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My Experience of my Grandma Passing Away

Experience submitted by Ella Klyashitsky
Experience submitted by Ella Klyashitsky

My grandma lived until she was 98, so it wasn’t a big surprise when she passed away. I’d almost been expecting it for ten years. But what I learned about death through her passing was unexpected.

One night I woke up suddenly from a very strong dream where one of my teeth had fallen out. It wasn’t like this was just something that happened in the story of my dream, this was a big event that I woke up from.

In my experience the dreams that I wake up from with the impressions still vivid seem to be important, often with messages. Either the power of the dream wakes you up or you’re woken to remember its message better.

Either way, I knew this dream was not ordinary, and I checked the meaning of the symbol in Belsebuub’s book on astral travel and dreams. It said: loss.

My grandma came to mind. I phoned my father soon after, who had been living with her for the last five years or so to look after her, but he didn’t mention any change.

A few weeks later I dreamt my grandma was going through her belongings. She accidentally threw away her photo albums, all those images of her life, and she seemed muddled and confused. I felt then that she was preparing to go, that it wouldn’t be long.

Just after Christmas my dad was due to go away with my sister to Paris. My sister was back in the UK from Australia for just a few weeks – she only does this every two years. So this was a big thing for my dad.

It was arranged for his sister, my aunt, to take his place for that time to look after my grandma. Just before he was due to go he called the local doctor in to check on my grandma – she’d had a bit of a cough and was sleeping more than usual.

The doctor checked her over and said she was fine — just old. So my dad left. My aunt is a doctor too, and when she arrived she also examined my grandma. But my aunt saw she now had pneumonia.

When I was told the situation I thought it must be the end, and it was. My dad and sister had just got to Paris when they called to tell me she’d died.

Me and my grandmother Gwen
Me and my grandmother Gwen

That night, I dreamt I was in her house, one I knew so well. She was shuffling around the hallway, it was such a familiar sight. Then I was curled up behind her in her bed, giving her a hug. I could see her shoulder and nightdress, but felt she wasn’t really there or aware of my presence. It was six weeks after my dream about loss.

A couple of days later I traveled across the country to be with my aunt and help with the funeral preparations. It was decided that my dad and sister should stay in Paris, where they could have something of a break.

It was then that I started to see something incredible. I felt that I could perceive how people had been moved around like chess pieces to make my grandma’s death more peaceful for everyone.

It was almost as if she had planned it exactly how she had wanted it — though it must have been a higher intelligence. My father was very shielded, and my aunt was actually with her when she passed away.

Even the fact that the first doctor said nothing was wrong meant that she could stay at home rather than go to hospital, and that my dad left with a clear conscience.

My grandma even got to spend a last night in her own bed, as it was late when she died and my aunt was asked if it was OK for her to stay until the morning. At one point my aunt commented on how my grandma habitually slept and it corresponded with how she had been lying when I was with her in the dream I had the night she died.

I didn’t know her body had stayed at home, and I was left feeling that I had really been there, that I had seen and been with her ‘ghost.’

The fact that I saw her doing the same thing that she would have been doing before she died makes me feel like it was her personality, repeating habits. I don’t feel like I met the ‘real’ her, like in this experience.

The other ‘perfect timing’ thing was that all her grandchildren were in Europe for the first time in years, so were all able to attend her funeral. At the funeral, I learned about the telepathic power of emotions.


As soon as I walked into that full chapel, I sensed the combined effect of people’s emotions as a palpable atmosphere. Though I tried to stay free of it, an enormous wave of emotion hit me and pulled me into a sorrow that I could hardly shake for the whole of the service.

I know not all deaths are like this. Some are ‘terribly timed’, too soon, violent and awful. But not this one, for whatever reason. Similarly some lives are full of hardship and suffering, others seem to have been dealt a different hand. Perhaps there are similar laws that govern death as govern life.

My grandma’s death seemed overlooked by a very loving and caring intelligence that oversaw the whole process and I felt like I could intuitively sense this presence. It’s said that people often meet representations of loved ones when they die, to provide comfort. In this case this effort to provide comfort seemed to extend to those that were left behind too, as well as for my grandma in the physical part of the process of dying.

By Evelyn De Morgan – via Wiki Commons

The painting of the Angel of Death, by Evelyn De Morgan, struck me when I first saw it, as I’d never seen images of this angel full of compassion before, only scary ‘grim reaper’ type portrayals.

Images like this one, experiences like this one, as well as Belsebuub’s explanations of karma, death, and the cycle of lives have helped me realize that even things like karma and death are administered by beings that are full of wisdom and love.

My grandma passing away acted as a stark reminder that death is waiting for me, and everyone. This was one of the biggest reflections it evoked, and I feel that I saw this realization behind many people’s grief too.

This talk by Belsebuub has a lot of profound information about the process of dying, and about the importance of seeing life in the context of death.


  • Hi Michael,

    thanks for sharing your experience with grief. I think what you say about having the chance to be part of the process of someone’s passing having a sort of ‘therapeutic’ effect in itself is important. I know someone who really wanted to make a long journey to see their father when they were gravely ill, but were told by relatives not to bother and that he’d be OK. So despite that person’s gut instinct they didn’t go – their father died and they’ve regretted it ever since. It makes me feel that ceremonies like funerals have an important function and help people to understand better the reality of something.
    I know what you mean about processing things from a removed and mental angle at first – I think it’s the best we can manage at times; I mean, so much of the esoteric work is partially only fathomed intellectually while a deeper understanding is worked upon. It makes me consider how to be able to ‘awaken perception’, and it brings me right back to the esoteric practises that Belsebuub gives …

    • Hi Ella,

      I can relate to what you said about some aspects of the esoteric work being abstract at first, before we gain the personal experience to bring about a profound understanding. In relation to death, it’s common to think “that’s unfortunate” when it happens to others, but somehow not connect that eventuality with our own lives.

      It seems that many serious things can quite often be brushed aside, until we experience the consequences of our actions first-hand. For example, in the UK, the government health warnings on cigarette packets now include graphic descriptions of smoking-related illnesses and sometimes images of diseased lungs, but somehow it’s still very common for people to put this information aside until its impact is felt directly.

      I can remember making some quite reckless choices myself as a teenager and young adult, and looking back I can see that it must have been quite difficult for my parents at times, to see me engaging in potentially dangerous behaviours, but not having the understanding to take their advice seriously. I guess this is a difficulty that many parents face – knowing how to create a balance between protecting their children, while at the same time allowing them to learn from their mistakes.

  • This is such a beautiful experience. Thank you for sharing Ella. It brings a sense of calm somehow, feeling that the divine has control over things and are helping those passing away, as well as those left behind. It’s also interesting to me that losing your teeth in a dream can symbolize loss.

    I remember how during my mom’s funeral, it would first rain, but then the sun would come out after the coffin was in the ground. And I looked at how the sky opened up, and how beautiful it was. I was only 13 then, but I felt it was a sign somehow. At least it gave me comfort to think so. It makes me wonder if we can look at the simplest things and feel how the divine is looking after us. To see how much we’re comforted. I love how you could intuitively sense that great intelligence looking after all of you.

    And also after my dad passed away, I can look at the lives of those of us left behind, and see how we’ve been blessed in so many ways. I feel we’ve been given extra gifts because of the great pain of losing him.

    • Hi Anne Linn,

      I know what you mean about that sense of calm. It did make me appreciate just how tightly controlled physical events can be by them in order to produce, or encourage, a certain outcome. I’ve felt this before, in the sense of synchronicity, “meaningful coincidences”, events happening with a profound timing.
      I’m glad you could sense something beautiful during your mum’s funeral. What you say about being given extra gifts because of the great pain of the loss of your parents, well it makes me remember how pain is a great teacher. If it wasn’t, then why would karma be an instrument used in the ‘school of life’?

      It also makes me remember having a real sense of how fickle I was, in part through growing up in a comfortable western environment, during peace time, with few cares, and in a materialistic era. When I first came across people of the same age from very different countries I felt sometimes that they had more depth to them, that they had more wisdom, as life had exposed them to more ‘real things’ – basically death, how close death is to life. It also makes me think of how devastated I was when my first pet hamster died, how I sobbed for hours with the pain of it, and then being told by my mum later on that the reason we had a hamster in the first place was so we would experience it dying, experience loss, to prepare us. And like my physical mother helped me to understand life through little lessons that I could bear though were hard, our divine mother must work in similar ways …

      • That’s interesting that your mum bought you the pet hamster so that you would learn about loss Ella. It seems quite a caring thing for a mother to do – to prepare you for sorrow in life.

        It reminds me of some of the initiations in tribal cultures, where the young men have to spend the night alone, on the open land. It prepares them for adulthood, when they will need to fend for themselves in similar territories. The young man may think his is completely alone, but actually the father is watching him all the time from a distance, which I feel is similar to the role that our divine parents play in our spiritual lives.

        I agree with the point you made about how going through difficulties can actually make us stronger and wiser, which in turn can help us to support others in a better way, as we have personal experience of their suffering and so are much more able to empathise and give appropriate advice.

        It’s easy to take things for granted when we have all that we need, but when nearly everything is taken away, I think it can lead to a much greater appreciation of the little things that we still have left.

      • The divine must always be working very hard behind the scenes to make everything happen as it should.

        Sounds like you have a very wise mom 🙂

        And I like the thought that our divine mother is teaching us in similar ways. Sometimes I think I sense great love behind the pain, but maybe that’s easier to see after I’ve gone through it. But yes, I think pain is a great teacher.

    • Thanks for sharing that Anne Linn. It seems that our own lives and the lives of those close to us are very interconnected. I’m glad that there were some positive changes in your life, despite the pain of losing your loved ones.

  • Thanks for sharing your story Ella. It’s a very intimate story. It seems you got a lot of experience and guidance through your dreams too. And that’s really quite special, considering this is a major life event for your family member. I remember just after I started learning about OBE’s, a friend died tragically in a car accident. A short while later I had a dream of being in a cave that was lit with a warm light and I was waiting for him, wondering where he was, trying to find him.. Not sure what to really think of that one, and I was hoping to get a dream with a bit more concrete understanding.

    This past April (1 year now) my Grandmother passed as well. She was 94. We live 6.5 hours away from her, but I was able to visit and be present near the end. I am still very grateful that I was the last person to lift her up out of bed and back again so she could be wheeled to the bathroom for potty and washing. My Mom and I prayed with her at her bedside. And she died a few days later after I had left. For the funeral, I played the organ/piano and all my sisters and female cousins sang in gorgeous chorus some of her favourite songs and I carried her casket with my uncles and male cousins and put her in the hearse at the end of the ceremony. And the church bell tolled.

    Over all it was a beautiful experience of life and death. Not easy, but it still had a great beauty to it and I felt that the mystery of life and death and our purpose here was highlighted. With my Grandma, it seemed much in the same way as yours, everything going just the way it needed to be. Everything being taken care of. But that was in stark contrast to my former friend, who was a gentle kind person who lost his life suddenly and his family who was left with a gaping whole… In either case, it’s a large mystery. Death is one of those subjects which get me fired up.. Great fodder for the work and to spur inner investigation.

    • Thanks for sharing Andrew, it sounds like your family created a really meaningful goodbye between you. One someone dies in their 90s and peacefully, it is easy to feel the care behind it, and when it’s in the ‘natural order of things’ the grief is understandably lessened by that comfort. Though I’ve not been through the shock of loosing someone close and in the ‘prime of life’ suddenly, I’ve no illusions that it would evoke a very different set of feelings. A much bigger, and harsher, mystery of life is faced – the fact that it can just be ‘interrupted’ by death at any time – and points to much more difficult to comprehend workings of the divine law.

    • Thanks Andrew for sharing your experiences of losing your grandma and friend. Your grandma’s funeral sounds like a very special event and it seems that there can be such a contrast between the almost orchestrated series of events, which accompany some people’s passing, compared with the chaos that ensues following sudden and tragic deaths, like the car crash involving your friend.

      There’s so much to learn about death, just as there is so much to learn about life and I feel fortunate to have found some of the tools to investigate life beyond the physical body, while I’m still alive.

  • Thank you Ella for sharing the details of this personal experience. I know what you mean about the Divine arranging the people and circumstances, especially in the situations like this. I have witnessed 3 major deaths in my family, one of them being my father’s, and in all 3 of them I could see how the events and situations were orchestrated for these people to have their chance to say last good bye to the loved ones that lived far away, meeting friends they haven’t seen for a while, and then at the end, dying in a situation that was best for everyone. The 2 people I felt very close to (my dad and my grandmom) died while I was present, or shortly after I saw them. I felt I would not have wanted them to go while I was far away, and felt grateful I could be there in those important moments.

    It is really interesting what you experienced about meeting your grandma in a clear dream the night she died. It does sound like you could have met her ghost/personality in that dream and got a chance to last time hug her. It is also interesting how you could feel the “lifelessness” in her, as opposed to her normal, living spirit. This made me recall the experience when my father died, the intuitive mental vision I got of him as he was dying in the ambulance vehicle. I felt/saw him rising above the car, joyful and smiling, as if enjoying the newly found freedom of floating. 🙂 If that vision/feeling was real, then I am sure that must have been his living spark, as it felt very lively and had that carefree and bold attitude I always admired my father for.

    Thank you for sharing again, it looks like you gained a lot of insight from this experience. I like what you pointed out about the angels of death too.

    • Hey Lucia, yes it seems our experiences were similar and yes I’m sure it was my grandma’s ‘ghost’ I saw. I had a funny relationship with her, even though for all my life she seemed ancient, and in a way quite distant, from another era with a different set of rules, there were times when we could really ‘connect’ and feel very close. One time was years before she died, when she was in hospital after a fall and everyone, including herself probably, was thinking how close she was to death. It only takes a smile or a certain look to carry an understanding between people, and though we never talked much beyond pleasantries and didn’t have words to covey meaning between us, still at times I felt a lot was was shared and a deep understanding felt. She used poems to say things! It was such a big thing to recite poetry when she was young, and though she couldn’t remember what day it was, she still had these epic poems in her memory. She would pull one out from there, or open her favourite book, and choose one with a ‘just so’ meaning. Of all my family, she has been the one I’ve seen most religious faith in, and it came through in how she always tried to encourage us to ‘just be happy whatever you do’. Actually, the little rhyme she used to say instead of a goodbye was quite spiritual really! (It’s by Charles Kingsley)

      “Farewell sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
      Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
      And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever
      One grand, sweet song.”

      • That’s so sweet Ella, the poem and everything about your grandmom. She seemed to be a very positive person, I noticed these kind of people tend to live long lives! And I know what you mean about “seemed to live in a different era”, as my grandmom was the same. She was writing poetry and had a great sense of beauty and little details. She was also very religious and told me once she had been praying for me every night. That made me think if some crazy situations I put myself into in my youth didn’t end up badly also due to her prayers… When socialism broke in Slovakia, I started reading some magazines that spoke about near-death experiences and life after death, and when I brought her one, she read it all and asked me for more. 🙂 So even though she was very religious and catholic, still her mind was open and thirsty for truth.

        I hope your grandmom will be born again in spiritually very conducive environment!

  • Thank you for sharing your experience, Ella. I gleaned a lot from your reflections.

    I found your observations of death and the higher intelligence, and even love, behind the process quite striking. Through your symbolic dreams leading up to your grandmother’s passing and the way everyone was moved around like chess pieces, in a very compassionate manner, it gives a very different perspective of death. I also appreciate the art piece you shared with the Angel of Death showing such compassion. Sometimes, because death is so mysterious and “final”, we can lose sight on the fact that spiritual forces are at work, too.

    • Hi Mike,

      yes it was quite striking for me too – I mean, I had theoretically heard that there’s an angel of death who had compassion, but couldn’t quite ‘get my head around it’, and the odd story of how people see relatives in the physical before they die. But then some deaths are really immersed in sorrow and seem, from our limited perspective of the laws at play, very cruel. To be able to hold the two different pictures together seems very difficult, but I can see now how it’s one of the many paradoxes and examples of duel forces at play in life and like I mentioned, that even things like karma and the suffering it brings, are said to be ultimately administered by awakened beings, who are actually merciful and loving. But it does also seem quite extraordinary that every human’s life is overseen by these complex and hidden forces. It looked to me as though the moment of death was put into play at least six weeks before it happened, and was distinctly of a caring nature. In the talk I posted Belsebuub also mentions that even though someone’s conscious mind might not fathom it, their essence realises their time is approaching how this understanding can be helped from above, so that people go through an ‘acceptance’ before they die, or something similar. It seems my grandma was much more inward before she died, and my dad said she’d even looked a bit scared before going to bed on a few occasions leading up to the night she died.

  • Hi, Ella. Thank you for sharing this very personal story. I think many people can feel a bit uncomfortable talking about death, but it is so much part of our lives and it seems so important to know what kind of a process it is and I think it can also help us to put our lives into their true context. It can be a difficult topic, but it’s a very important one.

    I remember when my grandma passed I was very humbled by the spiritual help and support that was present.

    PS I liked the photos you’ve shared. You look like a very inquisitive baby : )

    • I was also going to mention one photo. I found there’s something very nice about the one towards the bottom left of the board where a young gentleman is said goodbye to by Ella’s gran. Of a nice and loving moment that is not often captured on camera.

    • Hey Pavlin,

      yes it is a hard topic, and I was really struck by feeling how so much of my own grief and that of others was through coming face-to-face with our own mortality. Life goes on hold for a while as you remember death, and then slowly returns to normal and the bigger picture is forgotten, until you’re shaken my it again. I wish to be able to hold onto the sense of life’s transience more.

      That was the only picture I could get on my computer! But I also liked it, I felt like I saw something of the joy my grandma had in holding her first grandchild! I also found the dream symbology I was shown of her throwing away her picture albums very curious. It was an obvious reference to saying goodbye to her life, but it also touched on something we used to do a lot together – go through these ancient albums. When I was young I was really drawn to these grainy pictures of my ancestors and hearing her stories of their lives. I used to find it fascinating that all these different couples had to meet to produce ‘me’, (what are the chances!) obviously before I was told about reincarnation and was still grappling with a sense of where I came from. Somehow those albums were what first evoked in me a sense of how a whole life is lead and all that’s left of you are a few pictures and someone’s rusty memory of what you did. It seemed like a powerful symbol to use in the dream to mean how one life is fleeting, with the context of: use it for what’s eternal.

      PS – Karim I agree, that’s a really tender picture of my cousin and grandma.

  • Thanks Ella.

    Like you describe, it seems that surrounding a big event such as death the orchestration and help of the divine seems much more apparent.

    It’s so interesting because there can be so much learning going on at those times, not only for the person facing death, but everyone around as well according to what’s best for them. It even seems you were given your own insights in the way that’s suitable to you, with dreams and in seeing the whole ‘chess performance’.

    Something I’ve noticed for myself, and Pavlin mentions something like it in comment as well, is that we can even be helped to have the opportunity to help. I mean we might want to help genuinely but then by divine help that opportunity is presented to us and this is just absolutely wonderful imo. When I was involved in a person’s life facing a terminal illness I was also, I see now, granted a job that I could do, one that others wouldn’t have been able to do in that way. Furthermore I could see how others were also helping out in their particular way. All these helping hands were little forces gathering towards this central cause, by the power of love. This also then had a moving impact back onto everyone.

    It is incredible to see the amount of suffering going on for people, it’s very serious sometimes. People don’t know the reason. And for those believing in more, in the existence of the divine, someone can wonder how is that possible? To contemplate this definitely reveals a higher purpose to it all. I hope to make use of the precious opportunity allotted to me.

    • Hi Karim,

      I know what you mean about being brought the opportunity to help, and how this can be a gift in as much as actually being helped can be. I also wrote somewhere about an experience of feeling placed in someone’s life just at the time their mother died, and that it was so that I could support them through it. It must have been a big learning for you to be part of someone’s life as they approached death. “All these helping hands were little forces gathering towards this central cause, by the power of love.” Nicely said. On a couple of occasions I’ve made friends with very elderly people, one who actually died while I was their neighbour, and the other who I could tell that just by meeting up for coffee once a week, I brought a huge amount of happiness to. Both those experiences probably meant as much to me as to them – I still remember them well and the kindness that existed between us.

      But yes, there is of course a huge amount of suffering that’s inextricable from death, and for many people it’s a reason for immense pain and sorrow, the process but also for those left behind. It must be incredibly difficult for people to go through this without understanding something of the bigger picture, but even when they do, it’s still incredibly difficult as it seems to be an instrument of learning through pain. It seems we inherently feel life as precious, and something to be grateful for and guarded, even if part of us may know the essence is eternal. Sadly it seems that this perception of unjust death and suffering can be a reason for people to turn away even further from a belief in, or connection to, the divine. While in a way that’s understandable, it’s also a huge shame.

  • Thanks very much Ella for sharing this very personal account of your grandma’s passing. I think it brought up some interesting points to reflect upon and it’s incredible how the circumstances in the lives of so many family members were altered, so that those who needed to be there at the time of your grandma’s death could be there, and those who would have found it too much were able to have a respite, while you and the other grandchildren were able to be in travelling distance to attend the funeral, despite normally being scattered around the world.

    The dreams you mentioned seem to give an indication of the insights into other realms that are available to us through dreams and astral experiences, and I think that being part of this process of a loved one passing away can also provide some kind of comfort to those left behind.

    Regarding the process of grief, I have also felt the impact of a group outpouring of sorrow while at funerals. I’ve lost quite a few relatives myself over the years, although none of my closest family members, and noticed how I have sometimes initially processed the news that someone has died in a more abstract and detached way, such as when it is announced on the news that a celebrity has died. But then at the funeral, the reality has hit home more and produced a strong expression of sorrow in me.

    I’ve also found that this is not necessarily just due to picking up on the atmosphere among the mourners and reacting empathetically. For example, a friend of mine passed away some years back and although the news was sad to hear, I didn’t have a very strong emotional response to it. I travelled to attend the funeral, but unfortunately encountered a lot of unexpected disruption on the trains and was stuck at a station for a long time, with no trains scheduled to leave. By the time I got to my destination, the funeral had already finished and I felt very disappointed as I made my way to the cemetery.

    I was alone as I approached the cemetery and as soon as I saw the sign at the entrance gates, a sudden wave of emotion hit me and I started crying. This feeling of sorrow continued and I sat by myself for some time praying and reflecting on what had happened. Again, I think the reality of the situation hadn’t fully hit home, until I saw a physical confirmation of it.

    I agree that death is a very important and urgent topic to understand, as it’s something we will all inevitably face, regardless of whatever we may achieve during our lives in terms of ambitions, careers, social status etc. I feel it’s imperative for anyone searching to understand the purpose of life to put it in the context of death, as it seems just too much of a gamble to cross our fingers and hope for the best, without doing whatever is needed to transcend death.

    Like you, I feel that Belsebuub talks with a lot of wisdom of the subject of death and its relevance to our lives. A comment he made in a discussion with a caller during one of his weekly talks stood out to me, where he said: “a life doesn’t last that long and it’s a question that everybody faces – and life must be put in that context. Just imagine you’re there right now facing it and you were able to go back let’s say 40 years in time to this moment and you saw yourself afraid of doing this work, afraid of awakening, what do you think you would say to yourself?”

    I think for anyone who is drawn to understand the deeper purpose of living, this question is well worth reflecting upon.

    • Hi Michael,

      I’ve also noticed these two different things Michael. Once I was at a funeral and could just feel this heavy emotional atmosphere which wanted to push me over the edge to start crying and deplete my emotional centre. But it wasn’t genuine and didn’t come from me so I was battling it like any other ego (which wasn’t easy.)
      However at others times, like you, I’m also more detached when first hearing such news and it doesn’t really hit me, neither the lower reactions (which imo is good) but it’s also not able to hit home in a deeper way until something happens where I experience it more up close. Like once I heard the news, and this was not with a person but my family dog, of my family dog passing away and it didn’t trigger anything at all. However a few years later in a scenario in the astral I experienced and felt how I really missed my sweet friend.

Who Is Belsebuub?

Belsebuub is an author who has previously published several books on dreams and out-of-body experiences and has discussed these topics widely in the media. He withdrew from public life in 2010. Read more about Belsebuub's work on dreams...

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