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My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia about 18 months ago after a stroke.
Since then I have seen her gradually loose her spirit, her mind, her consciousness, her soul, even though her body is still here. She walks and eats and functions at a basic level, but very seldom recognizes others, remembers much, or talks. Her eyes seem vacant and yet her body is healthy.
Does anyone here have any thoughts about what happens to someone's consciousness when he or she develops dementia? If our consciousness continues to exist after we die, where does it reside for those living with dementia.
I appreciate any comments, thoughts

Natalie
Natalie, I am so sorry that you have to watch your mother go though this. I know how heartbreaking it can be.
I worked, for the last five years of my nursing career with dementia patients. It can be very difficult.
But, also rewarding. There may be times when you see her come through in just a fleeting few seconds. Those are precious times. I think her consciousness is still there, maybe waiting to go home. And it will most likely exhibit itself when you least expect it. I hope you are fortunate enough to have a few, occasional glimpses.
Hi Natalie,

Sorry to learn of the situation with your dear mother.

Regarding your questions,

an individual's ultimate higher consciousness continues in its native ethereal form.

The physical portion of the individual affected by dementia (along with their spirit) remains, but their individual awareness typically seemingly is filtered.

(Explaining why I use "seemingly" can get rather complicated and Im not in the best of condition right now [having had tooth extraction] to try to eloquently go into the needed detail, so I'll throw out various examples.)


Look at the Cafe thread "Questions About the Mind and Consciousness" and read some of the discussion about hypotheses related to "filtering". One of the things Pim van Lommel posits is the non-local aspect of consciousness. Mainly, that it is not ALL necessarily in any one particular place or location. So part of "a YOU" is local (typically integrated with a physical body), but part of "a YOU" is somewhere else and that somewhere else might just actually effectively be everywhere !

(If this is now sounding a bit incredible or ridiculous, then I testify to you that these ideas have basis in both cosmology and quantum physics. For example, outside the light cone of past and present is SOMEWHERE ELSE - space-like outside of time decoupled from local causality. Look it up and see.)

At the local level (ie, in the physical) there is the phenomena of filtering. Mainly, our local conscious awareness is filtered which means truncated or limited. We are all subject to "awareness filtering" and it ranges with time and circumstance (eg, physical fatique, physical damage due to accident or brain disease and then there is the normal variation).

(For example, everyday, are you personally all that you are able to be, or are there times/days in which your memory or awareness about certain things is simply not there or not readily available? Answer should be yes. After all, how many people are half aware of what they are trying to do, but crash into the back of someone's car? Got hit that way twice so far. )

Look at Chapter 18 of Susan Blackmore's book about Consciousness. That chapter goes into the phenomena of brain damage. Topics include:

- What is it like not to notice that you don't notice half the world?
- What is it like to be blind but believe that you can see, or to be paralyzed but convinced
that you can move?
- What is it like to be suspended in the present moment with no memory?

These, and many other questions, are prompted by the neuropsychological changes caused by brain damage.



Yet though a person may seemingly not be fully mentally with you, there are enough cases in which such individuals may actually be hugely consciously aware, but consciously "somewhere else."

Look at where Dr. Eben Alexander said that he was while doctors perceived him as in a vegetative state lying on a hospital bed (text from NewsWeek Magazine):

Then, on the morning of my seventh day in the hospital, as my doctors weighed whether to discontinue treatment, my eyes popped open.

There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.

But that dimension—in rough outline, the same one described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states—is there. It exists, and what I saw and learned there has placed me quite literally in a new world: a world where we are much more than our brains and bodies, and where death is not the end of consciousness but rather a chapter in a vast, and incalculably positive, journey.



Look at what Mary W, after experiencing her NDE, stated about people with demenia (found here on NDERF) :

There is such a misconception about confusion/dementia in the dying process. They speak a different language ...one of symbols. I understand exactly what they are trying to say because I speak that language now. Just because we don't understand what they are saying doesn't mean they are confused ...we are. They speak in symbols because there are things that you see and do that have no words in English to explain.


Look at another's view point (experience) about this same question that you are asking ( thread about spirit and brain damage found on shamanportal.org) :

Here are my thoughts. When you have something physically happen to you which alters your path. You need to focus on the new lessons you selected for yourself. I have heard so many people say. I didn't select this or She would never have selected that. Guess what. Bull crap. If you didn't select the issue at hand you would not have made the apointment for the car crash or accident and so on. If your protection kept you out of trouble that far then it was time for a new path of sorts.

What about having a half dozen lifetimes being sick so that down the line you cure an illness to everyone?

Try to stick with the bigger picture. Also healing from a big illness is part of the growth as well as everyone around experiencing what they need to do.

And for the people who might slam me. I have a special needs daughter and 8 years ago I learned how to accept more of who she is it was a lot easier for me to help her with more of what she can do and not focus on what she cant.




As regards spirit, the spirit as we think of it, remains with the body till death.

Individuals who experience NDE report it as attached by a silver cord and hospital workers report seeing it leave a patient's body typically as a vapor at time of death.

Anyways, these are a few of my thoughts regarding your question(s) on this difficult subject.



Rey
Dear Natalaie,

I am ever so sorry you are going through this situation with your mom, and like ano1 and and Rey, would like to somehow offer some comforting words.

In line with ano1’s experiences, I can offer some practical examples. My sister-in-law has lived with this situation for many years, and over the last two years of her life, her mother would not recognize her daughters any more. Her conditions were discovered some 9 years earlier, as a result of the husband’s untimely death from cancer. But, on her deathbed, when her three daughters were gathered around, her awareness came through unexpectedly and she blessed them with a wonderful loving smile before passing.

An aunt of mine declined over a longer period of time, and while she sounded completely confused and lost in everyday life, there were times when she was absolutely lucid. The most lucid time was again on her deathbed, when my parents called me on the phone so that I could speak to her one last time. The conversation was absolutely normal, and she appeared to come from a place of wisdom I never knew she had access to.

As Rey suggested with many examples, I agree that consciousness is non local, and that even the so called normal people only have a little available compared to what NDErs and other people who have special transpersonal experiences are able to access but not to fully explain, as there are no words in our dictionary to describe the things we don’t all know about.

But I would like to offer some personal examples coming from out of the body experiences too.

I have a niece who suffered from asphyxia at time of birth and for almost 50 years now has displayed the understanding of a 4-year old. In one of my OBEs I was shown that she is extremely wise and intelligent, and is going through what appears a trial to us, while being indeed a very powerful and intelligent spirit.

In 2002, when a friend of ours was going through her last days in a coma, as a result of brain cancer, I would see her in my OBEs resting in a beautiful garden, sometimes wearing sunglasses, together with friends who had already passed. A few hours after her passing (we were only told a couple of days later, as the family lived in England) she appeared in an OBE to me at dawn, together with her husband, who had died 40 days earlier: they were standing on the door together, on the door of an non-existing flat on the same floor where my physical flat was, with a wonderful light behind them, waving at me with loving gratitude for the efforts I had made over the last few days to deliver some messages I had got from the husband for the family. Since then, I have heard from them both on a number of occasions.

Again, even though this is just my own personal experience, it suggests that our consciousness, awareness, intelligence, communication need not come through to other physically alive people, but it is nonetheless unharmed and whole, and glimpses of your mom’s awareness may unexpectedly come through to you in everyday life or on other occasions, when you are able to tune in with her, such as during sleep.

I have come to the conclusion that these experiences, as saddening as they may be, have their own purpose and one day we will have the full picture. But just think of family members who do not suffer from any particular condition, but will not speak to each other because of some futile materialist arguments and waste the time that is given us to live together on this planet, lost in their own idea of what is right and what is wrong.

A few days ago, in an extremely vivid dream, I asked a very close family member why she insists on only discussing the positive and often superficial sides of life, and keeps minimising or showing little compassion about sad situations, and she showed me a scar, which apperead to be related to a life-threatening condition she had survived and which I knew had to do with the recent loss of her husband, and told me that, if she were to get involved in the sad side of life as of now, this could shorten her physical life.

As Rey recalled, the notion of filters comes in handy here. If we realize how temporarily unaware and confused "we" may actually be in so many ways, compared to the consciousness/universe we all belong to and in fact share, then I would deem it a privilege to share my physical time with my loved ones, even if their brain were physically impaired, and personally have many regrets about not having this understanding when I was younger and also continue to have at the end of each day, for one reason or another.

How many futile arguments and struggles could be avoided if only I fully realized the blessing of being able to look after each other in this temporary place and time.

Surrounding you and your mom with caring thoughts.
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
ano1, Rey and Giulia,

Thank you so much for your comments. I found them very comforting , wise, and incredibly interesting.

Ano1, I will keep close attention for those few moments of lucidity that you mentioned. I sense that at some level my mother is aware of what is happening to her. There are moments now when she smiles at me with a purity and sweetness that I had never seen in her before even when she was well. I'm finding my self wondering and questioning so much as I see my mom go through this cruel illness.

Rey, your sensible, fascinating and informative comments offer me hope and much food for thought. I will check and read the sources that you suggest in your post. Thank you for taking the time to write your powerful caring thoughts and knowledge specially after having your tooth extraction.

Giulia, thank you for sharing your personal experiences and your views. It's very helpful to hear other's situations and how they confront this illness. Your kind comments radiate compassion and warmth at a time when it is very welcomed.

It is still amazing to me that technology allows us to communicate so quickly and easily with others from such distant parts of this planet. I have not met any of you and yet I have found strength, hope and comfort from your replies. This subject of consciousness as it relates to the after life, is not one that many are willing to discuss.

Sending you all a hug with much gratitude.
Natalie
Natalie, I think and hope you will see glimpses...they are precious when they do come.
This is wonderful, Natalie, that you are getting this new connection with your mom through unprecedented smiles.

You have been on my thoughts a lot, over the last few days, as I realised how many people I know, among relatives and friends, are going through this painful path.

One thought I have been dwelling on, which has nothing scientific about it (especially if we are talking about a condition following a stroke), but is just the result of personal reflection, is that we all share a need for love and safety, and maybe some of us find ways of hiding away from physical trials by withdrawing with our consciousness in areas that are not exposed to pain. So, irrespective of the physical cause (which may be in itself a response to physical circumstances), many conditions involving what we deem a “damage” to standard intellectual understanding may in fact be forms of self-preservation in this physical dimension, in order not to deprive our loved ones of our physical presence.

Once again, just a thought.

xxx
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
Thank you!!! For your kind comments.

The last couple of days ther have been incidents when she has been showing so much aggression and anger , something that I hadn't ever seen in her. It's almost as if she has transformed into someone else, pinching and scratching and hitting, trying to bite.
So difficult to understand, to make sense of it all. A whole new turn of events.
Natalie
My heart goes out to you, Natalie!

I can't even try and imagine how being faced with such expressions of anger in your own mom can be confusing and disorienting. Our parents tend to be a point of reference, even when we grow up, and this can make an illness like this much harder and more challenging.

I will be praying for you both that, by remembering all the happy times that you have had together, you somehow find peace within yourself at this time, when your own support is much needed!

xxx
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
Ano 1
Just wanted to report that today I think today I experienced one of those glimpses that you mentioned. After months of not seeing any expression on my mom's face, and not hearing her say more than a word of two, I walked into her room today and as she saw me she gave me the biggest, happiest and sweetest smile that I hadn't seen in o long time. It felt as though she was back for a short time. She talked to me for a while, very positive and loving words.. It was an unbelievable experience, that brought me tears of happiness.

Giulia,
thank you for your prayers, such support is very powerful and someone must be listening.

Natalie
Hi Natalie,
I was drawn here after reading about your Mother having dementia on another thread, and again, I am very sorry you're going through this sad and difficult situation. : (

I remember reading somewhere that even though people may seem to lose their mental faculties, their consciousness and "soul" remain intact and as beautiful and wonderful as ever. As a matter of fact(?), those that are going through a mental illness, whether it be from an accident, from birth, old age, etc. are actually aware of that on a spiritual level, and chose that difficult path as a means of helping us learn love and compassion from a deeper aspect because of how much it demands of us for our own development.

It would be so hard to see a loved one go through such a difficult predicament, and it is hard on those involved because of the heartache it brings also. But if this is true from a spiritual aspect, then it can only benefit those involved, and the world in general when they see the amount of patience and love that people can give to those in such painful and trying situations.
You are in my prayers. *hugs*
Hello Prismreverie,
Thank you for your sweet words. It really is comforting to read them.
I do have faith that there is a good purpose for all of this although it's difficult to comprehend.
As I mentioned on another thread, while visiting my mother often, I have had the opportunity to get to know the other residents also affected by dementia. What I am learning is that these people have gone back to their pureness and innocence state, maybe shedding all the unnecessary layers of contaminants that we accumulate through our lives that fog and hide our real essence. Perhaps, just as we don't need our physical bodies to move on to the next world, maybe most of our memories are useless and unnecessary when we move on.
Natalie,
Hopefully, you will see many more of those precious moments. You can savor them and save them for when the not so precious times come.
Thinking of you and wishing you well.
ano
Natalie, As a PS...if your mom liked mothering, you could bring her a baby doll. I had numerous residents that loved their dolls and cared for them as though they were real. Sometimes they could comfort themselves by caring for the 'baby'. I even had one sweet lady that would try to breast feed.
Just a thought.
Hi Natalie,

That is something I feel incredibly sad seeing when children get older and get indoctrinated by society. They lose that beautiful innocence and wonder and most of them end up conforming to the masses. :| We use terms like "maturing" and "growing up", but I think deep down in every one of us (and some not so deep down :P) is a kid at heart. Where we still want to play and have fun and be cuddled and have that wonder in the small things again.

While it is sad to see someone going through such a different transition, I imagine it can also be a joyful and bittersweet moment to see that spark of life flicker in their eyes when they revert back to that child-like state of mind. It sounds quite peaceful - that the worries of the world are, at least momentarily, forgotten.

Natalie wrote: maybe most of our memories are useless and unnecessary when we move on


This is quite an interesting point. I have wondered if, when we "officially" get to the other side, if all of our wrong-doings and bad things we've done are simply removed, and what's left is all of the good we did in life, and all of the love we shared. Maybe that's why those that say "Everything is love. We are love." is because they were immersed in that in it's purest form. And it makes me wonder if our deeds are measured simply out of how loving we are to one another. If we have shown more love and kindness than selfish/greed/hate, our essence goes up. Likewise, if we've shown more hate and evil than love, then our essence goes down. :\
Anyways, just something I've been pondering over. ;)
Hello everyone,

I found this interesting link about the Native American approach to dementia. I wanted to share it here and wondering if there are any comments or thoughts about it.

http://spiritlodge.yuku.com/topic/1274/ ... HfDWr2DAUM

Health and Health Care of
AMERICAN INDIAN AND
ALASKA NATIVE ELDERS

http://www.stanford.edu/group/et...ndian.html



EXAMPLES OF AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE
EXPLANATORY MODELS FOR DEMENTIA

Levanne R. Hendrix, MSN, GNP, PhD

Although dementia is relatively rare in American Indian elderly, it is anticipated that as Indians’ life expectancy increases, so will the incidence of dementia. Explanatory models vary from tribe to tribe, and individual to individual. These are only several reported examples:

1. Each person is put on the earth for a short time for a purpose. When that purpose is accomplished the person is ready to leave this world. Death and illness are not caused by others, and prolonged grieving prevents the spirit from crossing over to the next world where there is no pain, but peacefulness . Appropriate medical treatment and death are discussed openly (Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico). Dementia is a part of the Creator’s plan for that person’s ultimate learning and may not require intervention or help-seeking (“naturalization” of cognitive impairment and dementing behavior, with greater “tolerance” for a wide range of behavior than white communities) (Cherokee).

2. Dementia and illness are caused by an imbalance in the patient’s spiritual, emotional, and social environment. Speaking of negative consequences (prognosis) to an illness can bring those events to pass as thought and language have power to shape reality (Bennahum, 1998). Dementia may be caused by breaking a cultural taboo (e.g., a male speaking directly to his mother-in-law, touching a dead person) by the person with dementia or a family member. Treatment may require the services of traditional Indian medicine and not necessarily Western medicine (Navajo).

3. Dementia is a condition in which the person’s spirit has already crossed over into the next world, but the body remains behind as it prepares to leave. The caregiver’s job is to take care of the body until it is ready to leave, and this is sacred work. The person is communicating in the spirit world, which is why language and behavior appear to us as if overhearing one side of a telephone conversation. In some Indian communities this is a mark of elevated spiritual status for the family (Oklahoma Choctaw).

4. Dementia is caused by the stress on Indians of trying to live in two worlds at one time. Especially, the stress of a rigid Christian belief system of traditionally reservation-raised elderly, and the stress, over time, of urban Indian living and family life. The lack of a collective consciousness in Indian spiritual belief dilutes the power of the Indian spiritual community and allows stress to develop illness, of which dementia is one form. Evidence is cited that dementia has been very rare in elderly Indians in the past (Urban Lakota Sioux).
Natalie,
How are you doing?
One excerpt from your native culture comments really resonated with me.


The caregiver’s job is to take care of the body until it is ready to leave, and this is sacred work.


This is how I felt, while caring for my people. I always felt a sacredness about caring for them. And, my mother-in-law too...as she developed dementia the last year or two of her life. Her old self would come through at the most unexpected times and usually with humor...she woke me in the middle of the night to say goodbye as she left this place...that too, felt very sacred.
Hi Ano,

Thank you for your reply. I am doing fine. Still dealing with my mother as she continues to fade away and to distance her self from us here in this world. As you know there are better days as there are worse ones. My sisters and I are trying to do the best we can.
Regarding American native culture, they are not my native culture, I just happen to run across this article and decided to share it here. It is interesting to me how different cultures view this illness and how they deal with it.
We are lucky to have people like you who have such devotion and kindness while caring for those with this illness. What an amazing experience for you to have had your mother in law say goodbye to you under those circumstances. Stories like yours really offer hope.
Dear Natalie, I am new here and just noticed this post. I was particularly interested when I saw the subject line since my own Mother is suffering from either Alzheimer`s or Dementia or perhaps a combination of the two. My mother is now in the last stage and although she had some very mild cognitive issues for a few years, she has progressed and declined very rapidly since we lost my Father to Brain Metastasis two and a half years ago. My mother is now completely bed ridden and about the only thing that is keeping her going is the fact that she still thankfully, has a good appetite. I am my Mother`s sole caregiver at home, 24/7 without ever a break. I have learned hands-on, and from my own personal experience I can attest that in her current state my Mother is at times in two worlds at once. She is able to see beyond the Veil and quite often speaks of others right there standing next to me. She very recently stated as I stood at her bedside "Oh look, there is my mother" as she indicated an empty chair behind me. I asked "Where is she?" to which she replied "She is sitting there don`t you see her?". When I asked what her mother was doing she responded simply "She is watching us". Now the interesting thing is that quite often at this stage my mother does not make much sense when she speaks, in fact her words at times come out jumbled. However, at those times when she is seeing through the Veil, she sounds completely like herself again, speaking clearly and confidently like the phenomenal woman she was, and still is.... I know she is still in there somewhere. Anyway, I am here and in the very same boat, if you ever need any moral support. Best wishes to you and your family.
What is a Shih Tzu? "A dash of Lion, several teaspoons of Rabbit, a couple ounces of old Chinese men, a bit of Beggar,
a tablespoon of Monkey, one part Baby Seal, and a dash of Teddy Bear."
~ James E. Mumford

Image
Hello Zen Tzu,
What a nice post from you! I'm very glad that you joined this forum. And thank you for sharing your situation and offering moral support. I'm here as well to offer you the same.
I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like for you to be your mother's sole care giver. How do you find the strength? Your mother is so incredibly blessed and lucky to have you.
Do you think it was your father's passing that accelerated your mother's condition?

My father passed from cancer about 3 years prior to my mother's strokes that led to her vascular dementia. She gradually became more difficult, combative even threatening at times. We could no longer keep her home, so my sisters and I found a wonderful memory care place for her. We visit her almost daily. She doesn't talk anymore and can only get around in a wheelchair. She seems to recognize me at times but for the most part she has a vacant look in her eyes. I tend to think that at some level she is aware of what is going on.
Reading about your mother's comments with regards to seeing "beyond the veil", is very comforting and reassuring. Thank you for sharing that. It must feel amazing to witness what your mother is experiencing, her seeming ability to connect with those loved ones on the other side. What do you feel when you witness this? I hope at some point I can experience these type of signs from my mother.

Thank you again Zen for sharing your story in such a positive way. It is uplifting and strengthening.
If you have more interesting experiences with your mother, I would love to read about them.
Natalie
.
Dear Natalie, you are most welcome and thank you for your very kind words. How is your Mother doing? I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear Father.... There is no greater loss for a daughter than that of her Daddy. Yes I absolutely believe that my Father`s passing caused my Mother to decline very rapidly. I am told this is a quite common occurrence particularly after having been together many years. Difficult, combative, threatening - physically and verbally - I have experienced all of the above with my Mother. At one point she believed I was an intruder in our home who had come to kidnap my own Dog in the middle of the night. She threatened to stab me with a knife, and said she would do it quietly when I did not see it coming. Everyone urged me to place her in a home. Everyone told me I COULD NOT care for her myself. Well stubborn Scorpio that I am, the more they told me this, the more I decided I COULD and WOULD do it. So I stuck it out. The extremely difficult phase in my opinion was next to last stage (6) when the poor Soul was still quite mobile and would open and close the same door up to 100 times over and over, get lost in the corner of her own bedroom, shut herself in her walk-in shower and then pound on the glass door screaming to be let out. Also, calling for my Father and for me, as well as pounding on the walls and screaming over and over all night long. At times we would go up to 48 hours straight without sleep. Then there were the times I would begin dosing off and she would call and wake me continuously every few moments. Enough to drive a normally sane person out of her mind. But we got through it and here we are in the last phase where she is bed ridden, quiet and relaxed for the most part, sleeps a lot and lately no longer sits up or lifts her head on her own. As far as how I feel when I witness and share in my Mother`s visions as well as having shared my Father`s Deathbed Visions (which I have been posting about in another thread) - oh my, to me these are the absolute greatest of gifts for which I am so very thankful.
What is a Shih Tzu? "A dash of Lion, several teaspoons of Rabbit, a couple ounces of old Chinese men, a bit of Beggar,
a tablespoon of Monkey, one part Baby Seal, and a dash of Teddy Bear."
~ James E. Mumford

Image
Hello Zen
Thank you for your warm and kind response. I appreciate what you shared about your mother and what you have had to go through because of this cruel illness. You deserve a medal for the way you have cared for your mother, not to mention your compassionate positive way of looking at it all. I still have moments of disbelief when I think about what my mother is going through. Even though their actions and words are not a reflection of whom they were, it is still so incredibly painful to witness,
My mother is advanced in her dementia, but not quite bedridden, she can't do much for herself, she does need complete assistance with her personal care. She sits on her wheel chair and sometimes participates in the various activities that the facility provides for them. The care givers there are angels, I know that we couldn't have been able to find a better place for her. The management was able to create an environment that is very comfortable for the residents, it radiates positive energy, it feels joyful and cheerful, hard to imagine possible but it is. When she first moved there, she told me that it was my dad who found that place for her. I tend to think she is right, I did feel as though it was an outside force that guided us to this home.
My mom's mood varies from day to day. As I mentioned, I go visit her almost daily, and most of the time she won't say a word. I think she has forgotten most of the language. There is still an occasional day when she smiles and speaks a sentence or two. The doctors say that outside of her advanced dementia her health is fine.

I read your other post where you mention your father's deathbed visions. What a gift your father left you with.
I have to share with you also that during his last ten days or so, my father also said to have seen his father (my grandfather) around him. My father's mind was intact, even though the cancer was destroying his body. Of his three daughters, I am the only one who believes in these types of experiences, and he knew that, because we had many conversions about the subject prior to his illness. So knowing how my sisters felt, I think my dad was trying to be discrete in what he shared with us with respect to visitations.
Also, I still vividly remember when my grandmother was on her deathbed, , before I knew these types of experiences existed, I saw her looking up and her eyes were moving as though she was seeing beyond the veil. When my mother asked her if she was seeing angels she said yes.

Thank you again Zen, for the strength and comfort that your stories provide for me and for anyone else who going through this, who has the opportunity to read them
I would very much like to hear more about your mother and about your experiences.
Natalie.
I also wish to thank you all for sharing these experiences and the love, knowledge and wisdom that transpires from them.

I feel the medical community uses certain words far too loosely and easily, without taking into account all the aspects of a person's life, of their loved ones and of the caring souls who devote their lives to assisting them.

I am referring to terms such as "psychosis" [www. dictionary.com: a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality] or "schizophrenia" [www. dictionary.com: also called dementia praecox. a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behaviour, delusions, and hallucinations]. I often wonder: how do we know that psychiatrists know what “reality” truly is, so as to coin words such as "delusion" and "hallucination"? How do we know that intellectual deterioration and/or social isolation are not the result of being judged and rejected by society for being "different"?

I understand our physical body is subject to aging and illness, also as a result of pollution and of so-called “medications” designed to improve the “quality of life” and I praise those who accept to be discreet about certain topics, such as deathbed visions, after death communication, etc. in order not to trouble their loved ones.

What I do not welcome is the fact that certain geographical areas seem to be entirely ruled by materialism and profit-making.

Here is the link to an article by Ian Stevenson, MD, questioning the use of the term “hallucination” back in 1983 .

I am quite sure that by sharing these wonderful and touching accounts you are all contributing to redefining the notion of "reality" and making this world a better place. Thank you! :F
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
Hello Giulia,
Thank you for the article. I found it very refreshing. I agree completely with your message. There hasn't been enough research and understanding on the difference between hallucinations and genuine spiritual experiences. For the most part the western societies have not been receptive to these experiences in the past. Thanks to modern technology we have places like this forum to share and discuss them, where our stories aren't judged or rejected.
The deathbed experiences seem to be very common and to be able to hear their stories is a privilege.
I wish my father had felt more comfortable openly talking about his deathbed visions to anyone prior to his death. I like to think that these experiences are becoming more accepted as a normal part of life. They offer us hope and wonder, and how can that not be a good thing.
Natalie
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