These events took place during the final days of my mother’s life.
Whilst not an NDE, it was more about Near Death Awareness. I have read about NDE’s and Near Death Awareness for many years but to be with someone who was experiencing Near Death Awareness over a period of nine days was a personal privilege as it has brought the stories I have read to life.
It has also been quite traumatic to watch someone become weaker and weaker and then pass away, and I am still trying to come to terms with understanding and integrating this experience on a personal and human level.
To set the context, my mother was 79 years old and a practicing Sikh for over 30 years. She also followed a spiritual saint from Northern India called ‘Maharaji Raja Sahib’ whom we refer to as ‘Maharaji’ as a sign of respect. This spiritual saint died in India in 1939.
She had emigrated from India to the United Kingdom in 1960 with my father. My father passed away in 1984 and she was living with my younger brother whilst we lived just five minutes’ drive away.
The events started on Sunday July 23rd 2017 when my mother was rushed into A&E at the local Infirmary due to excruciating pain. It was found that her thoracic aortic aneurism had grown from 6.5cm from 9.5cm within the space of about four weeks.
The A&E consultant said that there was a contained leak within the aneurism and that the aneurism could rupture within the coming week or even earlier.
On Tuesday 25th July, she was in severe pain at around 20:00 when I went to visit her. When I spoke to her she said that she had heard her mother calling her earlier and said 'Why is she calling me – has she come to collect me?’ – her mother had died in India in 1955.
We took her up to her bed and from this point to her passing away, she was never to leave her bed again.
On Thursday 27th July, in the afternoon she said to my wife that the 'game is finished on Saturday' and that Maharaji would be back on Saturday to collect her. At around 17:00, she asked to be sat up, asked for her head scarf and said her prayers for thirty minutes and then lay down again. Later in the evening she started saying her goodbyes to everyone.
On Friday 28th July, at around 06:30, she started tugging on her bed sheet and kept asking for a clean white sheet
On Saturday 29th July, in the afternoon she said ‘that they had come for her.’ One of my aunts who was with her at the time asked her 'why are you in a hurry?' My mother then said ‘they're going back now.’ She said also she saw my father in the group that had come to collect her. Later in the evening she kept saying that she'd been asking to go since the morning but why was it taking so long?
On Sunday 30th July, in the afternoon she said she was ‘happy everything was done.’
On Monday 31st July, in the morning at about 07:00 I was talking to her and at one point she looked straight past my left shoulder and said 'Oh, Maharaji - I didn't see you there.' She then asked them for a suit and raised her hand out as if grabbing something. After this she started saying it was time she went.
After talking to one of my aunts who is a retired nurse, we said to my mother that she didn't have to worry about anyone here and that she had finished everything she needed to. At around 21:00 my mother started getting quite agitated and asking ‘Why are they taking so long?’ and also kept saying ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’
On Tuesday 1st August, at around 02:00 she asked for the ambulance to be called as she was ready to go in it and asked me where my wife was and said to ‘tell her to come here as she wasn't well and was ready to go in the ambulance.’
At around 04:00 my mother put her hands in the prayer position and looked up towards the ceiling and then around the room as if acknowledging something that neither my sister nor I could see. After this my mother slipped further downwards during the day and started to become less responsive.
On Thursday 3rd August, I was preparing some food at around 15:00. I mentioned to my sister that it felt like my mother was wandering around the house even though she was still in bed upstairs and hardly responding to us or any stimulus.
I had to go out for a couple of hours at 16:30 and came back at 18:30 to a strange and unsettling atmosphere in the house – I can only describe it as ‘heavy’ and ‘claustrophobic’ with an eerie unsettling quietness – as if there was something waiting to happen. It was like the house had become enclosed in a bubble and no sounds from the outside could be heard – no birds, passing cars or dogs barking. The house was usually busy till about 20:00 with extended family members visiting but everyone that day had left by the time I got back and there were only a few of us in the house.
My mother took her last breath at 22:30 on that day.
Almost 6 months after her passing away, I’m still thinking about these events and how I integrate them into my life going forward – it was one thing to read about the experiences of other people, but being part of the story has affected me and my understanding of life greatly.