Do your dying patient's have company? - page 5

by mchospicern

10,168 Unique Views | 51 Comments

It has been my experience that the dying are not alone. Unscientifically speaking, about 90% of the people I take care of tell me, near the end of their lives, that they've been visited by deceased loved ones, and sometimes by... Read More


  1. 0
    Wow, what a beautifully spiritual thread. This is exactly why I want to be a nurse. Both my grandmother and my aunt passed away a few years ago (different times.) A day before my grandma passed (Nano, I called her) she began to speak of her mother and had a far off peaceful look in her eyes. My nano was a spiritual woman, and I know she must have had angels appear before she died. Also, when my aunt passed last year from a heart attack, I was told that she kept saying, "she loved me." The person that was with her when she died asked her, "who loved you.." and my aunt replied, "grandma." She passed after that.
    The meaning of life and death is what draws many of us to this profession. I know that when I become a nurse I'd like to work in Hospice. Beth, you mentioned you were a CNA at a hospice center. May I ask how you got into that? I will be in CNA school next month here in Chicago and would love to start working for a Hospice. Bless you all:angel2: Louisepug
  2. 0
    This maybe a little off topic, but I really believe that many people get a premonition prior to their dying. Many soldiers, will tell their buddies, their not coming home, for some reason they seem to know this. In a town near by they just buried the remains of a guy killed in Vietnam, in the late 60's. 2 of his buddies had vowed to bring him home, and even though it took them 30+ years they did it. One of the guys was doing an interview, and he said something along the lines, that just prior to his helicopter taking off, he gave his friend all of his personal belongings, and looked him in the eye and said this is what it is all about. Minutes later a rocket hit the helicopter he was in, and the whole helicopter exploded. My question to anyone who would doubt this, is why would he give his friend his personal belongings, and make that comment, when he had never done this before? For some reason he knew he was about to die.
    On another note, I used to work nights in a pretty busy ER, and on those few and far between nights when we had empty rooms, and I had time for stocking, I would frequently just go into the rooms without turning on the lights, because I had enough light from the hallway lights to do my stocking. Several times I had episodes where I felt I was not alone in the room, and there was no one else in the room with me that I could see. The only rooms it ever happened to me in was both our trauma/code rooms. I am a firm believer that I was not alone in those rooms. I have also had a couple of experience's growing up that make me believe the way I do, but I won't boar you with them now.
  3. 0
    What a wonderful thread. I hope to renew it. Like I posted in one of my threads my dying patient would smile every once in awhile and hold his hands up like he was reaching for something.


    Please share any stories. I love to hear about these things. I am such a believer.
  4. 0
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    I was a nurse at a free-standing inpt hospice unit for four years. Yes, many of my pts had "company" during their last days and hours.

    One even got a phone call from the "other side."

    I posted about "the Phone Call From Beyond" on another site and won a prize for it. I will copy and paste it here, if anyone wants to read it.

    I do miss hospice nursing, but am excited by my new job in hemodialysis.
    Hello n Best Wishes, including for upcoming rising holiday time. I wud like to read the above, if I may. I wud think that others would as well. Best. s.
  5. 0
    I've been giving this topic some thought with regard to the possibility that these experiences are hallucinations.

    I think in some cases, they probably are hallucinations. Some cases are real, and some cases are a mix.

    The reason I think some cases (probably most of them) are real is that it actually does not have a "feel" of hallucination.

    I have taken care of a friend who went into full blown psychosis and subsequently also have opportunities to make friends with people who have serious mental illness. So my thinking on this topic is based on my experience and here is what I can see:

    The common thing between hallucination and all the cases described in this thread is that only the patient can see these people. However, there are quite a few differences between the hallucination that I am familiar with and the cases reported here (which I why I think there is a good chance that it is real). Some of the differences I can see are:

    * Most of the hallucinations in serious mental illness are actually auditory only (from my experience anyway). There are some visual ones but they don't seemed to be the majority. Almost all the cases described here in this thread has a visual component.

    * A few cases, even the caregiver or whomever is in the room can "feel" another presense. Now a real hallucination cannot do that.

    * The content of the hallucination is different. It is hard to put in words what I mean. For example, in the case of visual hallucination in psychosis, it is not uncommon for a a person to see a distorted "ghostly" figure. Depending on the person, the person might interprete that as a "ghost" or an "angel" and even a very ugly "angel". In the cases of this thread, it is someone they know majority of the time and the people they see are not distorted.

    * Hallucination in serious mental illness are often very stressful and it causes huge amount of fear. In all the cases mentioned in this thread, they bring peace instead.

    * I guess I am at a lost for words here... the incidents mentioned in this thread are "coherent" I guess... while the hallucination in serious mental illness that I am familiar with does not have that kind of "coherent" feel to it.

    -Dan
  6. 0
    Post #39 in this thread is the story of my pt who had "A Phonecall From Beyond."
  7. 0
    My husband and I were on the way back from Fla. I was asleep. All of a sudden he shook me awake and said get out and help this man. He had pulled to the side of the interstate and as I jumped out of the car , I saw a man lying face down near a motercylce. A woman was screaming "help him he's my husband. His face was blue and he wasn't breathing. There was nothing to do but turn him over ( with neck braced as well a we could) Another man had arrived by then and was on the phone to 911. He said don't turn him!! But I HAD to to get him breathing. No pulse either. I did 3 chest compressions and he gasped for breathe and breathed...but never moved and did not open his eyes. By then the paramedics had come. I gave a quick report and since we were on the side of the interstate in grave danger ourselves, we left. In my heart I did not really want to know what happened to him. I did not want to know if I had left him paralyzed for life. That night I could not sleep. I could not turn the lights off. I kept thinking of the shoulda, woulda, couldas. I dozed off finally and was startled awake with the immediate feeling that someone was in the room with me. (my husband was asleep in another room since I couldn't turn the light out.) I "knew it was the motorcycle guy standing there. I was not asleep. I was shaking because I was so afraid. I was too afraid to open my eyes to look at him. I did not want to know it if he was angry with me. But it felt cold. And it felt as if he couldn't move his arms. That his arms were hanging at his sides. I called out to Jesus.And he left. I am a christian who loves Jesus with all of my heart and I don't believe in the walking dead or any thing like that. But this really really happened. I never found out what happened to this man. I talked with a couple of docs and paramedics who said they would've done the same thing.. I couldn't just let him lay there not breathing with his wife crying and begging for someone to help him. But it bothers me greatly. Thanks for letting me share.
    Quote from webblarsk
    What a wonderful thread. I hope to renew it. Like I posted in one of my threads my dying patient would smile every once in awhile and hold his hands up like he was reaching for something.


    Please share any stories. I love to hear about these things. I am such a believer.
  8. 0
    Quote from mollie
    My husband and I were on the way back from Fla. I was asleep. All of a sudden he shook me awake and said get out and help this man. He had pulled to the side of the interstate and as I jumped out of the car , I saw a man lying face down near a motercylce. A woman was screaming "help him he's my husband. His face was blue and he wasn't breathing. There was nothing to do but turn him over ( with neck braced as well a we could) Another man had arrived by then and was on the phone to 911. He said don't turn him!! But I HAD to to get him breathing. No pulse either. I did 3 chest compressions and he gasped for breathe and breathed...but never moved and did not open his eyes. By then the paramedics had come. I gave a quick report and since we were on the side of the interstate in grave danger ourselves, we left. In my heart I did not really want to know what happened to him. I did not want to know if I had left him paralyzed for life. That night I could not sleep. I could not turn the lights off. I kept thinking of the shoulda, woulda, couldas. I dozed off finally and was startled awake with the immediate feeling that someone was in the room with me. (my husband was asleep in another room since I couldn't turn the light out.) I "knew it was the motorcycle guy standing there. I was not asleep. I was shaking because I was so afraid. I was too afraid to open my eyes to look at him. I did not want to know it if he was angry with me. But it felt cold. And it felt as if he couldn't move his arms. That his arms were hanging at his sides. I called out to Jesus.And he left. I am a christian who loves Jesus with all of my heart and I don't believe in the walking dead or any thing like that. But this really really happened. I never found out what happened to this man. I talked with a couple of docs and paramedics who said they would've done the same thing.. I couldn't just let him lay there not breathing with his wife crying and begging for someone to help him. But it bothers me greatly. Thanks for letting me share.
    You did what you should have in that kind of situation. I know that guilt plays tricks with your mind and makes you play the "what if" game.

    A few years ago my friends and I were on our way to a club and came across a woman in the road asking for help. She said her husband was having a heart attack. We pulled over and there was her husband in the truck. Vomiting but still breathing, still had a pulse. I pulled him out of the truck and layed him on his side keeping watch on his breathing and pulse until the ambulance got there. He ended up dying and at the time I didn't realize that it was my old basketball coach and Vice Principal of my school. I cried for days thinking I didn't do all I could have. It bothers me to this day!
  9. 0
    Quote from webblarsk
    You did what you should have in that kind of situation. I know that guilt plays tricks with your mind and makes you play the "what if" game.

    A few years ago my friends and I were on our way to a club and came across a woman in the road asking for help. She said her husband was having a heart attack. We pulled over and there was her husband in the truck. Vomiting but still breathing, still had a pulse. I pulled him out of the truck and layed him on his side keeping watch on his breathing and pulse until the ambulance got there. He ended up dying and at the time I didn't realize that it was my old basketball coach and Vice Principal of my school. I cried for days thinking I didn't do all I could have. It bothers me to this day!
    He was breathing and had a pulse, there was no need for CPR or Rescue Breathing. You did the right thing by lying him on his side.
  10. 0
    Quote from webblarsk
    What a wonderful thread. I hope to renew it. Like I posted in one of my threads my dying patient would smile every once in awhile and hold his hands up like he was reaching for something.


    Please share any stories. I love to hear about these things. I am such a believer.
    I too believe. Some of my coworkers think I am nuts... Oh well such is life
    and death. Plus I myself think I am nuts sometimes! :wink2:

    I have had many patients that see relatives and talk to them before their passing. I never tell them no one is there, I just tell them I don't see them. I can sometimes FEEL them!!! I mentioned elsewere that I think people are guided to the next world and sometimes I think we (nurses) are the one's they feel comfortable enough with to let go of this world and move on to the next.

    And what of patients that are dying, but wait until a loved one makes it to thier bedside?
    Recently I had a patient that had been on our unit for a couple of weeks. Her suffering was great sometimes. The family made her a DNR which really was the most humane thing under the circumstances. When it became inevitable that the end of her life was approaching her family gathered. I came on shift. I introduced myself to the patient, now unresponsive and to the family. They questioned when and you can never tell them exactly. They told me that they wanted her to remain long enough for the one child of hers that was not there, to arrive. He was driving in, about 3 hours out. Suddenly I knew when, but I didn't say. I told my coworker that she would die die that shift, but that she was waiting on her son to arrive. All 7 of her other children were there. They told me how devoted a mother she was and that her life was lived for her children. I left them alone, checked in intermittently. Hours later I lookrf and saw, from the monitor at the nurses station, her heart rate had slowed where she had been consistently about 90. I went into the room; the other child had arrived and I watched as she brady'd down and took her last breath. 5 minutes did not pass from the time her son arrived to the time she died.

    I'm told that when he got there, he went to the bedside, spoke to her, she opened her eyes and looked at him, closed them again and that was it...I wasn't there at the bedside, but I am sure it is true.

    A mothers love and devotion all the way to the end...of life.


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