncle's life who have passed on. So I believe Uncle Charley did come to take Uncle Timmy to the other side, and it brings me great comfort. – Aleasha Z. Mom Helps Him Cross Over My brother-in-law was dying. He awoke from a nap and asked his wife if she has seen who had pinched his toe and woke him up. She replied that no one had been in the room but her. He said that he was pretty sure that it had been his mom (who was deceased) -- that was how she would wake him for school. He said that he "had seen her leave the room and that she had long black hair like when he was young." In a short while, he seemed to focus on something at the foot of his bed smiled... and died. – B. The Beautiful Garden In 1974, I was in my grandfather's hospital room, holding his hand. He had had five heart attacks during a three-day period. He looked up at the ceiling and said, "Oh, look at those beautiful flowers!" I looked up. There was a bare light bulb. He then had another heart attack and the machine screamed. The nurses ran in. They revived him and put in a pacemaker. He died about four days later. He wanted to go to the beautiful garden. – K. Grandmother Reassures In 1986 I was 7-1/2 months pregnant with my first child when I got a distressing phone call from my grandfather. My beloved grandmother in another state had had a heart attack. While the paramedics were able to get her heart started again, she had been too long without oxygen and was in a coma, where she remained. Time passed and my child was born. We had been home from the hospital about two weeks when I was awakened from a sound sleep at about 5 a.m. I could hear my grandmother's voice calling my name, and in my semi-awake state, I thought I was speaking to her on the phone. In retrospect, I realize that the communication was actually all inside my head because I never spoke aloud, but we did communicate. And I did not see her, only heard her voice. At first, I was just glad to hear from her, as always, and I excitedly "asked" her if she knew I had had my baby (she did). We sort of chatted about inconsequential things for a few seconds and then I realized I could not possibly be speaking on the phone to her. "But Grandma, you've been sick!" I exclaimed. She laughed her familiar chuckle and said, "Yeah, but not anymore, honey." I got up a few hours later thinking what a strange dream I had had. Within 24 hours of this event, my grandmother died. When my mother called me to tell me she was gone, I didn't even have to be told. I said right away, "I know why you're calling, mom." While I miss my grandmother, I don't really mourn her because I feel like she's still around and part of my life. – Anonymous The Baby's Angels My mother was born in 1924 and her brother was born a few years before her. I don't know exactly the year. But when he was a little two-year-old baby, he caught scarlet fever and he was dying. His mother was rocking him on the front porch when suddenly he reached both his arms up, as if to be held by someone (there was no one there) and said, "Mama, the angels are here for me." At that moment he died in her arms. – Tim W. "I'm Coming Home" My mom, who was terminally ill with cancer, spent the last week of her life in the hospital. That week she would repeat, "I'm coming home. I'm coming home." While I sat with her she kept looking to my right side and began talking to her sister, who had passed over the previous year. It was a normal conversation, just as we would have. She commented on how I've grown to look just like her (my mom), but that I looked tired. Needless to say, I had a sense of relief to know that the "visions" of her family were giving her peace and allaying any fear she had of crossing over. – Kim M. Dad's Dying Visions Back in 1979, I moved in with my dying father. One morning I was making him breakfast and he seemed very upset. I asked what was wrong. He said, "They came to get me last night," and pointed toward the ceiling. Stupid me, I asked, "Who?" He got extremely upset and yelled at me, pointing at the ceiling, "THEY! Came to get me!" I didn't say another thing but watched him continuously. From that night on, he wouldn't sleep in his room. He always slept on the couch. I would put my children to bed then sit with him and watch TV. We would talk, and right in the middle of our conversation he'd look up, wave his hand and say, "Go away. No, not yet. I'm not ready." This went on for three months before he died. My father and I were extremely close, so when he contacted me by automatic writing I wasn't surprised. He just wanted to say he was alright. One more thing. He died at 7 a.m. That night I was all alone in his home. I lit a big candle, put it on the end table and lay down on the couch and cried myself to sleep. I felt so close to him there. The next morning when I awoke, the candle sat three feet away on the carpeted floor. By the look of the burn hole on the carpet right below the end table, the candle had fallen and started a fire. To this day I don't know how it was put out or how the candle got moved to the doorway between the living room and kitchen, but I suspect it was my dad. He saved my life that night and his home from burning up in a fire. – Kuutala Finishing Out the Week Mom was almost 96. She suffered a broken hip in January 1989 and went from hospital to nursing home. She just gave up. My mom was born in a small village in Poland, had little or no schooling, and came to this country with my dad when she was 17, not knowing a word of English. She lived all those years, owned her own home and had no fear of anyone or anything -- a great spirit in a small lady. This one Saturday I sat with her for a while, and suddenly those blue eyes of hers opened wide. She looked to a corner of her room, then to the ceiling. (She was legally blind.) She looked terribly startled at first, but as her eyes swept around the room, she put both hands under her chin and settled down. I swear I saw a light around her; the gray hair and pained facial expressions disappeared and she was beautiful. She closed her eyes. I wanted to ask her (in Polish) what she saw, but something stopped me. I just sat there and looked at her. It was approaching evening. I had told the people there that if my mother appeared to be dying to inform me. I decided to leave. I bent over my mother and kissed her on the forehead. A voice within my head said very clearly, "This is the last time you will see your mother alive." But something made me leave. That night, as I was sleeping, I dreamed my mother was behind me, shaking me hard by the shoulders, trying to wake me. She finally did, and I woke at midnight to the phone ringing. It was the nursing home telling me my mother had just passed away. – S. An After-Death Vision Here is my story of a death apparition, but this one did not make itself apparent immediately prior to death. This one occurred after death. My father relayed this story to me later after he was able to think about it for a while and make some sense of what had happened. My mother returned to visit my father three days after she died. She appeared for about three seconds to my dad who, while still in a waking stupor before being fully awake, saw what he called a person in essence form -- somewhat translucent and milky white. She was without recognizable features. My father received an unspoken message from her that "He must continue on!" And he did... but with the knowledge that she was fine and concerned as to his well being. There were contentment and some comfort in his acknowledgment that she was okay. – Joanne Lessons From Mother My mother contacted me a few times after death. The first time was the night of her funeral when I was sleeping deeply from exhaustion, and I felt a soft breeze pass over me, and then a deep kiss on my left cheek. I was so startled that I woke up and saw mist and a hand waving at me. Another time was a few months later when I started school to get a promotion at my job. I was very stressed out and not ready to deal with a promotion, but felt that I had to take advantage of a good opportunity. I woke up one night and saw my mother standing over me wearing a nursing uniform. (She was a nurse's aide in life, and I was receiving a promotion as a nurse technician.) She had a few books in her hand. She sat and spread the books across the bed, and when I reached to touch the books, I was actually touching the sheets. She began to talk to me and read these books. I do not remember all that she shared with me, but after that interaction, for each exam, I took in that class I did not get less than a 95%. I never remembered the questions on the tests. I graduated from the class valedictorian. Yes, I think that the spirits never leave us. – Jo