Spirit Daily

From the mailbag: Woman who had near-death experience as eight-year-old was shown mysterious 'clock'

            In 1950, I had an experience of heaven that is as fresh today as it was then. I had my tonsils out, and about 10 days later, began to have complications of bleeding and infection. I can still remember today the device that was placed in my throat to try to stop the bleeding and the anguish on my father’s face as he held me in place for the doctor to use life-saving measures of subcutaneous fluids in my thighs, oxygen tents, blood transfusions and intramuscular antibiotics. In those days, children did not receive pain medications, and the memories of that pain remain vivid.

            Subsequently, I went into a coma. Many family members and friends prayed at my bedside, as well as the children in my class at Catholic School. I went through a special experience, however, that forever removed my fear of death…in fact, I’ve been a hospice nurse and educator for eight years because of that experience. Suddenly, I felt no pain. I was floating in a wonderfully peaceful place. I was given no exact memory for what I saw, but as an eight year old, waking from a coma, this is what I told my parents, and anyone who would listen: “I saw Jesus and Blessed Mother. They love me, but told me it is not my time to be with them yet. I must go back to do work. The clock said five minutes to twelve.”

            I had the most difficult time getting people to understand that the “clock” said five minutes to twelve. In fact, for 40 years, I didn’t know the significance of the “clock” until I read an encounter by another woman who realized that five to twelve is the symbol for the final harvest of God’s people. And for me, that meant that I was to help Him in any way I can to save souls.

            In my miraculous recovery, I was obsessed with both Christ and Our Lady. I spent weeks at home recuperating, creating a huge scrapbook with pictures of both of them, rosaries, prayer cards, and telling my story to anyone who would listen. Until the day my parents died, they always told the story to me over and over, amazed that a young person as I was, would have such an encounter with heaven.

            Today, I am 60. We have 8 grandchildren. One deceased, four alive and well, and three more are still “womb-mates” (a set of twins and a singleton). I have written my story for my family to read after I die (or now, if they wish), to strengthen their faith, and to have no fear of the most sublime moments we will all face, the moments when we cross over from this life to the next and remain there forever. I am happy to share it with you. I hope it helps you in your work.


Judy Dobson, RN, MSN, CHPN

Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse Educator

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