What Happened at Mary's Death
What happened at Mary's death, and how do we know?
In the bull defining the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady promulgated in 1950, Venerable Pius XII made several references to Our Lady's death before her resurrection and glorification in the Assumption. The traditional teaching of the Church, found in the liturgies of East and West, is that Our Lady died before being resurrected and gloriously assumed body and soul into heaven.
Indeed, this great grace is not described in the bull as being specific to her (as was in the case of her Immaculate Conception) but rather the common sort all the faithful may look forward to the bodily resurrection. So, although a Catholic is free to hold that Our Lady did not die—and we do not for certain one way or the other—the clear tradition of the Church prefers the thesis that she did.