Hi Brother Shi’an, I would like to share my experience of seeing how my Mother pass away blissfully with the help,of support-chanting.
On 23rd March at 6 am, when my son woke up to get ready for school, he found my Mum lying unconscious on the sofa. I tried to wake her, calling her a few times, but there was no response. I tried to lift her feet up, which were cold and stiff. Thinking she might have had a stroke, I called for an ambulance and she was sent to Changi General Hospital.
At the A&E ward, the doctor did a scan of her head, as they found there swelling behind. The scan showed that there was a 2.4 cm blood clot pushing the left of the brain towards the right, which made her unconscious. They also found a hairline crack on the skull with the scan. The bad news was that brain surgery may or may not save her, while she most likely will be bedridden or be on life support. Alternatively, we could just let her go naturally.
My Mum was a believer of Nianfo, for connecting with Amituofo, chanting Amituofo daily, morning and night. Although she had very little knowledge of Buddhism, she understands that human life is with much suffering (人生的苦), having said that she does not want to be reborn in the six realms again. She always told me if it is her time to go, she will follow Amituofo to his Pure Land.
Thus, I decided to assist her in chanting Amituofo on her deathbed. With the help of my brother-in-law and his wife, my sister-in-law and her husband, we started support-chanting for my Mum from 4 pm, once she was transferred to a ward. Many relatives who came to visit helped to chant too. From your ‘Destination Pureland: How To Have The Best Rebirth’ course, I had learnt how to use the Rebirth Blanket, and to have continuous support-chanting. This helped Mum a lot, as she was very calm throughout.
Mum was very blessed. With the help of my brother’s girlfriend, who managed to get some support-chanting volunteers from a Buddhist society to come over to the hospital to help as well. After my brother-in-law left that night, the volunteers took over and continued with the chanting.
At around 3 am, I saw that Mum’s face was red, as she was having fever, and looked a little uncomfortable. I told her this by her ear, ‘Mummy, please don’t worry. As you can see, there are so many Buddhist brothers and sisters here to help you. I too, am by your side, to Nianfo together. You must wholeheartedly aspire to reach the Land Of Ultimate Bliss. You can make it. Please be at peace to follow Amituofo, to where there is no more suffering. We will take care of ourselves. Please don’t worry.’（妈咪，你放心。你看 – 有很多师兄师姐们在帮你。我也在你身边和你一起念佛。你要一心想去极乐世界。你可以做到的。请安心跟阿弥陀佛去，就不再辛苦。我们都会照顾自己。 你放心。）Although I was unwilling to part in my heart, what more with my elder brother rushing to fly over to see her one last time, I could not bear to see Mum suffer. I saw her eye move a bit, as if she heard me and agreed.
I started chanting with the volunteers, telling myself not to grieve. If Amituofo is coming to receive my Mum, I should happily send her off. So I started chanting with a smile, and it was very blissful. At 5 am, the volunteers decided to take a short break. I was very tired and sleepy, but I told myself to stay focused as I was the only person left. On and off, I would check Mum’s breathing. It was still quite fast, before she gradually took longer breaths, and stopped breathing . Immediately I woke up my husband, to confirm that this is so.
She looked so clam and peaceful. She did not struggle at all. The redness and frown on her face were gone, looking as if she was sleeping. She passed away on 24th March at 6 am. Throughout the chanting, although I did not experience any special sign, my husband told me that a few minutes after Mum passed away, he smelt very pleasant fragrance. We tried our best to continue to chant for Mum even after she had passed away.
We only managed to chant for another four hours. As the hospital has to collect Mum’s body to Singapore General Hospital for coronary report, we could only collect her body the next day. I was quite worried. However, the next day, after seeing Mum’s body at the mortuary, I had a sense of relief, as her face still looked calm, as if with a smile. When my sister and I were doing cleaning (净身) for Mum’s body, her hand and head were still soft. We did not have much problem dressing her, except for a leg, which was all along a little stiff when alive.
I sincerely hope Mum had followed Amituofo to his Pure Land. After this experience, my children and sisters became interested in Nianfo and learning Buddhism. Although Mum had departed, she enabled many to Nianfo together, which is surely very meritorious! I wish to use this opportunity, to share with everyone on the advantages of daily Nianfo practice, so as to know what to do calmly in an emergency, to not be at a loss. Daily practice is also important as most of us do not know the day of our departure. As Mum had daily practice, she was able to peacefully depart. Namo Amituofo.
Note: Although there was some negative karma that manifested a fall, there was more importantly enough positive karma (and merits) to receive adequate support-chanting to facilitate reaching of Pure Land. Without everyday practice to clear much negative karma, and to create more merits, this might not have been possible.