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Death, Matters of the Spirit

The Death Instinct…A Time to Live, and a Time to Die?

 As for everything, there is a season,

And a time for every matter under heaven,

A time to be born, and a time to die….

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Years before his fatal car accident, my son had a pre-death premonition. Between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one, he told us three times that he would die in his twenties. We chose to dismiss his warnings, because the thought was too horrifying to contemplate. We put it all down to youthful fantasy and banished the thought of his early death from our minds. In one of those conversations, he said he would die in a car accident, and that his car would be totalled, though he jokingly added that it would be more glamorous to be shot while performing on stage, in the manner of one of his rock idols. One month before his 22nd birthday, Zak died when his car swerved off the road and hit a wall. His car was barely recognizable. Zak’s early-death prophesy and my encounters with other people’s death situations moved me into an understanding of life that I had long needed to reclaim. I discovered a perspective that hinted quite strongly at a Divine Plan. Fate, I discovered, despite its perceived elusive nature, when placed under focussed observation, is actually quite glaringly obvious.

The 9/11 tragedy brought to light many stories of death premonition, some of them recorded by Bonnie McEneaney in her book Messages. Bonnie’s husband died as a result of the 9/11 attacks, and she tells of him always knowing that he would die young, and just one week before the tragedy, sensing his approaching death. After the attacks, Bonnie explored many of the stories of the families of victims of 9/11 and heard numerous accounts that resembled her own experience. In all descriptions, people talk of changed moods, discussions of impending death and in some cases, planning for disaster.  In the case of Ruth McCourt, who was on United Airlines Flight 175 with her four-year daughter Juliana when it went into the South Tower, her husband David reports her uncharacteristically strange mood in the months before her death and her uncanny words, ‘if anything happens to me, put my ashes in Ireland’. She had also informed a number of friends of feelings of impending doom, and to add to it, David himself, on the evening before Ruth and Juliana’s flight, saw a vision of the explosion in his mind.

A British newspaper reported the case of father-of-one Andrew Bailey, 29, whose American fiancée Miosotys told how he woke up screaming on September 9 and told her that in his nightmare, he’d opened the front door of their house to the Grim Reaper. A security supervisor (originally from Britain), he was among the 3,000 people killed when hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Centre in New York.  ‘Andrew always told me he would die before he was 30,’ Miosotys told The Sunday Mercury. ‘He would have dreams about dying in different ways. I would tell him it wasn’t going to happen to him and not to be so negative. But I guess deep down he really did know.’

Six months before the crash, I dreamt of Zak’s death. When I spoke to him about it the next day, he was very quiet and pensive. In the following months I was haunted by images of death, and for three days before he died, those heavy feelings of impending doom preoccupied my thoughts. In his last week, he visited a number of people he hadn’t seen in quite a while and called up a good friend in Ireland that he had argued with and not spoken to for a long time. He spent quality time with his long-time girlfriend from whom he’d become estranged, and she reported that she was surprised by his affection and that being together felt like old times. In those last weeks, I wondered in silence about the air of waiting that he seemed beset by. When we talked about the future, he declared he could not see himself as a husband, a father, and that he couldn’t see himself planning a long-time career in a world that was overwhelmed with human misery. He’d only just received his degree in politics, and was the lead singer in a local band, but it seemed at the time, and it became evident later, that these things were just something for him to do while he waited for fate to make its move. After Zak died, I found a letter from an old girlfriend way back in high school in which she referred to a discussion they had had about ‘the world ending on the 5th of May’. That was the day he died in 2007. And it was the day the world as I knew it ended.

There are numerous celebrities who have known that they would never get old. Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin predicted his own early death from a young age, and this intuition became compounded when his mother died in an automobile accident on February 11th 2000. His wife Terri spoke out about him always being in a ‘great hurry’ to accomplish his dreams because of this premonition. On the 4th September 2006, Steve Irwin died at the age of 44 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray.

I also remember watching a documentary about Lisa ‘Left-Eye Lopez’ (one of the three singers in the band TLC) on location in the Honduras. She constantly spoke about her own death and feelings of ‘a dark presence’ stalking her while filming and while she slept. She accidentally killed a young boy as he was crossing the road, and since his surname was also Lopez, Lisa was convinced that Death had made a mistake and taken the wrong person. On film she talked about her dark foreboding dreams and the documentary ended with a number of people getting into a jeep with her and somewhere along the road careering into a ditch (all of this caught on tape). Lisa Lopez was the only one who died.

It is also widely reported that John Lennon had premonitions about his death, and was so fearful, it led to the break-up of the Beatles. It seems he was always waiting to be murdered, and when his former manager was shot, the feelings of doom became more intensified. Asked about what he thought about the circumstances of his death, he replied that he would ‘probably be popped off by some looney’. Lennon died on December 8th 1980 after being shot four times in the back by psychopath Mark Chapman.

It must also be said, that there are many people who die who are not surrounded by death-premonition-talk. Whether or not this is because these particular people were not sensitive to their impending psychical shifts, or simply preferred not to talk about what they felt, is anyone’s guess. Not all of us have psychic tendencies, or sensitivity to non-physical phenomena. Perhaps many of those who died did feel some shift occurring but did not know what to make of it. Talk of death is a frightening thing for a lot of people, and many of us about to pass on may choose not to inform the family for this reason. One month before Zak’s death, we were all having a family meal in a restaurant when he once again referred to his sense that he would die in his twenties. We all descended on him in anger, telling him not to talk of such things. The expression on his face is etched in my memory. He had tried to tell us something important and now felt stupid for having attempted to broach such a contentious subject. He looked sheepish and changed the subject. Many other people in Zak’s situation may have felt it best not to frighten the family, and so kept their premonition to themselves.

A lot of the reports I have read by surviving family members say that death was never mentioned, but that the person who suddenly died went to great lengths to tidy up their affairs and ensure that the family was taken care of. Others said nothing to friends and family, but went about repairing old relationships, calling people they hadn’t spoken to in years – in other words, saying goodbye, leaving on a good note.

To my mind it doesn’t matter why certain people have no premonition story associated with their deaths. What is important to me is to place focus on those who do sense their imminent mortality. For me, the only proof of anything in this universe is direct experience and I find it more intelligent to rely on my own experience when trying to get to the truth of any spiritual matter. The whole point of comparing my experience with others is to explore a far bigger picture than death itself. In making comparisons, we can see patterns emerge, and since there are different ways in which we approach death, we see much more than we bargain for, as the following stories demonstrate.

Dr Peter Fenwick, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist emeritus to the Epilepsy Unit at the Maudsley Hospital and The Radcliffe Infirmary Oxford, is one of the leading clinical authorities in the field of death, dying and transition. With an extensive research record and publishing record of over two hundred papers in medical and scientific journals, he is widely regarded as an authority on the subject of End of Life Phenomena, Near Death Experiences and what he terms ‘the mind brain problem’.

Dr. Fenwick’s research of the End-Of-Life phenomenon deals both with what we refer to as sudden death and terminal illness, the latter condition taking a person through a gradual movement from this life to the next. Sudden death it seems, is sudden to everyone but the person who dies, since Dr. Fenwick has implied that impending death can make itself known in the body some years before the event.

In his studies of terminally ill patients, Dr. Fenwick describes the phenomena reported by dying people in the 24 hours before death. The most prevalent accounts are of what he calls ‘deathbed visions’. In these visions witnessed by the dying person, people that they know, but who have passed on, appear before them with the message that they are here to collect them and ‘take them on a journey to the other side’. Some will also speak of angelic and religious figures visiting them and comforting them in their last moments in this life. These visions usually have an extremely positive effect on the dying person, and a deep and peaceful acceptance of death comes about.  All previous fear of death dissipates. Dr. Fenwick says there are rare cases where the dying person is resistant to leaving with their deceased friends or relatives.

The most interesting aspect of these visits, Dr. Fenwick reports, is the fact that the people who have come to collect those who are dying, usually give the patient a specific date upon which they will leave the body. This, the patient is told, is so that they feel fully prepared; they may tie up their affairs, settle unresolved issues with family members or friends and say goodbye to everyone. During the time that the patient is given this information and the time that the final transition takes place, the patient takes journeys with these deceased people to ‘the other side’ in some kind of preparation for the psychical shifts that will take place.

A second common phenomenon is that of ‘deathbed coincidences’. These stories are usually described by family or friends of the person who has died suddenly, or who is dying of a terminal illness. They report visitations of the dying person at the hour of death. Dr. Fenwick says that many relatives are unwilling to speak openly about these phenomena, but that they are frequently reported in studies such as these. An example that he gives concerns a woman that he spoke to in his research activities. Whilst living in Australia, she wakes to find her son (who lives in the UK) standing before her bed. He is dripping with water, and swathed in a halo of light. He reassures her that he is alright, and that she needn’t worry about him. She calls the UK the next day knowing that he is dead, to find out that he died in a boating accident at the moment that she saw him in the visitation.

This same phenomena was frequently reported by relatives after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.  This story was told to Bonnie McEneaney by Monica Iken whose husband Michael Iken died in the South Tower. He and Monica had met on September 11, 1999 and had married on the same day a year later. As they said their vows, a plane flew overhead and was so loud that they had to stop the service until it had passed overhead. Michael believed this to be a sign of impending doom. After the 9/11 attacks one year to the day, Monica was unable to get hold of him, knowing he had gone to the Twin Towers that morning. That night, in a state of anxiety, she went to bed in the hope that her husband would find a way to contact her by morning. In the early hours she woke up to find Michael standing in the doorway of their bedroom, surrounded by a radiant light. ‘I’m okay, everything is fine.’ He said.  In her book Messages, Bonnie goes on to say that ‘other relatives had similar experiences in the chaos and confusion of the immediate aftermath – either a vision of their loved one or a strong feeling of their presence that would reassure and then disappear with what many described as a ‘whoosh’’.

 The relatives of many terminally ill patients report the same type of incidences. In some cases, especially when it is a child who is dying, the parents are asked by their child to leave the hospital, claiming that they feel okay and want to sleep. This, it is reported by care-workers, is because children are deeply sensitive to the pain that their parents are feeling in the time just before their impending departure. Having been told of their time of death, and unable to communicate to their parents how happy they feel in those last moments, they ask their parents to leave in order to spare them the agony of their last moments together. Often, after the child has passed, and just before the parents have been informed by the hospital staff, they will receive a visitation from the child.

For the carers of dying patients, these death-bed phenomena are routine occurrences. They often describe a radiant white light that surrounds the dying person and which sometimes spreads throughout the entire room and the people in it. Feelings of peace and love are associated with this light and deeply affect the people sitting in the room.  Some carers report changes in room temperature and animals behaving strangely, while others mention synchronistic events such as clocks stopping or bells ringing. Still other carers will speak of hearing ‘heavenly’ music, and seeing a vaporous mist that surrounds the dying person. Patients very often report having glimpses of places not of this world, as well as travelling with deceased relatives to and from the place to which they eventually go upon death.

An Aunt of mine died about three years ago; she was 75 years old and was experiencing heart problems and a host of other age-related issues. To any observer, it was obvious her body was shutting down. On two occasions that she was admitted to hospital, she told us of the ‘people’ who were sitting on a row of chairs near her bed. One of them was her husband who had died two years previously, and another, her son, who had passed on eighteen years before. She was adamant that she wouldn’t speak to them because she said that she wasn’t ‘ready to go’ and that ‘they’d come to fetch her’. When she forcibly discharged herself from hospital in an attempt to ‘get away from them’ the family assumed she’d lost her mind. While giving her reflexology treatments, I discovered that these same people were present, even at home. This time my aunt mentioned her mother, as well as her husband and son. As much as she loved them, she put up a huge fight, declaring that she was not ready to go and leave her adult children. She did of course die, a few weeks later.

Through my reflexology treatments, I often came across dying people who needed attention as death approached. One of them was the father of one of Zak’s friends. This man was dying of cancer and in our time together, we spoke of many issues he needed to resolve before he died. About 48 hours before he left this world, I became aware of the presence of his mother and his beloved Golden Labrador dog of childhood. His wife reported that just before I had arrived, she had found him grappling with the window as he had seen angels outside and was trying to open them up to let them in.

Robert was a man who, unable to let go of his ailing 80 year old wife, had asked me to somehow help her back to life. Throughout our short time together, this bedridden woman often drifted in and out of this reality; she spoke of going to another place and constantly referred to the people in the room with her, sometimes telling them with annoyance that it was too crowded with all of them present. Robert, aware of what this meant, often told her to stop talking to them and focus on life here. She died very soon afterwards, demonstrating to Robert that when an appointed time of death is near, there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

Sceptics, people who cannot accept these stories, are usually those who have not cared for the dying and have had little experience of death of relatives or friends. Professional carers, especially those who work in hospices, accept these End-Of-Life experiences for what they are, natural states of change, transition periods between one life and another, between one state of being and another. In different studies, some of which have been conducted by Dr. Fenwick and his team, most carers stated that they tend to keep these stories to themselves for fear of ridicule from people with little or no experience of the process of death.

Some sceptics feel sure that End-Of-Life experiences are no more than hallucinations that are brought on by drugs prescribed to the patients. Dr. Fenwick and many other professional carers who have experience in this field argue that the differences between genuine End-Of-Life experiences and drug-induced hallucinations are very apparent. Drug-induced hallucinations it appears, are deeply disturbing to the patient. Frightening phenomena occur such as wall-paper images looming out of the walls, devils and dragons taunting the patient, animals walking about the floor, or children running in and out or the room. These hallucinations are usually symptoms of the drugs they are taking and occur during any phase of the patient’s illness, even years before. They can be controlled by adjusting dosage or changing the type of medication prescribed.

The genuine End-Of-Life experiences, however, can begin for as long as three weeks before death, but are usually obvious in the days before the patient finally passes away. They occur when the patient is clear-minded, and they bring about a deep and meaningful experience to the patient and to relatives and carers who are at the patient’s bedside over an extended period of time. Carers and relatives have described the last moments of a patient’s death as being akin to standing in rays of loving light.

The process of dying is a fascinating subject, simply because it is shrouded in mystery. That mystery, it must be noted, is one of our own making. Whilst what happens after death cannot be known by anyone, the process of dying most certainly is absolutely apparent and consists of phases of transition that have very specific characteristics. Dr. Fenwick believes that in our culture, we have lost the art of dying, which in itself is a very special, very beautiful process. Instead of heeding the signs and working with the shifts of the life force as it transitions from one dimension of experience to the next, the medical profession insists on fighting our completely natural processes. We get fed with drugs, and stuffed with tubes that attempt to prolong our lives, and this activity mars the beauty of the inevitable dying process.

The process of dying applies to death that occurs as a result of terminal illness as well as what we term ‘sudden’ death. In sudden death, people who die are not only reported to have had a premonition and then sorted out their affairs, they are also said to have spoken about having accomplished everything that they needed to do; even people of a young age have spoken this way. In some, there is a sense of depression that arises as a result of the enthusiasm for life being diminished and the usual pleasures of life not bringing the same sense of joy. It appears that when death makes its appearance, our connection to the world is slowly severed, and in some people, this is felt at a deep level. Sudden death, when we really examine it closely, is not sudden death at all.

In the same way that we enter into this dimension of human experience through the phases of conception, gestation for nine months and then birth itself, so we leave through a similar process. Our fear of death is very powerful, and it is this terror that prevents us from observing more closely what we go through before we die. I wish now that I hadn’t been so afraid when Zak spoke of his death. I feel that had I been a different type of person, I might have learned something profound about the transition period just before death, and that the process itself might have given me more insight into what exists ‘on the other side’. I truly hope that the work of Dr. Fenwick and people like him opens our eyes more completely to this aspect of living. For me, birth and death appear to be the same thing; we are prepared for entry into a new dimension of experience and from what we witness in both the birth and the death process, they are beautiful events. In gaining more exposure to this wonderful event in life, the joy that we witness in the dying person’s last moments might alter our perceptions of death and eradicate our intrinsic fear of this unknown element. Just reflecting on my own experience and doing all my research for this post has transformed the way that I think about death. I hope that this article might prompt you to go and do research of your own. I can’t think of anything better than to approach our moment of death with absolute joy and a knowing that no matter what the picture looks like, everything will be okay.


About Yaz

Hi Everyone! Please check out my site. There you'll find a range of subjects on which I've expressed my world view. I always challenge myself and others to move out of their point of view and try seeing things from another perspective. Your point of view will always be there if you don't like mine! And I'd love to hear from you. Perhaps you'll shift something in me. This is the journey to the True Self and I love it. Lots of love to you all!


51 thoughts on “The Death Instinct…A Time to Live, and a Time to Die?

  1. Great post, Yaz. Your son would be proud.
    My experience has been those individuals who have died (that I have known personally) I believe have done so with the understanding that death was nigh. This may be just a coincidence however; it is fact just the same.
    The last friend who died was a woman in her 80’s. During the last months of her life she became quiet, composed, and even somewhat angelic. It was as if she ‘had a secret’, and was happy to be in her last moments. She died in her sleep, and I was very happy for her knowing that her last months had been so peaceful.
    I was advised that my mother was to die within 2 years (some years ago now) and that it would be good for me to spend some time with her (we didn’t get on very well). I did spend time, and was pleased to have put in the effort. She began to tell my younger siblings that she was ‘tired’, and wanted to ‘leave’. They were quite anxious, as you could understand. Eventually, after a few months one of my sisters told her that it was okay; if she wanted to ‘leave’ all would be well. She passed that evening….
    As you mentioned, we can only view life through our own experiences; each one so different from the next. My experiences have prepared me for death as an end to the flesh; nothing more, nothing less… I, my consciousness, lives on…

    Posted by carolynpageabc | October 24, 2012, 10:47 pm
  2. I really enjoyed reading that. thank you for sharing your very personal story. I would like to reblog it… do I have your permission?

    Posted by bentpeople | October 25, 2012, 12:31 am
  3. I’m sorry for the loss of your son, and sorry for the moments you wish to have done differently. I’m not bothered by the discussion of death. Your post drew me in. It does fascinate me. I have had so many people tell me about the last minutes they shared or witnessed of someone’s passing. I’ve come to believe something that you stated clearly when you said ” For me, birth and death appear to be the same thing; we are prepared for entry into a new dimension of experience and from what we witness in both the birth and the death process, they are beautiful events”.

    Thank you for this post Yaz.

    Posted by Chatter Master | October 25, 2012, 1:49 am
    • I am sorry for your loss. My sister lost her 18 year old son, Omar in 2005. I remember that on that year Omar who was always close to his mom became even more affectionate; would treat her with little surprises. My sister felt a gloom for many weeks before his passing and could not figure it out. I was drawn to a book by Melody Beattie where she shared the agony she experienced while losing her young son. My thoughts were “God forbid, sis loses her son”. I feel deep down we knew Omar was leaving.

      The strange thing is, sis had a past life regression with a well known therapist while Omar was alive, and sis recalled Omar in her past life in the role of lover and he passed away at 18 in that life as well. Makes one wonder….

      Posted by sufilight | October 25, 2012, 11:47 am
  4. Strong post. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted by Ronen | October 25, 2012, 5:07 am
  5. I am so proud of you Yazzy for be brave enough to put this all in writing. Wow, you have come a long way. Through acknowledging our own fears we are able to move forward. Healing takes many forms and reading others’ accounts of such emotive times helps us all cope with our own passage through life. We are but creatures on a journey just trying to muddle through as best we can and sharing experiences is so much a part of that. Most people I know that have died have been collected. I always wait for them to tell me that aunties, mums, grannies etc are sitting at the end of the bed and then I know how long it will be. My own granny told my mum that she should go home as grandad was waiting, he had died seven weeks previously, and by the timemum got back from Eastbourne Granny was gone. Graham’s mum and granny came for him and he was happy. We gave him permission to go and he went, smiling. His dad was telling him stories about Kenya and walking along the beach. Well done you. Lots of love. Xxxxx

    Posted by Jools | October 25, 2012, 7:31 am
  6. I am very moved by your personal story and thank you for sharing it. You are very brave, very beautiful Tender Soul, One to bring others into Healing and Knowing and the Awakened Experiences as you have come to embody them. This is your beautiful gift Yaz, You are Love, given to us……Linda

    Posted by Linda Willows | October 25, 2012, 8:21 pm
  7. Lots to think about. Thank you for this post.

    Posted by SadMama | October 26, 2012, 5:27 am
  8. I simply loved this post – wonderful stories, and so validatinging about the wonder of our next step into our next adventure. I feel so alive after reading it, and yet so full of anticipation for that moment of transition. I intend to be fully conscious and enjoy it, and I can’t wait – the thought fills me with excitement, though I know there is still much to do in this life. thank you so much for this beautiful post, I am so enjoying reading your blog..

    Posted by valeriedavies | October 27, 2012, 3:11 am
  9. This is fascinating, Yaz. For one, I did not know that 9/11 brought forward so many premonitions to speak of. We all seem to be much more in tune than we realise, or admit.

    Your premonitions regarding your beloved son, that one you had and he was quite – this is so solemn, a moment. It would have been awful. I would have been haunted by that, for sure.

    That your son also had premonitions of dying in his 20s… I am fascinated, just fascinated.

    At your loss, I never knew I could be one to say this, but, as a parent, I am deeply deeply sorry.

    Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes | October 28, 2012, 2:49 am
  10. I can’t pretend to have “liked” your post, Yaz. That wouldn’t be the word I would use, but it did interest me, fascinate me even.

    My encounters with death to date have been the more “normal” losses of elderly parents and relatives. I have not had to cope as yet with the more “abnormal” losses of young loved ones such as you describe. I don’t know how I would cope with that and I pray really really hard that I won’t be called upon to do so. Cowardly streak you see.

    I think anything catastrophic that has happened to me I have tried to make sense of by finding out about it. It doesn’t take away the pain but it does give me something concrete to do with it.

    With love

    Posted by Corinne Shields | October 28, 2012, 6:59 pm
  11. Thanks for your thought and valuable information…………..Keep Blogging.

    Posted by noblenvn | October 29, 2012, 10:12 am
  12. My dearest Yaz, thank you for this brave, beautiful and honest look at death. It is indeed liberating to know that death is actually a messenger of joy. And how it can sometimes take us to the valley of the shadow of death to discover that. I have never told you this but I appreciate you sharing so openly about the loss of your dear son so that we might all live in greater awareness and understanding from all that you have gained and learnt. So much to say, yet I am clearly inexperienced to say anything to you my dear one. Only that I am listening carefully to all you have to say. With love, Sharon

    Posted by aleafinspringtime | October 29, 2012, 3:22 pm
  13. Hey Yaz:) I think you are very brave for being this personal and sharing your story. Thank you for writing about this. It makes me sad to read about the loss of your son, but I can see so much hope in this text. I think it’s so important to dare to see things in perspectives that aren’t written in stone, if you know what I mean by that.
    My grandmother told me many times while growing up, her story from the day her own mother died. She said that she was lying, very sick in her bed, not able to talk anymore. Suddenly she started to point her finger eagerly towards one corner in the room. My grandma didn’t see anything, but her mother kept on pointing and pointing and smiling. She died a short while after this. My grandma has always wondered about this episode.

    What made this story so personal for me is that when she (my grandma) died last year, the exact same thing happened the night before she died. She pointed and pointed. It was just like she wanted to say that she finally understood everything and had a big smile upon her face. But she wasn’t able to talk either. But seeing her this full of peace and joy made it easier to let her go.

    I have never heard anyone else talking about this phenomen before, and that’s why I appreciate so much that you took the time and energy, and that you have the currage to do so. Not many people tend to talk about these things (especially not where I’m from..)

    You seem to be a very wise, intuitive and warm woman 🙂

    Big hug from Mari

    Posted by Mari Therese Jørgensen | October 30, 2012, 12:22 am
  14. First let me say how sorry I am that you lost your dear son. I lost my 27 year old son 3/29/12 in a tragic car accident. I believe that he knew. A few weeks before his passing he spoke about being afraid that he wouldn’t go to heaven. He was such a kind and gentle soul and I assured him that he would. The evening before something kept telling me to tell him how proud I was of him and how much that I loved him. That morning when he got up he was very calm which was not like him at all. He hated getting up early in the morning and was usually really grouchy. I told him that I was proud of him but never said that I loved him. I so wish I had. At his funeral so many people told me that although they hadn’t been in touch for some time that they had recently spoke with him or had seen him, I sure hope you’re right and that he’ll come for me soon.

    Posted by Cheryl Vallance | November 21, 2012, 6:41 pm
  15. Reblogged this on Reflections on Life Thus Far and commented:
    An amazing account of the experiences people often have before dying. Wonderful post worth reading all the way through.

    Posted by reflectionsonlifethusfar | November 24, 2012, 7:48 pm
  16. i’m so sorry for the loss of your son. i’ve worked with they dying and had all four of my grandparents pass and others. with almost all of them, they seemed to get exceptionally better the day before they passed away. with a friend i knew, his mother suggested to him that it’s time he get out on his own and find himself a woman, to which he responded that he wouldn’t live long enough to need too. his sister was also forworned that her brother would pass away for no known reason and that’s what happened.

    Posted by buckwheatsrisk | November 25, 2012, 3:03 am
  17. More

    Posted by Rebecca Young | December 6, 2012, 9:49 pm
  18. I must say you have put across your experience very well. I too lost my daughter to a car accident, a car wreck. She also had premonitions prior.. I had dismissed it as she had alot on her plate with school, work and social life. She had told me she was stalked by a dark shadow for some time. I prayed hard for her but her premonition came true. The night before she died she hung out with alot of people she had estranged and made up with them. It’s been 8 years and I still can’t come to terms of her death. How can I? She’s my daughter.

    Posted by Lucy Lu | December 6, 2012, 9:54 pm
    • Lucy: I know exactly how you feel. I lost my daughter too, a beautiful 14 year old girl who was stunningly beautiful and didn’t even know it. She asked me one day: Mum am I pretty? I said Kaitlyn you are beautiful: DUH MOM you have to say that you are my MOM. So humble she was. I checked her Facebook and she said: I am 14 and have brown hair that is it. She never knew what she meant to everyone. I am truly proud to be her MOM. But yes I know, she was my daughter, and some days I think: Can she really still be gone. It is so darn final, I thought she would come back. I said: Kaitlyn you can’t be gone. And prior to her passing I buried my 2 parents back to back. I went through losing all 3 totally alone. It is 7 years later, and I am still standing, and I think I must be strong or really NUMB. But I put one foot in front of another and I carry on. I am waiting for the day God calls me home and lucy I am not scared, if it means my beautiful Kaitlyn will be waiting. My arms need her. I am truly sorry for your loss of your daughter, but please know I speak because I know:

      Posted by Sue Murray | August 22, 2013, 8:30 pm
  19. I have lost my 21 year old son due to a motor accident in May this year.
    As from that moment, my whole perspective changed. I am still trying to put all this changes into words, but sometimes I think this wil lnot make much sense at all to people who are not going through the same agony. I am so glad to found your blog.
    Have a nice Christmas after all.. thinking of you
    Lots of love

    Posted by daily life impressions | December 13, 2012, 1:15 pm
  20. http://dailylifeimpressions.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=137&action=edit

    Maybe you like to read my post How to decorate for Christmas after all…

    Posted by daily life impressions | December 13, 2012, 1:20 pm
  21. Yaz thank you for sharing… You are such an example of strength and wisdom!

    Posted by coastalmom | December 16, 2012, 10:02 am
  22. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. You have no idea how much peace your words have brought me. I lost my fiancée this past June. About 4 days before he died we were laying in bed when he asked “what’s that word when u feel like something’s about to happen?” I replied ” a premonition?” And he said “yeah I have a premonition that I’m gonna die soon” After just pulling me through open heart surgery I assured him there would be no dying!! 4 days later, 3 days before his 37th bday I would lose the most amazing man to a heart attack. How ironic? And I’ve told a couple ppl about this conversation but idk I always feel like they think I’m making it up. It feels good to know that I’m not the only one that has had to go through this. Because with it comes a lot of what if’s, what if I’d made him go to the dr., what if I’d not let him leave by himself that day….For the first few months I carried a lot of guilt. So again, I thank you for this article that lead me to read all your others! Your words are truly healing.

    Posted by Tiffany Prewitt | December 19, 2012, 3:19 pm
  23. Reblogged this on AngelicView and commented:
    Such a beautiful and well-written story. Thank you, Yaz, for being brave enough to share your experiences with us.

    Posted by angelicview | March 26, 2013, 11:05 am
  24. Yaz, I am grateful for our connection ~ what an amazing post this is! I am so happy you shared it with me on my blog. BIg, peaceful hugs to you. I’m so sad for the loss of your son. Your post brings such peace to me. ~ surely to many others. Thank you for being so brave as to share and to connect with so many by your experiences. xo

    Posted by The Presents of Presence | August 21, 2013, 2:18 pm
  25. My beautiful 14 year old daughter passed away almost 7 years ago. She told me she wanted to donate her organs and not to put her in the ground. It was cold, dark and scary. She said this to me 2 weeks before the accident where an almost blind person struck her at the crosswalk. She told her friends, she would never marry, and never have to worry about bills, etc. I think she was an old soul. I found her one time in the lobby of our bldg and she said this on March 12th (a friend had passed sway 1 year earilier to the day) and she told me when she was eating her supper she looked up and a girl with long brown hair was looking at her. I had very little money and I was going to get her the Titanic DVD for her birthday in May. Something told me to buy it sooner and for a whole week we watched and talked about the movie, ate popcorn and just spent more time with each other. I had put a ring away for her 15th b’day and when I went to pick it up it was called “Stairway to Heaven”. I wear it for her all the time.

    Posted by Sue Murray | August 22, 2013, 4:17 pm
    • Thank you for sharing your story Sue. It brought me to tears. It all speaks to me of a divine plan, and that brings me comfort.

      Posted by Yaz | August 22, 2013, 4:31 pm
      • Thank you YAZ. Not because she was mine, but WOW she was a gem. She taught me so much. There were 600 people at her service, standing room only. We live in a very small community, but she touched so many hearts. I work for the Govt and my salary was frozen for 7 years, but I never spent one penny of her baby bonus, because she wanted to be a doctor. I didn’t want her to have a big student loan, so I banked any extra money and now I look at say well she might have been a doctor, but in her passing she gave life to 5 people and that was my girl, selfless. I am truly proud to be her MOM. I must of done something right. It was only the 2 of us. I left her Dad when she was 10 months old as I knew she needed a very stable parent, and according to her friends, that is what I was. She always told me “Mummy you make me feel so safe” God YAZ I miss her.

        Posted by Sue Murray | August 22, 2013, 8:19 pm
  26. You have shared so much Yaz. Beautiful and filled with wisdom. My heart aches that you had to lose your son at such a young age. So many people who have left comments here also have really touched me. Blessings to all of you! xo

    Posted by Suzanne McRae (@SuzMcRae) | August 24, 2013, 6:08 pm
  27. Yaz, I take an immense amount of unexpected ‘(soul) information’ (there must be a better word for it but right now I can’t find it) away with me every time I read you. Your words of wisdom, penned down with such wonderful precision and clarity, fill me with hope and calm, even on a subject as difficult as death. To have lost a son (I have read about your loss before and I am deeply saddened by what you have had to endure) only to build up the strength within to write about it — with both HOPE and LOVE. Well, it’s incredible, you are incredible. And I am honoured and privileged to know you … love, light & blessings, Caroline xoxo

    Posted by carolineskanne | August 25, 2013, 11:15 pm
    • Thank you for such wonderful, kind words, Caroline. To my mind, if we can’t gain something from tragedy, then everything is hopeless. It all means nothing. I like to look below the surface and find meaning, and this is one example. I’m glad you got something from it. Thank you for reading.

      Posted by Yaz | August 25, 2013, 11:28 pm
  28. I have had personal experience with this topic. When I was 21 I went to a “cattle-call” for Continental Airlines. Hundreds showed up, I was late and the door was already closed. A woman smoking a cigarette outside said that when someone came out I could slip in, she stated it was packed and no one would notice. We struck up a conversation and became fast friends. Out of all the people who showed, only 6 would make it through this multi-interviews and tests. Wouldn’t you know it, Lou-Ellen and I made it, we both were invited to Houston for training. The six-week grueling process brought us closer together. Fast-forward to six months later, the week of my Birthday she took me out to celebrate. We had a few drinks, which is what I attributed this experience to, she told me how much it meant to have me in her life, she told me how much she loved me, and I said the same. What I didn’t know then, this was our last time together in this world, what we had done was say our goodbyes. The night she was killed she came into my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed. It seemed to be in that place between sleeping and awake; I sat up and we talked and cried. She told me she was ok and that she was sad that she didn’t get to take her son, who was 9 at the time and living full-time with her Ex, on all the trips she had planned. She told me she was scared her son would forget her and begged me to not let that happen.
    Another instance is from my paternal Grandmother. My Father died at the age of 22 on December 24th. I never knew him since I was an infant when he died. My Grandmother told me as a teenager that my father came over to her house a week before he died crying. He told her he knew he was going to die and was horribly upset. So much so that he slept over at her house and she comforted him all night. He was shot and killed one week later. My Grandmother died a few years ago, on December 24th., the same day as my dad.

    Posted by Adele Martin | September 26, 2014, 11:13 pm
  29. Thank you for sharing all you have, I have just lost my 22yr old son ( James ) in a RTA 23/12/2014. A dangerous driver hit him while he was taking his early morning bike ride. I losing a son, the grief, the pain, the loss, the suffering. My son told me on his last visit home that he didn’t think he was going to live very long, A few months before this he phoned me as he had nightmares that felt so real, showing visions of Heaven and Hell. He had these night visions over a few nights and was afraid to sleep. He had never before experienced dreams like this and was so shocked he phoned his Mum. It has all been bothering me and I wish I had taken more time to listen fully and take it all in, rather than reassure James nothing was going to happen and not to worry. He was a sensitive young Man and I believe now he was given a premonition which allowed him time to prepare for the transition of Death, the night before he died everyone said how happy and relaxed he was, more than they had seen him before. He is I believe safe in heaven. He will be loved always. One day we will see our precious loved ones again.

    As for everything, there is a season,

    And a time for every matter under heaven,

    A time to be born, and a time to die….

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

    Posted by Sue Trickey | January 29, 2015, 2:38 pm
  30. This article was the best thing I found that addressed my inquiry on feelings of impending death. The term is so broad, most of what came up in google search were articles either related to elderly and terminally ill stages of death, which I am fully aware of and have experienced witnessing with several loved ones who have passed, or related to people who have anxiety of death. Your article, however, is exactly what I was searching for and more. You presented many thoughts, beliefs, and questions I have had my whole life, but never really have been able to verbalize with others, either because the more common reason of being dismissed as crazy or many times because some feelings I have cannot be explained in words. Your article gives me the impression that you would be one to understand these feelings I’ve been having and perhaps have some words to ease my thoughts. You mentioned your son verbalized to you multiple times in his youth that he would die around a specific age and that you denied entertaining the thought and dismissed it as youthful fantasy. If you could go back in time knowing what you know now, what would you say to him to put him at ease?

    The reason I am asking is because ever since I was a small child back to the beginning of my memories (~4 or 5 years old) I can remember having this gut feeling I would not live past 30. There never has been a premonition of how, when, or where. It was more of a matter-of-fact kind of feeling when I was young. I was able from a young age to picture myself all the way up through my twenties, through college, having my first real job, being independent, etc., and then the rest of the image stopped. Most of what I pictured then is how I actually am now. However, no matter how hard I tried, I could not picture having children, aging, owning my own house, and all of the other milestones that follow. I didn’t think much of it when I was young, as I just figured being that young, of course it is difficult to picture past a certain age. As I grew older, the feeling would occasionally come and go, but I seemed not to think about it too much.

    In the past year, most strongly in the past few months, the feeling has resurrected and become stronger than ever. My 30th birthday is a few months away, and deep down I’ve been feeling a twist in my gut. I live with my boyfriend and we have been together for over 5 years. He claims he is close to proposing and we’ve talked about trying to have children after we get married.

    Here’s the thing… I want a child so badly and want to experience that feeling. How is it possible from age 5 I could picture my life at age 25 but now that I am 4 months from turning 30, I still cannot picture my life a year from now? I cannot picture my child, or even my marriage. When I was a child, it seemed like not living past 30 would be a short life, but it was far enough away it didn’t seem to scare me. Now, I am not afraid of death, but more afraid of not being crazy, you could say, and losing out the opportunity I want most to raise my own family.

    I spoke of this with my boyfriend one night after having an anxiety attack about it. He calmed me down, but I could tell he was attributing it to anxiety and did not seem open to entertaining the thought. I can’t say I blame him, because as you said with your son, who wants to think of losing their loved one? All you can do is hope that they are wrong. I really hope that I am wrong, but I just don’t know.

    There is only one person in the world I could ever talk to about this kind of thing and that was my grandmother. She was my best friend, and I would go as far to say she is my soul mate. She passed away just over a year ago and I did not get to have closure with her. It was a really rough year and very depressing, but now life has picked up, I am happier than I have ever been, but still feeling that death is near. Ever since my grandmother passed, she appears in my dreams several nights a week. Sometimes she is just a character, but many times (my favorite times) I have dreams so vivid that are set in the now, and, in the dream, I acknowledge that I know she is dead, but she is sitting right in front of me and we have conversations in my dream-world about my real non-dream-world life just as we did while she was alive. It feels so real. On the nights she visits, I never want to wake up. I just want to stay with her forever.

    So, I am wondering if these feelings I’ve had for so long might actually turn out to be true or if perhaps what I am feeling so strongly now is more connected to emotional grief of losing my other half. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

    You brought up several examples of young people who had similar feelings and it turned out they were right. How many people do you suppose also have those feelings and turn out to be wrong? It’d be interesting to survey. I guess I’ll let you know if I’m still alive in a year. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your blog. I appreciated hearing from an open mind.

    Posted by Forever Young | March 27, 2015, 6:32 am
    • Hello there, thank you for this sharing. It was important to me on many levels, the most critical one being that it helps me get into my son’s head. I often wonder what it felt like to know something like this. Your question of what would I tell him if I had had the courage to listen and enquire? I’d say that there was nothing to fear at all, since if he had conducted the research as I did, there is so much evidence of the journey continuing and of the love that is felt on passing. Also, I’d tell him to live his life fully, and not sit and wait for the moment to occur. That is tantamount to dying before one dies. What I would say to you now is that you have these feelings and they are profound, but death appears in many guises. I’ve died a number of deaths, very profound ones since my son died. Sometimes life calls us to change some aspect of our thinking so that our experience of life can be different. You might want to explore your fears and examine how they hold you back. Perhaps if you tackle them and your life changes, these feelings will go away. You are quite right when you say that there must be many people who have these feelings but don’t die young. We can’t know for sure what will happen, we can only know that our attention is being drawn to something, for some very good reason..

      Thank you again for this.

      Posted by Yaz | March 29, 2015, 9:00 am
  31. My husband passed about 2 1/2 months ago and I believe that he was preparing to transition. We took several pictures in the last months and I could see it in his eyes. Also 2 days before his transition he tied up all unfinished business which I felt was strange because I paid his car note from his account and he did this I always called it in. When he told me he had paid it my heart felt sad because it felt like he did not need me anymore. I felt like I lost apart of him. Also in the weeks before his transition he looked at me and said that I was changing, I thought that that was an odd comment because I was feeling so great because I was so in love and happy. I know we sense things and God prepares us his children in some way, especially when he knows how much this person means too u. I have many incidents but I would be here all day. God Bless

    Posted by Dawne | October 23, 2016, 6:24 pm
    • Thank you for sharing Dawne. I’m sorry about your husband and this awful pain. All our stories build up to form a picture, which is why we need to share. Thanks again for your contribution.

      Posted by Yaz | October 25, 2016, 2:50 pm
  32. I spent 18 yrs in bed and nearly died at the hands of mainstream medicine. In 1996 I had a year to live, I bought a computer and figured out what was wrong, got tested and confirmed. I have a rare genetic life threatening metabolic disorder.. It took me 19 yrs to regain some semblance of life,infact, I’m doing very well and I’m alive without doctors or medication. My success is a direct result of natural medicine.At 69, there’s an irony in this after fighting for my life for decades and succeeding. I’m having premonitions of going home (dying) within the next 18 months. I figured out my medical mystery, so I wanted to know what’s next.There are studies that confirm premonitions of death 2 yrs prior to death and this is common. Many cultures confirm this. I’m looking forward to going home based on the extensive studies on Near Death Experiences, and Biocentrism. A few examples: Dr Robert Lanza, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LWJNcqKhi4 Dr Alan Hugenot, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG8RAVh4VwE&t=93s

    Posted by Guido Sartucci | March 13, 2017, 10:04 pm
    • Very interesting links, Guido. Thank you.

      Posted by Yaz | March 14, 2017, 12:23 am
      • I came across this site which has given me some comfort after reading about the number of people who had a premonition of dying. I lost my 27 year old son 7 weeks ago and still struggling with my loss. My son spoke of not growing old and never getting to the age of 30. We were very close and spoke openly on spirituality etc. the week prior to his death, I felt scared and cried a fair bit as I just knew I was going to lose him. He looked almost angelic and ever so handsome. I even asked him for a photo as I knew deep in my heart it was the last picture I would take. The day he past, he visited his brother around 1.30pm unannounced and told him he loved him and gave him a hug. He was very insightful and asked me if I believed there was another World out there for us when we die? I always knew somehow I would lose him early as his kindness for stray animals, kids and the elderly was unusual and that of an old soul. He didn’t value money and was very generous to all in need. He loved his grandma and decided to visit her the last few hours he had here and took a nap at her house before going to the gym to meet a friend but never woke. At the funeral, lots of people said they ran into him and he stopped to have a conversation with them. It’s the ONLY day he made no contact with me. The day of his death, I woke and said after feeling fearful all week re losing him, “if I am to lose my son, there is nothing I can do about it” he passed 7 hours later in his grandmas house. He told his wife that they would never grow old together and told me often he was going to die and I too wish I embraced and comforted him instead of asking him to stop being morbid. I guess I didn’t want to accept that he was right as my intuition also believed him but my heart was NEVER READY TO ACCEPT! Thank you so much YAZ for starting this post. I have been reading books on NDE and NDA to help comfort me knowing he is safe and is back in a place much better than Earth, full of animals and kids and people who are as kind and compassionate as he is. 🙏

        Posted by Gabby | June 14, 2017, 12:09 pm
      • Thank you for sharing your story, Gabby. The more we share, the better it is for others who pass this way. I’m so sorry about your loss; it’s still so early, but we need the comfort of such stories in the early days. Lots of love to you.

        Posted by Yaz | June 15, 2017, 4:57 pm
  33. I had a premonition two days before my son died – some years later I had a dream where he took his sister’s hand and just disappeared into the distance – my daughter killed herself in 2014. On the day she died I had a freezing cold feeling around my solar plexus. I am now 86 but very very sad to have lost my children. Maybe there is truth in the biblical saying ” there is a time to be born and a time to die”

    Posted by sheila weston | August 12, 2017, 9:06 am


  1. Pingback: Plain Friends: Yaz Rooney « Citizen Plain - October 25, 2012

  2. Pingback: The Death Instinct…A Time to Live, and a Time to Die? « bent people - October 26, 2012

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