We’ve all wondered at one time or another what happens when we pass away. Every so often we receive glimpses that show us that death is only a state of being as we transition from one life stage to another. Actress and comedienne Betty White’s last words before she passed away may have left a clue about what she was experiencing in her final moments in this lifetime.
Much of our end-of-life knowledge comes from people who have had near death experiences (NDEs) — moments when their soul was preparing to cross over to other side, but for some reason, they remained alive in their current bodies.
According to the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Division of Perceptual Studies, NDEs are characterized by such qualities as:
- A sensation of floating above the physical body
- A bright light at the end of a tunnel
- A sense of peace or feelings of unconditional love
- Freedom from pain
- A life review or remembrance of important past events
- A knowing of future events that have not yet come to pass
- Encounters with loved ones who have passed away
Some people who have NDEs even say they were given a choice to either move on to the other side or return to their bodies and continue to live their current lives.
What Betty White’s last words tell us
Before Betty White died December 31, 2021, she may have experienced at least one of the common qualities of NDEs. According to actress Vicki Lawrence, Betty White said the name of her late husband Allen Ludden moments before she died. Ludden had passed away in 1981 of stomach cancer.
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In the book Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying, hospice nurses share that it’s common for people who are dying to see loved ones who have already crossed over to the other side. I suspect that those loved ones are greeting the person who is transitioning.
When my own father was dying, my three-year-old nephew suddenly and inexplicably blurted out, “Nana will be arriving at 2:00.” Nana was my grandmother — my father’s mother — who had died the year before my nephew was born.
My father passed away that night shortly after 2 am. I believe my nephew somehow knew she was coming, and she arrived to accompany my father to the other side. Interestingly my nephew never spoke of Nana again and he didn’t know what we were talking about when we asked him about it.
Betty White may have been uttering her late husband’s name because they were soulmates and he had come to welcome her to the other side where they would be together again.
While we may never know for sure, it’s comforting to believe that our loved ones who do cross over to the other side are never alone and will be one day waiting to greet us when it’s our turn.