A lot has been published about the experiences that people go through after their life ends for a short time (NDEs). However, visions of people on the verge of passing away (known as DB visions) are not as much exposed to the public. Despite the so called scientific claims to the contrary, it has now been firmly established that hospice workers are witnesses to otherworldly events. Many healthcare workers who have had the blessing of working in hospice have observed the transforming experiences of their patients. What was previously thought to be hallucinations from a decaying brain is brought into better light now as valid, spiritual experiences and as clear evidence of an afterlife.
A hospice nurse, Trudy Harris, has written about the otherworldly events she witnessed while working in a palliative care unit. She was actually a skeptic but, after evidence of the afterlife kept mounting, she began to look at it with a lot of curiosity. Before delving into individual stories, Harris notes the eerie sense declining patients have about their impending fate: ‘No one has to tell them they are dying. They have developed what I call ‘spiritual eyes and ears’ and seem to understand things in a way we cannot.’
So what are DB visions? Are they hallucinations produced by chemicals or are they true perceptions by the person about to enter the other side? Could the visions be of spirits: a welcome committee of passed-on loved ones who have come to ease the transition to the next plane of existence?
Carla Wills-Brandon attempts to answer these questions in her book One Last Hug Before I Go. It includes many modern-day accounts.
Some people in the scientific community have attempted to explain away the DB visions as a kind of self-induced sedative to ease the ending process. Wills-Brandon doesn’t agree. ‘The visitors in the visions were often times passed-on relatives who came to offer support to the dying person,’ she writes. ‘In some situations, the dying did not know these visitors have already passed away.’ In other words, why would the dying brain only produce visions of people who are gone, whether the person knew they were gone or not?
And what about the effects of chemicals? ‘Many of the individuals who have these visions are not on medications and are very coherent,’ writes Wills-Brandon. ‘Those who are on medications also report these visions, but the visions are similar to those who are not on medications.’
The DB vision experience is very often beneficial for the people involved. In his book Parting Visions, Melvin Morse writes that visions of a spiritual nature can empower terminal patients close to the ending, making them realize that they have something to share with others. In addition, these visions dramatically lessen or completely remove the fear of mortality in the patients and are enormously healing to the relatives.
Despite what the skeptics are trying to do, the poignant messages of DB visions are likely to become common place knowledge soon, giving comforting messages to a tired humanity.
In order that we be benefited by the DB messages, it would be good to pay attention to the esoteric aspects of life. The two support each other and the outcome will be one of significant maturity in facing our own transition to the afterlife. What is more, it would help us lead a meaningful and compassionate life here on earth. Related matters are covered in this website on spirituality.
About the Author: T.C. Gopalakrishnan was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled ‘In Quest of the Deeper Self’ is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. Functions as a freelance counselor for peaceful living. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.