“A few days before she died of long-term cancer, my mother who had been sleeping most of the time as she approached the end, was awake and became quite animated.
She said emphatically, ‘I’m admitted! I’m admitted! I’m admitted!’ a number of times. My sister and I thought, you can be admitted to a hospital, a university, a movie, and to heaven. My sister asked her, ‘To heaven?’ And my mother said ‘Yes!’
Lisa asked if my grandmother was there and my mother said ‘Yes!’ Lisa also asked about other relatives by name and my mother said ‘Yes!’
I was on the phone for this exchange as I live in Australia and my mother and sister were in Chicago. My sister knew this would be one of the last times we’d have together, so I was very lucky to be part of it, if even by phone.
I asked my mother on the phone if she would be there for me, when it’s my turn, and she said. ‘I will! I will!’
Over the next half hour, she also said, ‘It’s wonderful here. I feel good. Don’t be afraid. I’m not afraid.’
I was so happy to know that my mother, who had not been so accepting of death was making the transition to a place that appeared to me (or to her) to be welcoming. I heard excitement in her words ‘I’m admitted!’ although speech at that point was difficult.
In the months prior, I’d also felt the presence of my grandmother (her mother who died in 2001) and one night I sensed her with me and heard the words, ‘Don’t worry, she won’t be alone’ and that she would be holding my mother’s hand when the time came.
So to know that my mother saw her own mother, that she was really there for my mother at the end to help guide her, is a true blessing for me.”
Between the presence of Julie’s grandmother prior to her mother’s death, and Julie’s mother proclaiming with excitement her admittance into heaven and the peace that awaits her, Julie is given a gift of relief as she knows her mother completed her spiritual transition guided by her grandmother and will one day be there for Julie when it’s her time.
VISIONS vs. HaLUCINATIONS
Whereas when people had visions, they could speak about or with unseen figures in the room, such as deceased relatives, angels or other characters, but could also connect back to those in the room with them and be in present time and reality. However, people whose unusual perceptions were caused by medication are not able to step outside their perceptions and move easily between what they were perceiving and the literal reality shared with others in the room.
Several end-of-life researchers have written about the unique conversations with and perception of the unseen at the bedside of the dying. The figures are visible to the dying but usually not to the living and are also called “takeaway figures.”
Read more about the research and the fascinating stories related to them in Dr. Melvin Morse's Parting Visions, Maggie Callahan and Patricia Kelley's Final Gifts, John Lerma’s Into the Light and finally Osis and Haraldsson’s 1977 classic What They Saw at The Hour of Death.
You can also discover more about nearing-death awareness and shared-death experiences at www.theuniversityofheaven.com and in its blog Illuminating.