It has been known that some terminal patients report paranormal visions when they are close to passing away. A careful look at those reports can help us receive profound messages regarding what happens at the transition between life and the afterlife.

A lot has been published about the experiences that people go through after their life ends for a short time (Near Death Experiences). However, visions of people on the verge of passing away (known as Death Bed or 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 the 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 [Ref. 1]. She was actually a skeptic but, after evidence of the afterlife kept mounting, she began to look at it with a lot of curiosity. Harris notes that the declining patients have an eerie sense about their impending fate. No one has to tell them they are dying. They develop what may be called ‘spiritual eyes and ears’ and seem to understand things in a way that the normal senses cannot.

Carla Wills-Brandon [Ref. 2] attempts to answer many questions about DB visions in her book “One Last Hug Before I Go”. It includes a number of 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?”

Regarding the effects of chemicals, Wills Brandon says, "Many of the individuals who have these visions are not on medications and are very coherent. 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.

Some interesting facts about DB visions are given below:
Although some dying people report seeing religious figures, many claim to see familiar people who had previously passed away and sometimes even those who recently died of which the dying person remains unaware. Very often, the friends or relatives who appear in the DB vision indicate that they have come to help in easing the transition. During the vision, the dying person’s demeanor changes from one of dejection to cheerfulness associated with a smile that is radiant. He or she feels reassured by the experience and expresses great happiness at the contact with the people in the vision. A non-dying person would express consternation at seeing some vision of that kind and put the entities down to “ghosts”. The dying also seem quite content to go with the otherworldly visitors. During the DB vision phenomenon, the experiencers do not seem to be in delirium or otherwise out of their minds. They show clarity and awareness of their actual surroundings and conditions. It is interesting to note that these visions are universal; that is, they do not seem to depend on culture or religion and whether the dying person believes in an afterlife or not.

Despite what the skeptics are trying to do, the poignant messages of DB visions are likely to become common place knowledge soon, giving comforting perspectives 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 our life. The two support each other and the outcome will be one of significant maturity when it comes to facing our own transition to the afterlife. What is more important is that it would help us lead a meaningful and compassionate life here on earth. Such compassion would be universal and so all man-made divisions would be swept away. The awareness can bring into us an affectionate determination: “I would live today’s life in an in-depth way no matter what my future life here has in store for me.” Further, it augments stable peace of mind not dependent on emotional attachment to religious figures or to belief systems. The comfort resulting from understanding life through deeper perspectives is different from the comfort arising out of preferred conclusions; the latter can push us into self-deception.

A classic case of DB vision is given on the page ‘NDE Message Update’ in the website
Ref. 1:

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; 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. Presented technical papers on Coastal Engineering in international conferences.

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, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy. Blog: