Third Person Narratives

Testimony to love

The experience described is that of my mother, Gwen, who died in 1981.

The answers to IANDS questions come from her writings. She always wanted her story to be published, but met many refusals because it was too personal. I, Mary, her eldest daughter, inherited her writings and the documents she kept to support them. She showed them to me in the 1950s. I have now fulfilled her wishes. Her story, in her own words, is now in an EBook, Testimony to Love, at

Gwen was born in China to British parents in 1893. She was brought up to be a submissive, dependent, middle class wife. She trained as a nurse when the 1914 war started, but, as then required, resigned on marriage in February 1916. In 1930 she was in Hong Kong, where her husband commanded the air crew on an aircraft carrier. She had been brought up as an Anglican Christian. At a ladies’ meeting, she disagreed strongly with the speaker’s view of Jesus, and was asked to give her own view at the next meeting. She did so after careful study of a borrowed copy of the Gospel. She had reported these meetings in her account, though Jesus did not feature in her vision.

Soon after, she became ill with an unexpected miscarriage which turned septic. She had had no child since her son John was born in December 1916. Her near-death vision occurred in Kowloon Hospital, Hong Kong in May 1930, where she was being treated. She nearly failed to come around from the anaesthetic after an investigative operation. On final recovery she scrawled notes and a diagram and gave these to her doctor. He accepted that she had seen something, but not the detail. She also told a visiting friend, and kept a letter from her referring to it. I only discovered this after publishing the EBook, but It adds further authentication.

In the Vision, she felt she was standing on a brink, transfixed by “a Great White Steady All-curing and embracing Light. You could not touch the Light, and yet you felt a wondrous Love from it … I remember saying to myself ‘Why, this is the Love beyond understanding’." She wanted to jump into it, but was forbidden. She was taken to a second place, where there seemed to be a preparing place embedded within the Light. Here she heard her mother’s voice, begging for the end to all family quarrels, for those in this place were waiting to be forgiven by those whom they had offended during their lives. She was then shown “a wondrous thing”: she saw those permitted diving into the Light, while seeming to be giving off many lesser lights or spirits. She was told these were not part of the person concerned, who remained entire, but were the results of their kind or unkind deeds on earth. “These children of your deeds … have to get through again to the God of Light.” Their good deeds help their spiritual parent to fulfil the purpose for which he/she had been born, which allows them to progress. Gwen concluded we are to live lives of Love and kindly deeds on this earth. We should also remember that our children’s spirits are not from us, but derive from the deeds of some other soul. “The Final Heaven seemed to be to unite in the Light itself … one with God … and to help in the great work of Comforting Love." She herself was then escorted back to earth to fulfill her purpose in life, by a crowd of angels and spirits behind her, telling her she must go back to see her baby. She also had the impression of a death to come, which she thought might be her own.

Her final operation was supposed to prevent the possibility of pregnancy. This worried her, but she believed in her mission and strove to get fit. Her husband was posted to Farnborough in the UK soon afterwards, and I was born there in July 1931. Gwen wrote up her vision while expecting me. She showed the new baby and the account to her two doctors when they were in England on leave. They endorsed her account of her time in hospital, only asking her not to use their names, for medical etiquette reasons.

She remained deeply in love with her husband, who will strike most as selfish and dominating. He scoffed at her vision, but it was not this that caused the marriage eventually to fail. A second daughter followed in January 1934, to her father's displeasure. More drastically, in 1935 John, their only son, died of heart failure. His last years had been marked by horrific burns in November 1932 and much suffering.

Both parents were devastated, but reacted differently. My mother prayed to God, her Light of Love, for Comfort. As she did so a thought entered her being: "Have I not shown you there are other Worlds of greater Happiness ..." During the sleepless nights that followed she wrote a new section of her book, on John's short life, his suffering and struggles. She felt he had fulfilled his earthly purpose. Forty days after his death she woke to see him enter the room, to tell her not to mourn, that he was perfectly happy.

My mother accepted his death as the one of which she had been warned. My father rejected God, and with that, the need to keep to his marriage vows. He was then working in Air Raid Precautions, first in Britain, then in 1938 in Hong Kong, and later in India. My mother could forgive infidelities, but the war caused separations, and her wartime work gave her new self-confidence. In December 1945 we returned to Britain and he to Burma, where he had a new relationship. My mother supplemented his small allowance to her by her own earnings, becoming a modern woman. His return in 1949, a broken man with a young son, threw her into new agonies. In the late 1950s she had more leisure, returned to her book, and added a section on her life after 1935. I summarise this in Testimony to Love, but close it with her own reflections on her life, on God and the Universe, and on a final brief meeting with her husband.

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