A classmate shared this with me… Her husband’s brother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on 11 April 2017, predicted to have 5 weeks left to live. His daughter is a devoted Pure Land practitioner and started support-chanting by his side on 16 April in hospital and later at home after discharge.
The family, patient’s wife, son, daughter-in-law, daughter etc. took shifts to do Nianfo Practice (i.e. be sincerely mindful of Amitabha Buddha’s name – ‘Amituofo’ – with the right Faith and Aspiration) by his side non-stop. Meanwhile, his daughter offered guidance (once a while), telling him not to be afraid, and to go with Amituofo when he comes to guide him to his Pure Land.
Most of the time, his eyes were closed. The night before he left, the family saw a glow of light emitting from his body. They checked to see if it was the flashlight from his phone. It was not. The next morning, on 22 May, he suddenly opened his eyes, and the wife, son, and daughter-in-law saw a shaft of white light from his eyes shoot straight ahead towards the Amituofo picture in front of his bed. He then passed away. The daughter was not there to witness this.
The family observed Nianfo for the next 8 hours, without crying or touching the body. My classmate was there to Nianfo too, and said his face was peaceful and serene. I asked her if she is a believer now, and she said she will Nianfo from now on!
Ping (Name changed for privacy)
This is a wonderfully clear case of the effects of  offering right guidance with support-chanting in time, along with  taking of shifts to continually motivate the dying with Nianfo, and  ensuring the deceased is neither physically nor emotionally disturbed even after death. These 3 factors happen to be ‘The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death’, as reminded by the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yinguang.
The bodily glow could be due to the body being protected by the energy of Nianfo, in terms of resonance with Amituofo’s blessings. As it was near death, it could also be the consciousness as energy about to depart from the body, but from no clear area then, until later.
Light from the eyes going towards the Amituofo image probably represents his consciousness going towards the actual Amituofo. Perhaps due to their inadequate affinity then, the family did not see Amituofo manifest in person. Yet, what they assuringly saw should stand for his arrival. Consciousness departing from the eyes usually means rebirth in a heavenly plane due to positive karma. However, the dying seemed to be swiftly guided by Amituofo to reach his Pure Land. The consciousness was probably also naturally directed through the eyes due to active and attentive seeing then. Once the dying is ready with the Three Provisions (of Faith, Aspiration and Practice), Amituofo’s deliverance is always swift.
That the Pure Land practising daughter was not there to witness it, while several others did, this actually makes the above testimonial even more convincing, to be less likely to be due to personal hopeful bias creating any false perceptions. This wonderful experience also served to inspire the witnesses to give rise to the Three Provisions to practise Nianfo. May it inspire you too!