Why do dying people reach upward?

  1. 1 I've noticed that when it gets toward the end for people (not necessarily the VERY end, but maybe the last month or so when they have started really going downhill) they will hold their arms upward once in awhile and then let them fall at their sides.

    I've seen this a lot. My father-in-law did it, too. He would have his eyes closed and raise his arms in the air as if he were reaching up.

    Is this some kind of strange reflex or something?
  2. Visit  Jo Dirt profile page

    About Jo Dirt

    Jo Dirt has '9' year(s) of experience. From 'Star trekking across the universe'; 40 Years Old; Joined May '04; Posts: 3,426; Likes: 1,272.

    39 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Angie O'Plasty, RN profile page
    6
    I think it depends on your spiritual point of view, but I've actually heard people reach and say loved ones' names who were long gone. So I think they're seeing them again and can see who's going to welcome them on the other side.
    mom and nurse, shoegalRN, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  4. Visit  BlueRidgeHomeRN profile page
    6
    Quote from angie o'plasty, rn
    i think it depends on your spiritual point of view, but i've actually heard people reach and say loved ones' names who were long gone. so i think they're seeing them again and can see who's going to welcome them on the other side.

    :yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat:

    may i suggest the "come on home" reflex...
    mom and nurse, RedRobin8, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  5. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    5
    yep, re angie's and blue's posts.
    they really do see loved ones who have passed.
    it's also heartwarming to listen to them have a seemingly, one-sided conversation...

    leslie
    RedRobin8, lindarn, BlueEyedRN, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  Dorito profile page
    3
    We had an inservice on end of life issues yesterday sponsored by Hospice and it's very common. Many of them also "talk" to deceased friends/ relatives. I've also witnessed this many times in my career.
    shoegalRN, lindarn, and Simplepleasures like this.
  7. Visit  Praiser profile page
    6
    they might see their lord and are anxious to be greeted by him
    Mobeeb, VivaLasViejas, RedRobin8, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  hollyberry678 profile page
    0
    I took this world religion class, and there are universals among the major religions, like that heaven is assoc with sky, and earth with 'mother' and hell is down below. there is a good book about that, if only i could remember the name (I am info overloaded right now) and i forgot what was assoc w/ water (something was), that was true for all the major religions.
  9. Visit  Vito Andolini profile page
    7
    Well, I looked over Jordan and what did I see?
    Comin' for to carry me home.
    A band of angels comin' after me,
    comin' for to carry me home.

    Swing low, sweet chariot, etc. :angel2::angel2::angel2::flowersfo:wshgrt:nbch:*wine:wlcmggrp::wlcmghrt:
    Anxious Patient, Mobeeb, RedRobin8, and 4 others like this.
  10. Visit  Praiser profile page
    0
    Quote from vito andolini
    well, i looked over jordan and what did i see?
    comin' for to carry me home.
    a band of angels comin' after me,
    comin' for to carry me home.

    swing low, sweet chariot, etc. :angel2::angel2::angel2::flowersfo:wshgrt:nbch:*wine:wlcmggrp::wlcmghrt:
    too cute vito !!
  11. Visit  Jo Dirt profile page
    1
    That is funny, because my father-in-law was an atheist and was not talking about or to dead people. We were having a difficult time with him, he did not want to cooperate and while we were trying to reason with him he just sat there and closed his eyes, then stretched his arms toward the sky and flopped them down at his sides.
    lindarn likes this.
  12. Visit  cupcake25 profile page
    0
    I was working in CCU a few years back and my patient was coding. The patient was unconscious. All of a sudden this patient started to sit up and took her right arm and started to reach up toward the ceiling. It was quite an eerie feeling in that we all stopped what we were doing and looked at her. It really seemed like she was reaching out to someone. She did die. I often think about that incident.
  13. Visit  pattycakeRN profile page
    1
    I would wager that "heaven" being commonly associated with 'up' has something to do with it. Lots of metabolic and chemical processes going on, a dying person's need to feel that there is something of an after life... lots of reasons. Interesting question, but I don't think anecdotal experiences (as many as there may be) prove that any such place exists.
    danissa likes this.
  14. Visit  FLArn profile page
    2
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    That is funny, because my father-in-law was an atheist and was not talking about or to dead people. We were having a difficult time with him, he did not want to cooperate and while we were trying to reason with him he just sat there and closed his eyes, then stretched his arms toward the sky and flopped them down at his sides.
    Just because we don't believe in something doesn't mean it's not real or true


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