Deathbed Visions or Brainwave Malfunctions?

The following is an extract on deathbed visions from the surveys completed for my Higher Degree dissertation at Monash University in Australia.

Self Eighteen
Creative Commons License photo credit: smileham

One morning I woke to hear my name being called. Sleepily I rubbed my eyes and realized that my aunt was standing in my doorway of my bedroom dressed in a floral print sweater and a dark skirt. “…” I heard my Aunt … call my name once again.

As I sat up I was wondering why she was in my home, I had only moved there about three months earlier and didn’t even realized she knew where my new house was located. Again, I hear my name… “…, It didn’t hurt, I didn’t hurt at all.”

As I sat there still trying to wake up and trying to understand what she’s trying to tell me I suddenly remember that she had died three days earlier by overdosing on pills and this was the morning of her funeral! In shock and in start and morbid reality I start to scream and right before my eyes, she disappeared. I have no idea what her message meant. I’ve wondered many times. I don’t know if her spirit is confused by what happened that day she died. I just don’t know. This incident really scared me.

When I went to the funeral later that day, she was wearing the same outfit that she had on in my doorway that morning.

The Beginning of a Conversation

Why do some of our loved ones visit us after death? Are they caring for us or completing some unfinished business for themselves? Many people report that they have found such a visit comforting but this was not the case for the experient above.

Recently, I was visited by a friend – before she passed over – and because this felt so natural I wasn’t afraid. Of course, I didnt know that she was about to die but I was certainly comforted by her stopping by (she lived 1000 kms away) to say goodbye. I also remember thinking how ‘in character’ this gesture was. In life, she always was mindful of other’s needs and in the lead up to her passing she was no different. RIP D!

Why do loved ones visit us around the time of their death? Is it something they need to do before passing over? Are they tying off their last loose ends? Or are they just saying I care?

What do you think?

Please continue this conversation on Deathbed Visions

Meet the Author

13 comments… add one
  • Ali Dec 31, 2013, 12:45 pm

    It is interesting that not all visitations are of the ‘bedside’ type either.

    Sometimes the deceased appear when the experient is wide awake and as yet unaware of the person in their vision as having passed on or being in crisis. The deceased may be described as looking confused or trying to go about their usual activities.

    If we take the phenomena itself as evidence of ‘an exercise of will’ in the deceased, I think we can only assume they appear when the conditions are ‘right’ (which, at least in part, seems to depend on the state of mind/receptiveness of the experients).

    They appear for different reasons including clarification for them, reassurance, need to communicate something, or confusion about what’s going on.

    I recommend the book Science and the Afterlife Experience by Chris Carter (2012). Carter gives a good overview of skeptical arguments and offers some fascinating reasons why current skeptical arguments are inadequate explanations for death-bed visions and apparitions.

    • Rosemary Breen Dec 31, 2013, 9:06 pm

      Ali

      Thank you for bringing this 2012 book to our attention.

      Im certainly keen to read it, given the subject matter and the credentials of the author and the reviewers. Pim van Lommel in particular has done some great research in this area.

      Cheers

      Rosemary

  • Barbara Bass Nov 20, 2013, 7:28 am

    I think they come to say goodbye and that they love you. I’ll never forget in 2005 when my Uncle came to visit me and his favorite memory of me/him together washed over me. I had no way to know he was dying. The next morning, my cousin called to tell me he had died at 5:30 that morning. I don’t know why he chose to visit me; but I am humbled by it.

    • Rosemary Breen Nov 20, 2013, 8:01 am

      Isnt it the most wonderful gift Barbara? I have had similar happen to me and I hold the person closer in my heart than I did while she was alive.

      Its amazing to think that we can go on giving even as we leave and are gone.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Cheers

      Rosemary

  • John Sep 11, 2013, 10:18 am

    An excellent and thoroughly professional enquiry into deathbed visions and all related phenomena appears in “Irreducible Mind” by E.F.Kelly, E.W.Kelly, Crabtree, Gauld, Grosso and Greyson.

    Near-death experiencer Eban Alexander considers the book “The Bible” of such studies.

    At 600 odd pages of detailed and closely reasoned argument plus 100 odd pages of references, it’s not for everyone. But for me it has proven an important milestone in breaking through the all-pervasive materialism dogma dominating the world, to a sounder paradigm incorporating all anomalous phenomena (anomalous to materialism that is) and my own experiences.

    I recommend it.

  • Anne Morgan Nov 16, 2011, 9:57 pm

    Following your comment on people “just passing through your mind” rather than actively thinking about them, I would like to say that this is a form of communication I often have.

    When I am alerted to people in this way, I have learned that I must contact them. My contacts are not from the “other side” just people I know in this current life who for whatever reason, I need to contact. The reason usually becomes clear when the contact is made.

    A good example of this is a friend I have had from the age of 8, who has been a quite nomadic person having moved house many times in her life, and not being the sort of person who regularly up-dates her contact list with her changes, has come into my mind on many occasions and when I have gone to visit her, I have found her ready to move to a new address. Had I not gone on that specific day I would have in all likelihood lost contact as I have also moved around in my life. Now after over 60 years of friendship we are probably in our last settled homes and with mobile phones can keep in touch in a more conventional way.

    On the non-related subject of numbers that constantly crop up in people’s lives, I think we use such a small amount of combinations relative to the infinite available, i.e. house numbers don’t reach the gigantic levels they could do because streets etc are not so long, 1-24 hours, 12 months, 7 days, clocks and calendars being constant reference points so that the brain picks up on familiar numbers.

    I have in my family many such co-incidences. My father, his sister and their mother and my step daughter all born on the 22nd, my father in law and my daughter on the 4th , my grandchildren on the 17th my mother and brother in law on the 9th, my step mum and me on the 19th. I’m sure if I looked further there would be more.

    Not paranormal, just lack of available variety. Blessings, Anne.

    • Rosemary Breen Nov 17, 2011, 6:59 am

      I agree Anne. Ive yet to read anything that indicates coincidences are paranormal in any way. Im undecided on he significance of some numbers though as I can understand that certain combinations keep repeating in ancient texts etc.

      Cheers

      Rosemary

  • Jennie Nov 15, 2011, 11:55 pm

    I have been asked this question many times.

    Our dear departed spirits come for many reasons, to comfort,to let us know they are still able to communcate, to get our attention, to show us all that there is no seperation in death.

    Leaving the physical body is just moving into another vibration.

    One moment you’re in this vibration – one room – the next you’re in another.

    So you go from room to room, one moment you see me the next you don’t.

    The living can do the same thing as many times people have reported seeing living relatives by their bedsides, only to find the next day that this person had been taken ill, or was in some sort of trouble.

    • Rosemary Breen Nov 16, 2011, 6:48 am

      I don’t see people so much. Rather they cross my mind and if it happens often enough in a short space of time for me to notice I will either comment to family or do something about it.

      For me, their crossing my mind has a different quality, to me thinking of them. It’s as if they ‘break through’ my mind, rather than me inviting them in.

      Cheers Jennie

      Rosemary

  • Angela Artemis/Powered by Intuition May 18, 2011, 10:22 am

    Hi Rosemary,
    I’ve been visited by a few of my loved ones and I only found it scary the first time when I was 16 years old. It sounded like your Aunt was trying to tell you her passing didn’t hurt.

  • Anne Mar 30, 2011, 3:46 am

    Love and Light to the the correspondent who had such a sad experience of her aunt in spirit.

    As a teenager I lost my beloved grandparents six weeks apart and was very traumatised at the time. Over the following few weeks I used to hear my grandfather coughing as if he was in the house with me. At that age I had not begun to explore the afterlife so it was troubling to me.

    Now in retrospect, and having read the above letter, I think maybe he was trying to let be know he continued to care. I am also convinced that both my parents tried to contact me each in their own way following their deaths.

    This was comforting to me and I’m sure they received my unspoken thanks for their contact from the other side as I said goodbye to them and wished them peace and rest.

    Blessed Be all who grieve for lost ones at this time and in the future. Anne.

    • Rosemary Breen Mar 30, 2011, 6:50 am

      Anne

      Isn’t it amazing how love, caring and responsibility all transcend the grave?

      A very comforting thought. We are never truly separated from those we love.

      I love the analogy or is it a poem? about death and stepping into the next room. That is comforting to me – not the same as holding those we love in our arms – but still a comfort.

      Rosemary

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