My wife died 7 years ago of cancer, she was 31 years old at the time, I was 33.
Something has kind of bothered me ever since, and I just found this site, so please bear with me as I “try to ask a question” here regarding something I believe that I witnessed.
First off, I don’t want people to think that I’m claiming to have seen God, or that I have been singled out for anything. I don’t believe that at all. However, my wife witnessed some things that I (for lack of a better way of explaining it) “saw through her eyes”…if that makes sense.
I was absolutely convinced…as in, there is NO DOUBT that she was witnessing certain people, events, things in her last couple of days. I won’t go into detail about it. I have always considered myself “spiritual”, but I will admit to having issues with “organized religion” for my own reasons. While I’m not a good Catholic, I will go to my grave claiming Catholicism as my faith. I said for the years following my wife’s death that I hated God because at the same time he made me want to hate him, he PROVED his existence to me.
How would you deal with this? I’m no longer hateful or resentful toward God…I should make that clear. I’ve made my peace on that front. However, I just find myself further away from him in any Church.
Has anybody here heard anything like this from anybody else, and how did they deal with it/cope with it/move forward with it…
I’m sorry brother. I’m a stage 3 survivor and had it when I was 32. Yes things get weird, but know that the Lord affords a lot of grace’s for those that are dying, ones barely imagined. Surviving can be much harder, something you know well. samson.
It doesn’t sound to me like you hated God, and God doesn’t causes illness, but it does sound as if your loss and sorrow was barely endurable.
And yes, my father’s approach to death last year resulted in the conversion to Catholicism by two non-Catholic family in-laws. I also have cause to know God exists and that God exists as a loving God.
Organized religion goes by another name, the Body of Christ.
The Sacraments were instituted by the God Incarnate, Jesus, and by the Church He instituted for the good of souls.
People who make up the community are not perfect, processes are not perfect, because that does not happen in this world.
Perhaps you have never truly recovered from the trauma of your loss, but I’m glad that you had experience of God in you wife’s last days.
God grant that you will come to have experience of God personally and richly with the community of believers. Forgive us our imperfections and those things that are not easy in the Church that God opens to us.
My great-grandmother-in-law said she saw Mary shortly before she died and told my MIL Mary was coming for her now. She also said she was seeing her previously deceased siblings around her. A young relative of mine also claimed to see an angel come and get her right before she died. She had been in a coma for several days, but suddenly became alert, even sitting up, looked at her mom, said a few words about her angel, and then died.
I have known folks who have been around a dying person who also know that death may take a certain unknown amount of time, it is a process, and that there can be a “lifting of the veil” between this life and the afterlife.
I’ve known people who have witness joyful death and a few who have witnessed utter terror from dying loved ones.
The fact that we don’t know when the precise moment of death occurs is underscored by the fact that Pope John Paul I was given the sacrement of the sick hours after he was believed to have died.
having been through the illness, treatment, dying and death of several family members, including parents and in-laws, with cancer I will be the last to deny that the dying definitely undergo spiritual experiences we cannot understand.
I will also be the last to deny that anger, directed against God, the doctors, the cancer, even the deceased loved one is part of the grieving process and can express itself in very odd ways.
I saw an angel standing beside my father as he lay dying.
Also, one I did not see very clearly touched my hand to let me know to start the rosary even though I didn’t want to until my husband got there.
I started anyway - (kind of hard to resist that kind of prompting). Dad took his last breath at the rosary’s conclusion.
My husband had been held up and didn’t get there until an hour later.
My mother was a nurse her whole life. People told her many strange stories. My father said the room was filled suddenly with the smell of roses when his mother died.
My grandmother passed away from breast and bone cancer a while back. She was a very devout Catholic and was like a mother to me (my parents got divorced early in my childhood so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother). She died on January 1st at 3:00pm right when her alarm went off for the Divine Mercy Chaplet she would always say every day. Both my parish priest and great grandmother before they died said they saw her in heaven and that her beauty was beyond description.
My grandmother meant the world to me so when she passed away I fell apart. I was young and angry with God for taking my best friend away from me. She was the only person I really trusted especially after being abused by another member of the family. My entire life up until my 24th birthday was filled with all sorts of horrible behavior, addiction and depression. It all caught up to me thought one day and I was thinking about killing myself. While holding a shotgun I kept thinking about if there was a hell and would I go to it? Then after that thought went through my head a memory came to my mind: It was of my grandmother and her love for the brown scapular. She always preached about it and how important it was: when I was a young lad she wasted no time in enrolling my brothers and me into the brown scapular confraternity. I always kept the scapular but never wore it during my late teens and early twenties. Anyway once that memory passed I put the gun down and went searching for my brown scapular: I found it buried in one of the many boxes in my closet. Since I have put that scapular on I have been on a slow journey back to my Catholic faith.
I eventually started going back to Church and started reading a lot about the Mass and the Rosary. I still have a long way to go in my faith but considering where I was I’m thankful for God’s grace and mercy. In the beginning of my journey I was still very apprehensive about going to Church but after a while that started to melt away and it became part of the old me. I guess in the end you could say the brown scapular for me was the first step in putting on the new man as Saint Paul writes in his epistle to the Ephesians. I look forward to a future spent living my faith and I’m even discerning a vocation to the priesthood, so if I could leave you with any words of wisdom it would be to get a brown scapular and enroll yourself in the confraternity and then tell God from the depths of your heart that you’re ready for Him to take over.
**“Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.” —Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen **
PS. I’m sorry if I went all the way out in left field but I figured it was relevant since you said you felt far away from God at Church. In my life I have been around a lot of death and have heard accounts and have had things happen which I for one cannot explain. As far as I’m concerned these types of spiritual events are very common place when somone is about to die.
Many have had profound spiritual experiences. I was away from the Catholic Church-and pretty anti-Catholic actually- when I received some of the most profound of my life. What I came to find out later, however, through a variety of experiences and circumstances, is that the purpose of the Church has always been to point us to this very profundity-this God who, after all, is ultimately a direct experience-one we’ll finally know fully via the Beatific Vision.
I’ve made the claim a number of times that the night my father died he appeared in my room, apologised for his cruelty, we talked and at the end he gave one almighty scream and then disappeared.
The person who physically came to tell me he’d died was my mother’s brother (one of my uncles), some four days later. However he died himself later the same year. I went to visit him in hospital and I still remember him pointing to the ceiling / wall junction and saying, “Grandma’s over there!” I was an atheist at the time, and while i felt it was a bit spooky, I thought he was just hallucinating. However I think he really did see his grandmother.
You might be interested in the following link. Apparently it’s common in hospices and nursing homes for dying patients to start seeing deceased relatives and friends. When this happens, the nurses know they’ll be gone soon.
I also remember my old pastor (when I was still a Protestant) saying that “clocks stop” when people die. Not that long ago, under the title “Scent of roses”, a lady on this forum stated that when her father-in-law died, there was a scent of roses, but also both her and her sister-in-law’s clock both stopped at exactly the same time. Someone else wrote that ever clock in the house stopped (about five of them) at 9.38am (I think) when his father died.
If you read the above link, and do a search on “clock”, you find the term, “synchronistic stopping of clocks”.
So there is a spiritual world, and what I think you’re saying is that your wife could see pre-deceased relatives and friends, and maybe even some things she couldn’t have known about in normal fashion.
It’s fairly common. And I don’t think it’s just hallucination. I’ve had heaps of spiritual experiences, and for most of them, I’ve been wide awake. I’ve even had my old pastor above turn up on a couple of occasions in brief visions, usually addressing specific points I’ve been wondering about.
It’s not unsual. And I think what you ought to do is start taking God seriously. Your own eternity depends on it. And, really, after what you witnessed with your wife’s death, you’ve got no excuses. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s where you’re at.