This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.CLEVELAND, Ohio — It’s a phenomenon witnessed around the world, that can be both comforting and sometimes unnerving, called end-of-life visions or visioning. “Every religious tradition, every wisdom tradition talks about these beings that come to get us when it’s time to die,” said Dr. Kevin Dieter with Hospice of the Western Reserve. For the first time, several staff members and volunteers with hospice, who’ve witnessed thousands of “visioning” episodes, sat down with FOX 8’s Suzanne Stratford and shared their extraordinary, and unexplainable experiences. And they say you never know who will show up — from deceased spouses to religious icons and even the family pet. “It just gives you such great hope,” said Becky Leonello R.N. “You wonder who’s coming for you.” At hospice, they treat all patients with unconditional care and support, regardless of their religious beliefs, but they also say there is no denying that “visioning” happens and sometimes begins months in advance. “It usually starts with staring in the corner of the room; we don’t know why they do that, but they do that a lot,” said Dr. Dieter. Other signs that patients consistently exhibit include:
- Raising their arms reaching toward the sky;
- Using what’s called “symbolic language” talking about leaving, traveling, taking a test, feeling unsettled and/or waiting in line;
- Physical movement like trying to get out of bed;
- Seeing and talking with people who are already deceased even when the patient doesn’t know they’ve died;
- After the person passes away, a bird, usually a cardinal, arrives at the window.