For any culture which is primarily concerned with meaning, the study of death - the only certainty that life holds for us - must be central, for an understanding of death is the key to liberation in life.
Many instances exist of small children who seem to remember and describe their previous life in another body, another place, and with other people. These memories emerge usually shortly after these children begin to talk.
The materialistic paradigm of Western science has been a major obstacle for any objective evaluation of the data describing the events occurring at the time of death.
A text of Tibetan Buddhism describes the time of death as a unique opportunity for spiritual liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth and a period that determines our next incarnation.