Negative Spiritual Experiences at Death

God remains with us, wooing us until the very last minute of our lives, not wanting to lose even one of us.

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Life after Death blogger Trudy Harris

Dear Trudy,
Thank you so much for your beautiful book Glimpses of Heaven. It has really changed my life, in such a peaceful way.

However I feel in order to completely be at ease in what I've learned from your experiences, I need to ask you a question that I'm sure you’ve been asked before.

Do the experiences you cite in your book represent most people's transition into the next life? Or did you write some of the "best" stories to encourage readers? In particular, have you ever encountered people who had very negative spiritual experiences as they were dying?

I've heard both extremes are not uncommon, and while I believe our gracious God draws every one of us to him at the end of our lives, I have also heard of some very dark experiences where a person would not let God in and seemed captive to demonic influence. 

I would love to hear your insights. Thank you so much.

Bronwyn Schweigerdt


Hi Bronwyn,
Thank you for your letter asking about people having positive versus negative experiences before death. I am happy to tell you that the stories told in both Glimpses of Heaven and More Glimpses of Heaven represent the usual experiences that those in my care have shared with me.

I have learned through experience that as the physical body declines, another part of a person comes to the surface, a part sometimes called spirit, sometimes called the soul. It is that divine spark that is placed in all of us by our creator that connects us to him as we are dying. It connects us directly to the “source,” the one who made us, and it is a bond that cannot be denied.

God remains with us, wooing us until the very last minute of our lives, not wanting to lose even one of us. Do some people turn away from God and refuse to surrender to his love? I am afraid it appears so. And if you are asking if frightening experiences occur for some people, I am sorry to say they do.

Many nurses with whom I have worked have had odd and frightening things happen at the time of a patient’s death. I recently wrote about one such very sad encounter. God does give us all the time in the world to find him, but he leaves us the free will to choose for ourselves.

Blessings to you and yours,
Trudy Harris

Trudy gets so many questions from Guideposts readers, we decided to make her answers a regular feature on her blog. If you have a story about a “glimpse of heaven,” please share it with us. Send it to [email protected].

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