Miguel Panduwinata, 11, was on board Malaysia Flight 17 and on his way to Bali to visit his grandmother. Traveling with Miguel was his older brother, 19-year-old Shaka. The two siblings were among the 298 passengers and crew who lost their lives when their Boeing 777 was shot down with a surface-to-air missile over the Ukraine last week.
Now, reflecting back, 68-year-old Samira Calehr, mother to both Miguel and Shaka, feels that her youngest son had eerie premonitions that his death may be imminent. Young Miguel uncharacteristically asked his mom multiple questions about death and the afterlife the day before he boarded the doomed jet.
Writes The Associated Press via MSN News: “In a bedroom in a townhouse near Amsterdam, Miguel Panduwinata reached out for his mother. ‘Mama, may I hug you?’ Samira Calehr wrapped her arms around her 11-year-old son, who'd been oddly agitated for days, peppering her with questions about death, about his soul, about God. The next morning, she would drop Miguel and his big brother Shaka at the airport so they could catch Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the first leg of their journey to Bali to visit their grandmother.”
Samira said Miguel asked her multiple questions – about how she would “choose to die” if she knew her death was looming, what would happen to his body after he died, where his soul goes, if anywhere, or if he would “feel anything” when dying.
Fifteen hours later, Miguel was killed.
The AP report summarizes the family’s last, heartbreaking conversation:
The boys hugged Calehr goodbye and walked toward passport control. Suddenly, Miguel whirled around and ran back, throwing his arms around his mother.
“Mama, I'm going to miss you,” he said. “What will happen if the airplane crashes?”
“Don't say that,” she said, squeezing him. “Everything will be OK.”
Calehr lost both her boys that day, and remorsefully replays the conversations over and over. “I should’ve listened to him,” the distraught mother says.
Did Miguel really have a sense that he was about to die? Or are these normal queries by a young boy about to get on a flight, magnified by the fact that his plane went down shortly thereafter?
Sound off with your opinion below.