My son’s premonition of death during a Holy Week?


The Holy Week holds a special meaning in my heart as it’s during this time that my precious son talked about eternal life. How would I have known that he was preparing himself for his death?

When I die, I will be alive again“,
Luijoe (with excitement), a month before he became an angel.

A month or so before Luijoe went to heaven, he asked me questions about angels, death, heaven and graves. I don’t exactly remember when Luijoe started to ask me those things.


This is what I wrote two weeks after Luijoe died.

“At that time, I thought he was just curious . Luijoe attended school at the Colegio de Sta. Rosa, an Augustinian-recollect (Catholic) school for 2 years so I thought he was just a very devout Catholic. Now that he is in heaven, I wonder if he was preparing me and himself for that day.

It must have been sometime during Holy week. He asked how Jesus could be alive again. I said he rose from the dead and on the third day he went to heaven. Then he asked me “If I die mama, will I be alive again?“. I explained that when we die, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven. The next day, he suddenly said “When I die, I will be alive again“. But I immediately corrected him and said that yes, you will live forever but in heaven.

Then he asked me about my mom and why she died. I told him that my mom is now an angel in heaven. He was very concerned that I had no mother but I told him that my mom was watching me all through the years. Then when he asked me, “Mom what happens when I die? Is it painful?“. I was taken aback by that question but I didn’t want to over react so I said “Your grandma Sally will welcome you in heaven. There is no pain there“. I really didn’t think any of it. Luijoe was always full of questions so this was nothing new. Then he said, “I want to see your mom’s grave when we go to Cebu, mama. ” .”


All his questions about death, angels and heaven continued for weeks.

“A week before he died, he wanted me to pray with him as he always does before he sleeps. We began to pray most of the prayers in his Favorite Catholic Prayers book. Then our topic went into angels. With a serious look on his face, he asked “Mom, who goes to heaven?“. I told him that good boys go to heaven and usually they become angels. He said ” I don’t want to go to hell“. Then I hugged him and said he was a good boy and he would never go to hell. He continued praying .

Another question comes up , “Are the clouds heaven?“. I told him “I’m not sure if the clouds are heaven but it’s somewhere up there and hell is down there “. He would never tire asking the same questions all over again. It was like he was reassuring himself that there were angels that protected him and that heaven is a beautiful place to go when someone dies.”

Why had I not seen our conversation as a sign that something devastating was about to happen? If I had sensed the omen then, could I have prevented his death? Had Luijoe known he was leaving us soon and in his childlike way, tried to warn me?

I will never know the answers.

Perhaps by meditating during the Holy week, it will continue to affirm my belief that there is eternal life after death. Holy week is a time for reflection and to understand the death of Jesus Christ. It took me a long time to understand Jesus’ death until my own son died.


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  • melai

    natouched ako …

  • Noemi

    Melai: until now when I remember that conversation, it never fails to touch me.

  • melai

    uhmm.. i’ve been reading your blog..not religiously pero tiyak babalik-balikan ko dahil marami akong matutunan dito as a mom. i just hope u get over with the pain of losing someone very close to you … nandiyan lang naman siya e binabantayan ka :)you have a very nice blog 🙂

  • Noemi

    Melai: Actually, it’s a misconception to get over the pain. And this is not just based on my experience. I’ve learned this from talks with others who have lost a precious one. Please read my entry on “Words of Comfort”

    Perhaps you meant “transform the pain into a positive resolution”. If you read the “about me” page, it mentions that I transformed my pain by starting a grief support group for families in the Philippines.

    We learn to live with the pain in a more positive way. The pain of losing someone is very raw during the first few years but it’s easier to live with as time and healing process goes on. Grieving is a lifelong journey.Does it help to know that if we didn’t love so very much, it would not hurt so badly? Grief is the price we pay for love. And as much as it hurts, I’m very, very glad I loved. So please, understand that getting over the pain is not possible. It’s living with the pain which is possible.

  • cris

    what got to me was your response to the comment of melai.. “it’s a misconception to get over the pain.” it reminded me of my mom, and how i kinda struggled with dealing with her emotions as well as trying to come to terms with mine. there were (and still are) days and even months at a time wherein she’d be fine, just like before; then suddenly she’ll be all down and depressed and stuff and i’d figure out it was because of my brother.. and well i hated these depressed episodes because i didn’t know how to deal with her. i hated seeing her sad that way and i couldn’t understand her either coz i had a different way of coping (basically shutting everything to do with my brother out back then) but you’re right — she’ll never get over it; no one really will because it’s not something you get over. my mom still gets depressed, but now i know enough to just let her be depressed because i know she needs that to cope.

  • Noemi

    Cris: I can truly understand your point of view. My daughters felt the same especially when my husband would break down and cry. But it’s healing for your mother to cry once in a while. Triggers can set the crying like anniversaries or a thought. That is her own personal process. If she cries all day and is unable to function then that’s not healthy grieving. Family members suffer loss in their own and unique way.

    I know my children shut their feelings towards the death of their brother perhaps because they didn’t want to be a burden to us or they didn’t know how to process their feelings. However, I talk about their brother once in a while so they can talk about their feelings too. I was told by grief counsellors that my children’s grief might not surface now but later. Like, milestones when they have a child or get married.

    This is what Lauren wrote about her grief in an article for The Compassionate Friends:

    Grief is a never-ending process. The beautiful thing about grieving is that even though you will never get over the death of your loved one, you will learn to move on and live without that person. Death like any great wound leaves a scar that will heal with time. But the mark will always remain, and so will the memories of your loved one.