Because I sometimes help my pastor to lead worship during funeral services, I get to hear more stories concerning pre-death as compared to the average person.
On analysing the stories that I have heard (and from those involving my personal relatives), I surmise that death doesn’t come unexpectedly for most people, and that there are usually a number of signs before an aged loved one breathes his/her final breath.
These are the signs:
- Reports/complaints of Supernatural Activities
Before they die, many Christians report seeing or even talking to angels (which they may refer to as good-looking people wearing bright white robes).
Also, elderly Christians with mild dementia may express to their family members that there are “people” (or a car, or some other form of transport) waiting for them, and request their family members to dress them up, or to groom their hair.
On the other hand, at the nursing home where my grandmother was staying, an elderly lady, who was a non-believer and who slept at the bed next to my grandmother, used to complain about (and was fearful of) someone/something that would torment her by poking her with a sharp object from beneath her bed. This elderly woman lucid and not demented or hallucinating — when asked, she could recall many things about her past, including the place she had been living at before staying at the nursing home. In addition, whenever I came to visit my grandmother, I would invariably see her reading the daily newspaper.
I eventually bought a bible for her, hoping that it might bring relief from her torment, but later lost contact with her when she was transferred to another nursing home.
- Untypical Behaviour
I had an unmarried uncle who passed away suddenly (of internal bleeding) in his late 50s. He did, however, experience a bout of gastric pain before his passing, but nobody in the family expected that this would be associated with his death, and everyone thought that all he required was some medical attention for the gastric pain.
Because my late uncle did not leave a will, nor any instructions on his funeral in the event of his passing, my mum and aunts were left to make that decision for him. They eventually decided that his funeral would be held at one of the funeral parlours in Sin Min.
After the funeral, one of my aunts was tasked to sort through his personal belongings, which had been left untouched since the day of his death.
My aunt was shocked to find the business card of the funeral parlour in his wallet; the funeral parlour was the very same one that my mum and aunts had chosen for him. Apparently, my late uncle had visited the funeral parlour a few days before his passing, without the knowledge of any family member. There are actually a number of funeral parlours at Sin Min, and it was just too coincidental that my mum and aunts would select the very funeral parlour that my late uncle had visited, in spite of the fact that there never had been any prior family conversations about this.
- Spacey Look on His/Her Face
I used to have a male relative whom, whenever I would visit his home in the past, would sit in the living room facing the television set to watch whatever was showing on TV. A few weeks before he passed away, whenever I came to visit him, his face would be glued towards the door (instead of the TV), and he would have this spacey look in his eyes (he was not suffering from dementia before he passed away). His eyes would be fixed towards the door, until he would catch me observing him, and then he would quickly shift his body towards the TV. But shortly after, he would again be staring at the door. I didn’t dare ask him what he was staring at, but I did perceive that his eyes might have been opened to the spiritual realm, because I did notice him a couple of times suddenly shivering for no apparent reason (although the room was not cold), and almost immediately after shivering, he would turn his head elsewhere, as if to avoid something unpleasant (I have the impression that for some people, when their eyes have been opened to other dimension, they are expressedly forbidden not to tell others what they have seen).
- Pets Behaving Oddly
Months before an elderly female relative of mine unexpectedly passed away, there was a gathering at her house one evening, during which another relative brought a pet dog along. The dog was roaming around the house, when it suddenly barked loudly and ran towards the living room, where everyone had gathered. The dog appeared to be running away from something, and it did so with so much fear, that after colliding into a half-ajar glass door, it still managed to pick itself up immediately, and continue running at full speed towards the living room (where everyone had gathered). Dashing underneath a sofa chair, it whimpered there for some time before coming out. A silence overcame the room until the dog’s owner finally broke the ice by noting that her dog seldom barked, and that she had never seen it so frightened before. I then walked over to the spot where the dog had been standing before it started barking to investigate. I did not see anything that could have triggered the barking (there wasn’t any intruder, rat, lizard, or insect), but had a distinct impression that the year would not pass without incident.
True enough, the family was bereaved a number of months by the passing of the elderly female relative, and in retrospect, perhaps an angel of death had come to visit that day…
One night in October 2010, I had a dream involving 2 coffins. The first coffin that I dreamt of contained a dignified and petite elderly Chinese lady, who was wearing a traditional Chinese dress. This was followed by a second coffin that contained an elderly male relative of mine.
The next morning, I read in the newspapers that the mother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had passed away. I was speechless on reading the news because the physical features of the elderly Chinese lady that I had dreamt of would have matched that of the Prime Minister’s late mother. Although I was disturbed by the dream, I said nothing to anyone because I did not want to draw any rash conclusions.
Nonetheless, the elderly male relative of mine unexpectedly passed away 4 months later. Perhaps God was trying to warn me of his impending death.