As death approaches, our dreams offer comfort and reconciliation

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it has become almost impossible to surround loved ones as death approaches … Many people have died alone in a hospital room! Not that they were abandoned, but relatives were not allowed to be there.

Not being able to be present is a difficult psychological ordeal for loved ones. A study by Christopher Kerr based on the dreams of terminally ill patients could reassure relatives a little. At least let’s imagine that they walk in peace when they are unable to surround them!

A book to explain this theory

In an English book called Death Is But A Dream, geriatrician Christopher Kerr tries to unravel the secrets of these ante-mortem dreams! All of the studies of death experiences are quite disturbing and this is one of them.

By observing these patients, Dr. Kerr, to deal not only with the physical but also with the psyche. According to the nurses who surrounded the patients, dreams of loved ones who had already passed away returned to their subconscious. So hallucinations from palliative treatments or real calming sources? Dr. Kerr doesn’t have an answer to this question, but the study is interesting.

When one of his patients was cradling an imaginary baby as her own death approached. He realized that this baby was probably what the patient Mary had lost years ago. The doctor was then convinced that this behavior had a calming effect on his patient. Perhaps it was enough to listen to the patient instead of “just” treating her physical pain?

Dr. Kerr’s project

For 10 years, the doctor recorded the statements of 1,400 patients and families at the end of life. Patients have different age groups, cultures and social backgrounds! Still, 80% of them had the same type of dream focused on missing relatives … And with the approaching approach of death, dreams became even more common.

The patients mostly saw relatives or their pets who had been missing for a long time. While science obviously can’t prove anything, Dr. Kerr that dreaming about loved ones seemed to bring comfort to patients. As if those missing beings were waiting for them on the other side!

Relatives or missing animals. Photo credit: Shutterstock / SvetikovaV

Relatives or missing animals

In detail, the elderly couple separated by death dream of the one who is gone. While children dream of their animals before imminent death. Dreams and visions before death would therefore enable the patient to accept it. This would reduce anxiety and allow death to be grasped more calmly.

While this may seem unthinkable, Dr. Kerr that it would also make it easier for loved ones to grieve … Knowing that your loved one walked more peacefully and thought of a loved one would benefit loved ones who couldn’t have been. Last farewell gift! Nothing is likely to replace presence, but sometimes the situation leaves us with no choice!

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