A Glimpse of the Hereafter Shortly Before Death?

Answers to a reader's question about her husband's experience shortly before death.

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Trudy Harris

Trudy gets so many questions from Guideposts readers, we decided to make her answers a regular feature on her blog.

Dear Trudy,

I lost my husband almost four years ago. He had several medical problems — diabetes, heart attack — plus he was 85, 29 years older than me. We had hospice care for him here at home with a hospital bed. Mostly he slept and was on oxygen.

The night before he died, a girlfriend of mine was with me. We had gospel music playing softly and we were just watching my husband. Suddenly we saw him lifting his arms as if praising God or greeting a relative or friend. Then he put his arms down for a while. Shortly after this, he raised his arms and clapped very quietly. During both of these moments, he was very much awake and looking up. He passed away peacefully the next morning.

Is this common with people facing death? It was like he wanted to go to heaven. He was a devout believer, and I think he saw the angels who were going to take him home. Have you seen this type of thing in other people you have cared for? Thank you for your information.

Sincerely,
Ann Ferden


Hi Ann,

Thank you so much for writing and telling me of your husband's experience as he was getting closer to heaven. This is a very common phenomenon, one seen very often by those tending the dying. In my first book, Glimpses of Heaven, I write about this in two stories. One was Mark, a young 47-year-old who could not move anything on his own but who, one night, raised up in the bed and said, "Oh, it is so beautiful!" and then died.

Also Gene, in the same book, after not responding for a few days, raised up as we were praying with him, arms outstretched and praying in a language we did not understand. It was exquisite to see. His family was Native American, and we thought it wonderful that God allowed him to experience his ancestors in his very own tradition.

How blessed you were to have been with your husband and to know he was already seeing those who had gone on before him and very possibly the angel who was coming to take him home. Be at peace now; you have loved him well.

Blessings to you and yours,
Trudy Harris

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