End of life care nurse reveals things people say right before they die
None of us know what anyone experiences right before they die. But some have a good idea of the final words one might say, such as hospice nurses.
One end of life nurse revealed some of the things she has experienced while working in palliative care.
Julie McFadden, a carer based in Los Angeles, shares her work life on TikTok and everything she’s learned about death and dying.
Recently the 39-year-old, who’s had her role for five years, fascinated viewers about what people say during their final weeks, days and hours.
While making her patients feel comfortable, Julie says she hears them speak to someone in the room, usually a deceased loved one.
Usually a month or so before the patient dies, they might see someone from their life who has died. Some have told Julie that these messages from a deceased loved one include ‘we’re coming to get you soon’ or ‘don’t worry, we’ll help you’.
These interactions are to be expected, she revealed, and that families of the dying patient are prepared for this, as it’s in written in brochures as to not scare or worry them.
Julie revealed: ‘This happens so often that we put it in our educational packets that we give to the patient and their loved ones so they understand what’s going on. But we don’t know why it happens and we can’t explain it.
‘It usually happens a month or so before the patient dies. They start seeing dead relatives, dead friends, old pets that have passed on – spirits, angels, that are visiting them.
‘Only they can see and hear them. Sometimes it’s through a dream and sometimes they can physically see them and they’ll actually ask us, “Do you see what I’m seeing?”‘
Doctors say there’s no medical term for what the dying are experiencing but that it brings them comfort instead of being something that’s daunting and scary.
Julie said these experiences were not hallucinations as patients seem ‘pretty alert and oriented, they’re usually lucid’.
‘It’s not like they’re saying a bunch of crazy things that don’t make any sense,’ she added.
‘They’re usually functional and logical and questioning me, “Why am I seeing my dead mum, do you see her?”‘
While most of us might be scared to hear such utterances, Julie is well accustomed to these and doesn’t find it scary.
On one occasion, she admitted she herself saw a vision that felt like an ‘angel’ standing over a patient’s bed.
And the comforting thing is that she hasn’t seen any signs of distress among patients. She added: ‘All you sinners out there, I’ve never seen any signs that people dying are going to hell, demons, fire, anything like that.’
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