In Chinese, we have the phrase "气若游丝" which, translated literally, means "breath being as weak as a wisp of silk" to describe a dying person.
The characteristics of this Chinese phrase are:
- It directly describes the weak breath of the person.
- It indirectly describes the dying state of the person.
In English, I can just say "The person is dying." I've also learned another phrase "on the verge of death". But both of them describe the dying state directly rather than use a physical state (e.g., the weak breath) of the person to describe the dying state.
I also saw a sentence in this article that describes the breath which I think is a good one:
I listened to his final breaths, gasping and fish-like, and I gripped his hand tight enough to feel the last pulsings of his heart.
I'm just curious whether there are any other good ones similar to the example above because I guess not everyone's breath is "gasping and fish-like" when he/she is passing away.