What is an Angel of Death?
For probably several millennia, people have passed down legends about spirits visiting people while on their death bed; and so, the legend of the angel of death came into existence. Angels of death are believed by some people to come before a person’s death to accompany them over to the other side or even bring about their passing. (For more understanding of angels, please read: What are Angels?) We explore the idea of a death angel and offer some understanding to this very misunderstood legend.
Hollywood Version of the Angel of Death
In the 1998 Hollywood movie, “Meet Joe Black,” Brad Pitt played “Joe Black,” the angel of death, who pays a visit to William Parrish, played by Anthony Hopkins. Parrish is given the news that his time to die is at hand, and Joe Black would bring about his passing in a few days. The movie centered around the angel of death assuming another deceased person’s form, running Parrish’s media business, living with the family and even dating one of Parrish’s daughters; all of this was for the deathbed angel to experience “life.” In the film, the angel of death gives Parrish a few more days to live in exchange for experiencing human life and eventually brings Parrish’s death to pass in a most peaceful manner.
We have received deathbed reports of a “visitor” or what some believe to be the angel of death at hand, especially while family members observe loved ones going through the dying process (See Mawmaw's Angel Story). Many times, the person passing will see a person or even people in their room or have very lucid conversations with someone else unseen to the observer of this phenomenon. It is our contention that our loved ones from the spirit world (family, friends, etc), know the death is iminent and come to assist the dying person in the crossing over process. This eases the passing and helps reduce the amount of people who remain behind and earthbound. The death angels will often speak with the dying days in advance and help prepare them for the inevitable.
Angels of Death: The Living and Spirits Ministering
Occasionally, messengers of death can be loved ones still in-body but asleep. Somehow, they instinctively know they are needed to help and are called out-of-body to help usher their own dying loved one over. When this happens, the angel of death will recall it happening within their own dream. But most of the time, family and friends that have died previously will come and help the dying person by bringing peace and comfort to them. This, apparently, is important as the mind must come to accept the fact that the physical body perishes, but the spirit lives on. Even more so, those who fear eternal punishment and hell must be helped to escape this torment. Hell is a state of mind that is self-created, but can also be undone. Helping dying people understand that the light they will experience is not the flames of hell or throne of judgment by a god of vengeance can be a challenge.
Near Death Experiences & Angels of Death
People who have had near death experiences often report that upon leaving the body, or prior to leaving the body, loved ones in spirit were with them. Then, a bright light of some sort is passed through; and then, a persona life review occurs that is described to be like watching a movie. The near death accounts seem to confirm the assistance from those on the other side of death's door who are there to assist us through the dying process. Their watch and care for us is further exemplified by their death bed visits.
Angel of Death Conclusion
Accounts of spirit visitors being present before and during a person’s death are where we believe the idea of an “angel of death” originated from. After all, angels are messengers; so a spirit visiting, bringing comfort and communicating with a person about to die would certainly fit the definition of "messenger" - an angel.