Thursday, July 6, 2017


There are many beliefs held by many Chamorros about what transpires among those about to die. For example, it is said that the dying see their dead relatives in the room, as if the dead relatives are beckoning their family member to join them in the afterlife.

But here is one story I was recently told about a dying woman which points to another kind of experience. Did this grandmother have an out-of-body experience, visiting grandchildren, thousands of miles away, to say goodbye before she passed away?

Diddide' åntes de u måtai si nånan-måme, annai esta kumåkama
(A little before our mother died, when she was already bed-ridden) 

ya ti siña gue' kahulo' ginen i kattre-ña, mangågao si nånan-måme paopao
(and couldn't get up from her bed, our mother asked for perfume)

sa' para u palai gue' paopao malago'-ña. 
(because she wanted to put some on her.)

Si nånan-måme tåya' na ha dingu i gima' sin ha nå'ye gue' paopao, 
(Our mother never left the house without putting on perfume,)

masea yanggen para i tenda ha' para u hanaogue. 
(even if she was just going to the store.)

Man manman ham ni mañe'lo sa' mangågao paopao ya ti siña kahulo'! 
(We siblings were surprised because she asked for perfume and couldn't get up!)

In faisen gue', "Nang? Para måno hao na para un nå'ye hao paopao?" 
(We asked her, "Mom? Where are you going that you're going to put on perfume?")

Chumålek sanhalom ha' i amko' lao tåya' håfa ilek-ña. 
(She just smiled and said nothing.)

Ha huchom matå-ña ya kalan ha tutuhon maigo' lao in li'e' na guaha ha hahasso, 
(She closed her eyes and it was as if she started to sleep, but we could see she was thinking about something)

lao umachigo' matå-ña. Despues, guaha entre i mañe'lo ilek-ñiha
(though her eyes were closed. Later, some among the siblings said)

na mangågao paopao si nånan-måme sa' para u bisita i famagu'on famagu'on-ña 
(that she asked for perfume because she was going to visit her grandchildren)

ni mañåsaga Amerika ya ti siña man måtto Guam 
(who were living in America and couldn't come to Guam)

para u atende i bihan-ñiha ni esta kumekematai.
(to attend to their dying grandmother.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your story. I really believe this because i experienced this before my gramma died in Saipan. We had just moved to California in April of 1979. We stayed with my uncle and his family while my mom was trying to find us a place of our own to live. One night before school ended i had a dream that my gramma came to me, she was calling me to her. I was a little girl standing under a light and my gramma was opposite me also under a very bright light. Her arms were reaching out to me and calling my name, I was also reaching out to her crying and calling my nana. I woke up crying because my cousin was shaking me. She said i was crying and calling our nana. No long after that i went back to Saipan to find out where she was and if she was ok. I stayed in Saipan for 3 months to take of her. I finally went back to the US in September and that December she passed away. I didn't want to go back to Saipan to see her in a casket. I wanted to remember when she was happy, when i spent time with her that summer.