Author Topic: Apparition Types: "Deathbed Vision"  (Read 185 times)

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Offline PPI Tracy

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(reposted from "Public Parapsychology")
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The term apparition, from the Latin word apparere (meaning ?to show oneself?), may be formally defined as:

An experience, usually visual but sometimes in other sense-modalities, in which there appears to be present a person or animal (deceased or living) ... who/which is in fact out of the sensory range of the [witness]? (Thalbourne, 2003).

In other words, it is the experience of the presence of a person or animal ? living or dead ? that is not actually there, which seems to occur primarily through sight, but at times can seem to occur through the other senses (sound, smell, taste, and touch). This term is a bit broader than the more popular term ghost (from the German word geist for ?mind? or ?spirit?), which refers to the apparition of a deceased person, usually in connection with a haunting. 

There are actually several known types of apparitions that have been documented by psychical researchers and parapsychologists since the late 19th century.
They include: crisis apparitions, post-mortem apparitions, deathbed visions, haunting apparitions, and apparitions of the bystander-type. 

Deathbed Vision:

Near the moment of death, some terminally ill and dying patients have described seeing images of people and places that seem to relate to an afterlife existence, images known as deathbed visions. Reports of such visions have been recorded since the 19th century (Rogo, 1978), and are still occasionally reported today among healthcare and hospice workers (e.g., Arcangel, 2005, pp. 110, 116 ? 120).

Among the images described by patients are apparitions of deceased friends and relatives. In the 1970s, Drs. Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson (1977) had surveyed and interviewed 877 medical doctors and nurses in India and the United States, whose patients had reported seeing deathbed apparitions. In one of the 418 cases they documented, a nurse recounts the deathbed vision related to her by an intelligent 76-year-old female patient who had suffered a heart attack:

[The patient?s] consciousness was very, very clear ? no sedation, no hallucinogenic history. She was cheerful and confident that she would recover and return to her daughter who badly needed her at home. Suddenly she stretched out her arms and, smiling, called out to me. ?Can?t you see Charlie [her dead husband] there with outstretched arms? I?m wondering why I haven?t ?gone home? before.? Describing the vision she said, ?What a beautiful place with all the flowers and music. Don?t you hear it? Oh, girls, don?t you see Charlie?? She said he was waiting for her. I feel she definitely saw her husband (pp. 80 ? 81).

During her experience, the woman had a feeling of peace and serenity reportedly come over her. She remained oriented to her surroundings, and was able to talk with the nurse and the family at her bedside during the vision.

This case has two aspects to it that are consistent with other cases of deathbed visions. First, as indicated in the narrative, the woman was not medicated or sedated at the time of her vision, indicating that it was not a drug-induced hallucination. Similarly, most of the patients in other cases were not found to be medicated, sedated, running a high fever, or in a delirium at the time of their vision (Osis, 1975; Osis & Haraldsson, 1977, pp. 70 ? 73), arguing against a medical-related hallucination as the cause for their vision. Second, the apparition seen by the woman was that of a close relative (her husband). Similarly, a majority of the patients (90%) in other cases had seen close relatives (Osis & Haraldsson, 1977, p. 64). 

Many patients regard the deathbed apparitions they see as ?take-away? figures, meaning that the apparition seemed to appear for the purpose of greeting, inviting, or leading the patient to the afterlife. This apparent purpose of the apparition was noted in nearly two-thirds (65%) of the cases documented by Osis and Haraldsson (1977, pp. 65 ? 67). Reflecting on her experience as a hospice chaplain, Dianne Arcangel (2005) openly states: ?I have never sat with a dying patient who was not in the accompaniment of an apparition as their time grew near. No one ever dies alone? (p. 120, her italics).

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Let's discuss.  Your thoughts?  {8I



« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 04:44:30 PM by PPI Tracy »

Offline PPI Tracy

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You hear scientists argue that when a person is dying, their brain goes through several stages.  One of those changes allows the individual to hallucinate.  Now, this could be quite possible, however there are thousands........thousands of reports from people who are near someone when they are passing away and the person is talking about seeing relatives or friends who have already been deceased, welcoming them. There are thousands of individuals who have had near death experiences that have recounted this type of thing happening.   I understand the science of it, but I do not think that all of those instances can be written off to something biologically.  Do you?

Offline PPI Debra

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You hear scientists argue that when a person is dying, their brain goes through several stages.  One of those changes allows the individual to hallucinate.  Now, this could be quite possible, however there are thousands........thousands of reports from people who are near someone when they are passing away and the person is talking about seeing relatives or friends who have already been deceased, welcoming them. There are thousands of individuals who have had near death experiences that have recounted this type of thing happening.   I understand the science of it, but I do not think that all of those instances can be written off to something biologically.  Do you?

I had a near-death experience in 2004. Among other things, I saw people I knew doing various activities. When I was  stabilized  I called them and verified that they were doing what I saw them doing. I don't think the brain theory explains that. ( I was out-of-body when this happened.)
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

Offline PPI Tracy

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Serious?  Wow.  That is amazing.  How could this be explained any other way?  I don't think there is an explanation for it. 

Offline PPI Debra

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One of the ladies I saw was in her mid-70's at the time. She was a very overweight person who was lethargic. I saw her in her living room dancing to loud music. To me, it seemed implausible. I was almost afraid to ask her about it. But it turned out to be true.
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

Offline PPI Tracy

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My God.  There truly is no way you could have known that or even guessed it either.