Signs of Near Death Awareness
People who are experiencing signs of near death awareness may:
- Appear confused or disoriented
- State that they have spoken to those who have already died
- Speak to people and see places not visible to you
- Describe spiritual beings and bright lights
- Talk aloud to people who have died before them, such as their mother, father or a close friend
- Make "out of character" statements, gestures or requests
- Describe another world of peace and beauty
- Tell you exactly when they will die
- Make hand gestures, reach for or hold unseen objects or wave to unseen beings
These messages of the dying may be symbolic communication to ask for permission to die or address a need. Some things they may need include resolving previous conflicts, receiving a visit from a friend, or knowing that you will be okay without them. What they say often has meaning to them and is linked between this life and death. For example, if they traveled a lot, they may say, "I need to pack my bags" or "I need to get on the plane." A patient who was a boater may talk about the tides. A rancher may describe his horse waiting to take him for a ride.
What You Can Do:
- Do not contradict, explain away, belittle or argue. These experiences can be very comforting to the individual.
- Be present with the person. Simply sit at their bedside and be open to their attempts to communicate.
- Listen attentively and sensitively and acknowledge the experiences.
- Ask gentle questions about what your loved one is saying or doing. Questions such as "who do you see?" "what are you seeing?" and "how does that make you feel?"
- Allow the person to share this experience with you.