William Peters had been entrusted with the care of a former merchant marine, called Ron. Ron was on his deathbed, slowly dying from stomach cancer and had few family or friends who visited him. Mr Peters would spend up to three hours a day keeping Ron company, reading books and talking to him.
One lunch time, the hospice volunteer was reading an extract from Jack London’s ‘Call of the Wild’, when he underwent an extraordinary experience that defied explanation.
All of a sudden Mr Peters says he felt his spirit leave his body, suddenly realising that he was floating above the dying man.
When he glanced sideward, he saw that Ron was also next to him and looking down at the same scene, he says
Mr Peters said: “He looked at me and he gave me this happy, contented look as if he was telling me, ‘Check this out. Here we are.'”
The whole episode lasted just seconds, before Mr Peters returned to his body.
Ron would soon pass away afterwards, but the event left a lasting impression on Mr Peters and a profound impact on his life.
The hospice volunteer is believed to have experienced what is now termed as a “shared-death experience.”
He thinks that Ron was trying to return the comfort he had given him while he lay there dying.
He said: “I think what he was saying to me was, ‘Don’t despair. Life goes on. Look how awesome it is.’
“It was a true gift of love on his part.”