Up to six in ten grieving people have “seen” or “heard” their dead loved one, but many never mention it out of fear people will think they’re mentally ill. Among widowed people, 30 to 60 per cent have experienced things like seeing their dead spouse sitting in their old chair or hearing them call out their name, according to scientists. The University of Milan researchers said there is a “very high prevalence” of these “post-bereavement hallucinatory experiences” (PBHEs) in those with no history of mental disorders.
“Evidence suggests a strikingly high prevalence of PBHEs – ranging from 30 per cent to 60 per cent – among widowed subjects” Researchers, University of Milan
They came to their conclusions after looking at all previous peer-reviewed research carried out on the issue in the English language. “Overall, evidence suggests a strikingly high prevalence of PBHEs – ranging from 30 per cent to 60 per cent – among widowed subjects, giving consistence and legitimacy to these phenomena,” they wrote in their report, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Since there is a relatively small amount of research on the topic, they said, “more research is needed to ascertain the physiological/pathological nature of PBHEs”. It’s thought the hallucinations could be similar to the flashbacks experienced by people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Jacqueline Hayes, an academic at the University of Roehampton, has studied the phenomenon, interviewing people from across the UK who have lost spouses, parents, children, siblings and friends. She told the Daily Mail: “People report visions, voices, tactile sensations, smells, and something that we call a sense of presence that is not necessarily related to any of the five senses.”
She added: “I found that these experiences could at times be healing and transformative, for example hearing your loved one apologise to you for something that happened – and at other times foreground the loss and grief in a painful way.”
The report follows research from the University of Southampton, which suggested there might be such thing as life after death.
That study, published in 2014, found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death, which was previously thought impossible.
End of post.