My relatives had all came to see my grandmother when she was lying in coma for about a week on her bed at home, she had fallen twice and the second fall sealed her fate. Everyone knew that she had not long to live but didn’t know when her time would come. My grandmother was like a nanny to me, she took care of me ever since I was small while my parents were away at work and therefore I was naturally very close to her. At about 7pm my parents left the house for some errands, at this point of time I actually went up to my grandmother and told her that everyone has already visited her and it was time for her to leave peacefully. Immediately after saying those words she began to open her eyes to look at me, that was the last time she saw me and after letting out three breaths she finally passed away on August 1986.
Looking back at the incident almost 30 years ago it reminded me of what Arjarn Bhram said in his dharma ” Give people the permission to die” Some dying people struggle to hang on because they are afraid of upsetting their loved ones, they are afraid to let go and this emotion is extremely bad for the dying person because in Buddhism where you will be reborn in your next life really depend on the moment of your death. If one dies without attachment to anything they will enter the higher realms, if they are attached to this material world they will be reborn in the Peta(Hungry Ghost) realm. It is important not to upset the dying person at his moment of death and most dying people prefer to die in private instead of having many people around. I say this because I had witness the death of both my grandmother and father. They both passed away only when their immediate family members were with them.
Arjarn Bhram once highlighted an important point that many of us seemed oblivious about. He said that when we visit a sick person, never ask them “How are you?” If they are well they wouldn’t be in the hospital or lying on a sick bed. Not everyone likes to be visited when they are unwell, not everyone likes informing others that they are unwell too. Reason being that they will be plagued with nuisance enquiry on how they are. Before visiting or asking about a sick person its important to find out about that person’s character otherwise you will be invading their privacy even though your intentions are good. Keep your good intentions but respect others as well.