The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to our blog, please contact Anyang Anyang <>. We publish writing that relates to our mission of enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health.


Near-Death Patients Tell Doctor of Angelic Visits and More

By John Graham

October 2nd, 2012

Dr. John Lerma, M.D., is a Palliative Care physician who takes care of terminally ill patients.  He has written a most amazing book entitled,Into the Light:  Real Life Stories about angelic visits, visions of the afterlife, and other pre-death experiences (Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page Books, 2007).  The title of the book about says it all.  Trained as a rational scientist not to believe in the supernatural, Dr. Lerma encountered remarkable stories of a supernatural dimension to life told to him by his patients.  The stories were so consistent and detailed, he came to realize although he cannot explain these experiences, nor can he deny them.  Dr. Lerma explains,

“This book is about ordinary people, in extraordinary situations, who selflessly shared their last days with me, knowing that their stories were going to bring comfort and peace to those who directly or indirectly heard the accounts of an all loving and righteous God.  The heartfelt account of God’s love as told by a 9-year-old boy, a murderer, a drug user, a Christian minister, an atheist, and a German Nazi are not only mystifying, but healing and uplifting.  They all speak of the One God that creates with total love, forever reminding us that everyone on this planet serves a purpose and is unified from the same wholeness–a wholeness that will, in due time, create universal and eternal peace and love.” 

Dr. Lerma also has this to say:  “In the last days of life, the terminally ill retreat within themselves as a way of preparing to release their soul.  They tend to relive events in the distant past with varying feelings and often need help in obtaining closure.  This is important to the timely release of the soul.  During this time, the patient may stare intently at corners in the room, or have brief conversations with unseen spirits of deceased family members or brilliantly lit angelic beings.  It is these spiritual beings that bring comfort and peace, and aid the patietn in resolving unsettled emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual issues, with the ultimate goal of a peaceful transition to the afterlife.”

Sara Moore