To know more about the numerous spiritual signs that occur before an individual’s death, we have to understand death and its meaning.
What do we know about Death?
Death is described as an end of all biological functions that support a living organism or any living being. In human beings’ death can take place due to various common causes like old age, malnutrition, suicide, disease, etc. Death can also occur during war, due to radiation toxicity, or even accidents or a fatal injury. The causes of death are many and culminating with the end of the living process of a living being or a human being. Post-death decomposition of the body starts to take place, a regular process with every living organism, hastening for immediate burial or cremation as per the individual’s religion. Very often the sign of death is also described as a living being turning cold as a result of rigor mortis setting in due time.
The Medical definition of death is very clear that it is the end of all the biological functions of a human being. But from a legal standpoint, the medical definition of death is often debated due to the numerous criteria that determine death. This is because when death occurs, the organ system function does not end immediately even though life ends. This makes it quite difficult to understand the concept of death medically & legally.
Even some have tried to define death in terms of the end of consciousness. This approach is again flawed as many organisms are alive but not conscious, unlike living beings. Death connected to the end of consciousness is further debated with various definitions given by modern scientists & psychologists. Many religious traditions do not believe or agree with the interpretation that death means the end of consciousness. Nowadays, in Medical Science, end of consciousness is often termed as brain-dead or as biologically dead. In this case, the electrical activity of an individual’s brain ceases, described medically as a ‘comatose state’ or a state of coma.
There are many descriptions of death as per the various religious beliefs existing in the world. Each religion formally defines death in their traditional sense & ways but in the end it simply means the passing away of a living being.
Spirituality & Death
Death is an event beyond our understanding & much more than a physical process. Many religious traditions accept death peacefully as a transition to another life while some fear it.
Numerous spiritual-emotional signs prevail as indicators when the death of an individual is imminent, much more than the physical signs.
There are various spiritual signs of death which also indicate that an individual gets emotionally disturbed when nearing his death.
• Social Distancing:
The dying person starts interest in people around them & will stop interacting. They would socially distance themselves from others, even their own family while ranting & mumbling to themselves. By the time they are at the very end of death, they might become active and alert, often misunderstood as getting better. This spiritual sign of death often indicates that many people have often gone through this process of active phase towards the end with one last relevant conversation before dying.
• Remembering the Past:
Many people often tend to remember their past life of childhood, adulthood or even raising children, when nearing their death. The memories not necessarily are actual but could be delusional with fleeting moments of lucidity and a sense of regret or a wish to converse. This spiritual sign of death should be treasured & not discouraged as if not making any sense, keeping him happier during the process of his death.
• Funeral Plans:
Many people when nearing death often become more peaceful and compassionate towards their loved ones. Some end up discussing issues relating to the distribution of family artifacts or even one’s funeral, post-death. This is a natural process & is of great significance to many while dying. This spiritual sign of death is very important to reassure the person on the deathbed that his wishes will be carried out for him to let go of his body & soul.
• A Disoriented State:
People sometimes tend to become confused and delusional while on their deathbed and this is one of the spiritual signs of death. They might start believing in illusionary things and make stories around them. The delusional aspect of the patient often ends up putting pressure on him mentally, thus, creating more psychological problems, creating fear and doubtfulness towards others. Some at this juncture even hallucinate & might speak to someone already dead or no one present in the room, often found or thought to be a sign of one nearing death. This Spiritual sign of death has to be approached very calmly as a person at this stage of death might not recognize their loved ones immediately. Speak with a soft voice while identifying yourself & provide a calm surrounding, for him to relax from his confused state.
· Fatigue & Sleep:
As death nears people tend to sleep for more hours and does not wake up fully even if they are awake. This is due to the turn-around of the metabolism slowing down creating more fatigue and tiredness leading to increased sleeping hours for sleep. This slow down also adds up to a loss of appetite and intake of fluids, leading to dehydration, contributing to his weakness followed with drowsiness. This Spiritual sign of death has to be provided by talking or whispering in front of him so as not to disturb him & by discouraging visitors. It is said that the sense of hearing is the last to go, so hope & assume that he can still hear you.
Spiritual Signs of Death
Each living being is different socially, economically & religiously. Therefore, it’s very difficult to predict the end of life of each individual or even your loved ones. There are emotional, physical, or even spiritual signs which often indicate that the death of you or your loved ones is near. On the physical level, the body starts shutting down one by one.
The Spiritual sign of the death of loved ones or friends especially when the end is near often motivates people to seek help from spiritual rituals. This spiritual fervor helps the spirit of the dying person to begin the final process of his release from the body, surroundings & all attachments. The spiritual sign of death is the sense of an individual’s soul & personality slowly leaving or fading away from the body. The spiritual signs of death may be as follows:
• Reviewing Life:
It is a normal human tendency to lean towards spiritual activity whenever a close loved one of the family falls very sick with no hope for recovery. Spiritual healing is the basic source of help when medical healing becomes redundant. Other than the healing process for the patient to die peacefully, fulfilling the desire of completing any unfinished business of the dying person is very important in letting go process. This spiritual sign of death can be fulfilled by emoting expressively in spiritual affirmation with love, prayer & support to the dying man.
• Love & Emotions:
Each family has its ways of expressing love & respect for each other. Some are forthcoming while some others tend to be reserved, while many being detached or rather more to keeping to themselves. But many times this mask of expression gets tossed aside whenever any close ones of your family fall sick. Expressing yourselves gently or even asking for forgiveness is the right way of expressing care & support to the loved one. This spiritual sign of death can be acknowledged by expressing forgiveness, thankfulness & love to the loved person even if he is not in a position to respond physically or verbally. Family presence with the loved one is of utmost importance here.
• Waiting for Death:
When a sick & dying individual is on the deathbed, people frequently ask whether his time has come or for how much time would he still survive death. No one can predict anyone’s death but very often it is seen that some signs do show up. During the transition, your loved one’s might undergo restlessness or a sense of delirium when crossing over to a higher spiritual level and in many cases transiting to the other side peacefully. This spiritual sign of death can be fulfilled by bidding goodbye & permitting him to leave lovingly & willingly.
• Rituals & Traditions:
Life & death are extreme passages of human life, while death comes at the end. Spirituality is a sense of belief that there is something greater than oneself, which is cosmic or divine. This belief of spirituality & death in turn has generated various sacramental rituals & religious rites influencing ceremonies for death, burial & bereavement. This spiritual sign of death can be offered by reading religious scriptures or meditating or even through music or restoring beliefs through religious symbols, during the time of death.
• Letting go of your loved one:
Releasing your loved one is very important for a spirit to makes its transition. One has to be strong to let go of your loved ones for the transition of his spirit to higher levels take place. This spiritual sign of death can be attained by planning rituals and ceremonies to enhance the process of dying peacefully. Pray for your loved one’s peaceful journey to the other side of eternity. Death is the end of the living being. With death, a person’s body stops functioning & is gone forever. Spiritual or religious beliefs help a person to realize a larger meaning about life & death.