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The scientist studying individuals who “see” deceased loved ones shortly before death

Christopher Kerr, a US doctor, had a life-changing encounter in 1999 when he witnessed a dying patient named Mary cradling an invisible baby named Danny, who turned out to be her deceased son. This experience led Kerr to shift his focus to studying end-of-life experiences in terminal patients, leading him to become a leading authority on the subject.

Kerr explains that these experiences often occur weeks before death and become more frequent as the end nears. Patients may interact with deceased loved ones or pets, reliving significant moments in their lives.

In his research, Kerr found that around 88% of patients reported having such experiences, with themes revolving around deceased loved ones and comforting interactions. These experiences were found to bring a sense of peace to patients.

Despite having a background in neurobiology, Kerr refrains from offering definitive explanations for these phenomena, choosing instead to focus on honoring the patient’s experiences without interpreting them beyond the concept of dying as a mysterious yet meaningful process.

According to Kerr, these experiences impact not only the patients but also their families, offering a sense of closure and comfort to their loved ones. The research conducted by Kerr sheds light on the profound nature of these end-of-life experiences and the positive impact they have on those involved.

Overall, Kerr’s work emphasizes the importance of approaching the end of life with reverence and respect, acknowledging the significance of these experiences without trying to rationalize or interpret their meaning beyond what the patients themselves convey.

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