UPDATE - 13 December 2013
Today I received an email from an American friend containing details of an extraordinary event from his own life that so closely mirrors the incident featuring my mother and my great-aunt described by me above that I am including it here as follows. Because of its very personal nature, however, I am not publicly releasing any details concerning my friend's identity, but I have retained them on file.
"On the day my mother passed away she had been in Hospice care for three days although she was not expected to make for 48 hours. Our whole family had come to her bedside on that first day. We had a family prayer time, my uncle Derrell (mom's youngest brother) an ordained Baptist minister led the prayer. After the first day it was my sister and brother-in-law and my wife and myself that took turns spending the night those last three nights. I returned home that morning after spending the night there and was trying to unwind a little before returning. I had just sat down in our living room when a small wren flew up under our porch and landed momentarily on the screen of our front window looking in at me. The minute after it flew away I received a phone call from my sister telling me mom had just passed away. I believe to this day that was a sign from heaven."
And perhaps it was. In the words of the much-loved hymn composed by William Cowper: