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The things we may experience after a loved one's death

Continued from Part 3 - Last in the series of A Guide for caring for a loved one’s NDE and NDA in terminal illness

They have left their bodies, transforming to spirit and knowing the visions in their near-death awareness were real. We mourn and grieve. Your loved one's pre-death visions are real...they knew.
They have left their bodies, transforming to spirit and knowing the visions in their near-death awareness were real. We mourn and grieve. Your loved one's pre-death visions are real...they knew.
Photo by Monika Fellner/Getty Images
How do you cope with the death of a loved one?
Sherryjane Cooke

Near-Death Experiences and Nearing Death Awareness in the Terminally Ill by Pamela M. Kircher, M.D., Maggie Callanan, RN, CRNH, The Center for Human Nutrition Research of Nantes (Nantes CRNH) and the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) Board of Directors is a comprehensive and valuable study in what a Nearing Death Awareness experience is and how you can best help your terminally ill loved one as they cross into the afterlife.

The report continues:

This is the end of your loved one’s life. And, for you as your loved one’s supportive guide at death, you must understand the following. These last topics are very important for your own knowledge and healing from your loss.

After the person has died, it is common for surviving loved ones to sense their presence.

  • Some people may feel notified of the death by the person who has just died.
  • The bereaved often feel the presence of their recently deceased loved ones who seem to be checking in on them. They may hear words, see their image, smell a familiar aroma such as a favorite shaving lotion, or merely sense their presence.
  • Deceased loved ones may alert friends or family about some impending danger.
  • Such contact with the deceased is quite usual.

This Examiner's personal note:

Through my own near-death experiences and sharing the visions and emotion of my father's nearing death and finally, his rising into a brilliant golden light, I understand and have experienced all of these incidents. Perhaps, this comes naturally for those of us who have experienced a near-death (out-of-body) OBE. We've been there, we've felt the all encompassing love and lightness of being. After my own NDE at 17 years old, in a horrific wreck, I was so confused but so absolutely certain that something amazing had just happened. I was even told why I must go back, how many children I would have and warnings about them "driving to fast. I never wanted to leave the cocoon of safety, incredible peace and love.

Scared to share, lest "they" thought I was insane, I found my much needed answers at 24 years old. A book, "Life After Life," by Dr. Raymond A. Moody, actually fell at my feet in a bookstore. Dr. Moody is called the father of the Near-Death Experience, as his research and passion for understanding the phenomena, coined the phrase "Near-Death Experience." He is one of the most, if not the most sought-after, highly respected, internationally-awarded researcher, speaker and and author. His eleven expertly written books have hit the Best Seller's lists many times over. These are the books which gave me a deeper understanding of what I and others had experienced.

His books also gave me the knowledge to communicate and understand the experiences and visions that my father was witnessing. He could not speak after his cancer had spread and his voice box was removed. His motioning and mouthing words to many in his hospice room, no one seemed to understand and were confused and frustrated. But, the many times we looked at each other, I could see it in his wide, joyful eyes and understood his words, "God wants ME!?" as if he had was a shocked but proud young boy chosen for the best All-Star team imaginable and ready to run there!

We both knew what was happening. I knelt down, lightly squeezing his hand and let him know that we would be alright - all six kids, now grown. We would always love him and never forget how he raised and praised us. He wanted to make sure we would always stay in touch with my stepmother. Of course! I loved her and he knew it. I kissed him on the cheek and noticed his face was so soft and peaceful, with clear sparkling eyes and a knowing smile. What happened during my father's crossing over was the most beautiful gift I would ever receive. You can read it in a article

The last time I saw my mother in her nursing home, I noticed the same - a soft, almost glowing and smooth face, as if a mist was molding it into a younger, Mary Jane Baker. I even went back to hug her over and over again, feeling her peace and beauty. She passed away within the next week, alone - but, not alone. From my father's shared death experience, I let go of the initial guilt of not being there when my mother passed. And, as the report above says, I feel both of them so often.

By the way, all that my ethereal NDE "escort" predicted, did happen. Two precious sons were born. One son was in wreck after wreck by driving too fast - so much so - that there is no doubt in my mind that, as he still claims, my father, who had crossed over years before, pulled him out of his last and most deadly wreck. I had given up on having a daughter, as I loved my sons so much anyway. Imagine my thrilled disbelief in being pregnant at 40 and being told it was a girl. All are very successful and spiritually wise. I'll know better not to question a near-death experience "escort," if there is a next time.

So, spend all the time you can with those loved ones, comfort and understand those visions or actions in their nearing death experience. Feel it as a beautiful gift you are given to witness their visions from their eyes. As the IANDS report guides you, do as you have read and cherish every moment of their experience. When death occurs you will experience so many raw emotions, tears, sobbing, abandonment and even anger at your loss. It is very natural, so don't hold the grieving inside. Life After Loss: Conquering Grief and Finding Hope by Raymond Moody and Dianne Arcangel (Nov 5, 2002) is one of the best published books in helping you heal. Most of all, take care of yourself as well.

Favorite quotes to comfort and help you as understand the nearing death experience and your loved one's final transition:

"I have absolutely no fear of death. From my near-death research and my personal experiences, death is, in my judgment, simply a transition into another kind of reality." - Raymond Moody

"Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow. I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"I believe there are two sides to the phenomenon known as death, this side where we live, and the other side where we shall continue to live. Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Probably a dozen times since their death I've heard my mother or father, in an ordinary conversational tone of voice, call my name. They had called my name often during my life with them ... It doesn't seem strange to me." - Carl Sagan

IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies)

International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc. • 2741 Campus Walk Avenue, Building 500, Durham, NC 27705-8878, USA Tel: 919-383-7940

IANDS or any of its local chapters can be reached at:
2741 Campus Walk Avenue, Building 500
Durham, NC 27705-8878

(919) 383-7940 (Voice and Fax)

For more information about IANDS Founders, Raymond Moody, Ken Ring, Bruce Greyson and John Audette please click here.

As an educational nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) focuses most of its resources into providing the highest quality information available about NDE-related subjects. It is the only such membership group in the world.

IANDS is the informational and networking center in the field of near-death studies, the first organization in the world devoted to exploring near-death and similar experiences. Members are researchers, laypeople, academics, and caregivers; experiencers and non-experiencers; professionals and the general public; from every continent but the Antarctic.

Like IANDS itself, the Association's publications and programs are unique. The quarterly newsletter, Vital Signs, and the scholarly, peer-reviewed Journal of Near-Death Studies provide information and intelligent discussion generally not available anywhere else.

Around the US and Canada, 50 or so support groups meet regularly, with more in Europe, Australia, and Asia. For its periodic conferences in North America, IANDS pulls in top speakers, experiencers, researchers, and interested people for education, sharing, networking, and friendship.

IANDS NDE Radio - The International Association for Near-Death Studies presents NDE RADIO, a weekly exploration of near-death experiences and similar encounters with the other side, hosted by Lee Witting. Host Lee Witting is himself a near-death experiencer with a doctor of ministry degree in NDE studies.

As the world's pioneer organization in exploring what happens when the soul leaves the body, IANDS is now expanding its educational efforts through broadcasting with NDE RADIO.

The show features first-hand stories of near-death and out-of-body experiences, interviews with guests who have experienced the other side, and with researchers of the NDE and other "mystical" phenomena. Shows will offer the chance for audience call-ins, and each show will be archived for listening at any time.

NDE RADIO airs live every Monday at 11:00 AM Eastern time on TalkZone. The call-in number is 888-463-6748.

The Center for Human Nutrition Research of Nantes (Nantes CRNH) was established in 1995 under the Ministry of Research at the initiative of INRA, INSERM, Nantes University hospital, and Nantes.

If you would like to follow me in my journey through the research, science and spirituality of Near-Death Experiences, please subscribe to this column. You will receive an e-mail of each article I publish. If you have had a Near-Death Experience or know someone who would also like to share their experience, please contact me at

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