My grandmother had been ill for quite some time, nearly 2 months, when my mother and I went to visit her. According to the rest of my extended family, she was doing much better the previous day and had been able to talk, laugh, and share with visitors the day before. However when we arrived to the nursing home we barely recognized her and she was very ill. As the day progressed it was clear that she was not going to last very much time and the doctor decided to stop all feedings and medications other than comfort measures. She was still conscious until that moment and we talked to her and comforted her while the medications took effect and she was then without pain in a dream-like state. We stayed with her through most of the night until my mom decided she wanted to make the 2-hour-drive home. She still had a lot of strength and we didn't know how much longer it would be until she died, so my mother and I went home and expected to return early the next morning.
I fell asleep from exhaustion around 1am with my husband next to me. I woke up around 3am and quickly fell asleep again. I was deep in a dream when I heard my mother's voice calling my name. It said my name twice, which interrupted my dream and I woke up with a start. I saw a figure sitting at the end of my bed and I screamed, "You scared me!" thinking it was my mother. This woke up my husband and I realized there was nothing there. I was convinced that my mother had called my name to wake me up (I thought it was to tell me that my grandmother had passed away) but my husband looked into the hallway and saw that no one was there.
I then looked at the clock as we were getting back to sleep and saw that it was 4:22am.
This morning I found out that my grandmother died around 4:15am. Although my mother did not get out of bed or come into my room (or even say my name) she woke up at the same time because she heard her cell phone ringing in her room. She discovered that her cell phone was actually downstairs but did not have any missed calls listed.
My aunt had been with her the whole night and only left her side for 5 minutes to go to the bathroom. When she returned she had passed on.
I think that my
grandmother wanted to tell us that she was okay and no longer suffering, but
didn't want to scare us. I think that she used my mother's voice so that I
wouldn't be so afraid and then her presence left when she saw that I was
Was this experience difficult to express in words? No
Did you ONLY sense an awareness of presence of the deceased without actually seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling them? Yes
Did you hear the deceased or hear something associated with the deceased? Yes
Did the voice or sound seem to originate externally or outside of you, inside you, or did you not hear a voice or sound, but had a sense of knowing what was communicated? The voice interrupted my dream and woke me out of a deep sleep. It sounded like my mother's voice when something bad has happened and she is trying to wake me up.
If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive? It wasn't my grandmother's voice but instead my mother's (her daughter).
Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? It is possible that my mom could have called out my name while she was sleeping, but both of our doors were closed and my parent's room is located on the other side of the house. It sounded like the voice was coming from right beside my bed but when I woke up and shouted "You scared me!" to what I thought was my mother, I realized nothing was there.
Was there any possible impairment to your hearing at the time of the experience? None.
Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased? No
Did you see the deceased? Uncertain
I thought I saw something at the foot of my bed but when I sat up and yelled at it there was nothing.
How clearly did the deceased appear? It was a shadowy figure.
How much of the deceased did you see? Just a shadow.
Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died? I couldn't see in enough detail, it was honestly just a second.
Is there any possibility what you saw was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? Not that I know of.
Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased? No
How long did the experience last? Seconds.
Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? All very sudden.
Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased? Yes
The voice that said my name sounded pained or upset. It was the voice my mother uses when she needs to tell me some awful news.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience? Experience was probably not real
Please explain why you view the reality of your experience as real or not real: I'm not sure if my mind created this to comfort me or if it did in fact happen. I just thought that the event happening so close to my grandmother's actual time of death was a strange coincidence.
Was the experience dream like in any way? Yes
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: I was startled and afraid.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Yes
What was the best and worst part of your experience? I am happy my mother had a similar experience. I felt that we had a connection because we had been there that day with my grandmother and my aunt. I would like to share the story with my aunt, as well.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Uncertain I'm really not sure what to think. That's why I've been looking around the internet!
Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.? Uncertain I'm still not sure of how I feel about the "afterlife" as imagined in western/Christian terms. I have always believed in he interconnection of all things but did not think that souls actually roamed the earth. I have heard ghost stories but have trouble believing them.
Death Compacts are when two or more living people promise among themselves that whoever dies first will try to contact the other(s). Have you ever made such a compact? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes
My husband witnessed the time that it occurred and saw that I did actually wake up and thing someone was in the room.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I calmed down and went back to sleep when I realized I must have only been dreaming. It was after I found out this morning that my grandmother had died around that same time that I tried to make sense of the experience.
Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? Yes
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? Yes
Sometimes I can predict things before they happen, but never consistently or enough to make me think I had a psychic gift.
Once, during the university I took a test at the psychology department for extra credit that said that I had moderate psychic capabilities. However, I have never seen ghosts or had any substantial psychic experience. I like to think I am just an intuitive person. I took the results with a grain of salt.
The only other thing is
that I have seen my grandfather in a dream which only happened once. I had
never met him (he died before I was born) and in my dream he was saying he
wanted to finally meet me. Furthermore, I have often had reoccurring dreams
that later I seem to take place in real life... a strange sort of déjà vu.
However it's usually just a feeling, "Oh, I dreamt this before" and it never
predicts special events or catastrophes.
Have you shared this experience with others?
Yes I shared this experience with my husband and my mother and she shared her experience about waking up to her cell phone at the same time that wasn't ringing.
Have you shared this experience formally or informally with any other researcher or web site? No
Were there any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Did you ever in your life have a near-death experience, out of body experience or other spiritual event? No
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. I would ask the interviewee about their beliefs in ghosts and other-worldly beings.