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Does One Die Before Dying?

Updated on March 16, 2012

I ask this because not only from personal experience but from others who experience the same. The experience I am talking about is a loved one is in hospice and near death, maybe non-responsive, maybe in and out of coma or consciousness,or maybe the dying have some sort of awareness that death is very imminent.

In my case, my mom was dying of lung cancer and in hospice her last week. During this time, she was in and out of coma, sometimes totally alert and coherent and other times, quite the opposite. The night she died, I was the last with her, sitting next to her bed trying to deal with the sudden discovery and death (within a space of three months). She had been in coma for hours. Prior discussions always had her quite confident that she would beat it, just as she had done all her life. Yet, in her last communication I got an odd feeling. As I said, she was in a coma most of her last day of life on earth, then, like a light switch, she awoke, looking around and eerily normal. She looked at me, smiled. There was a peace about her. She no longer acted with her bravado, as a few days prior. She softly spoke, " I've had a good life, I hope you have one too". There was such peace, I was speechless. She looked around, sat up, " I must be a mess", she said. I chuckled. She asked for grape juice. The nurse brought her some. She sipped it like it was a rare commodity, savoring it between sips, looking me, " I just love grape juice". She then laid back down, closed her eyes and died hours later.

Thinking back, I believe that at some point in time before she last spoke to me, she was visited by an angel, maybe died, and was told not to fear death but to accept it because it was her time to leave and to say the final goodbyes. Something had happened while she was in her coma just before she was conscious again.

I have read this happens frequently, James Brown, famous R&B singer, just before he died, a similar thing happened. He awoke, spoke with those gathered around and just before he slipped into a coma said, " I'm leaving on the train tonight". He would die many hours later.

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