waiting for a train when dying

  1. 1
    my dad is in the final stages of cancer and keeps saying he's waiting for the train. i know the obvious explanation is he's waiting to pass over but was wondering has anyone heard this before? i have heard people talking about dying people saying they are waiting for a boat and this can be linked to the egyptian belief of crossing over but does a train have any significance to anyone? sadly i cannot ask him now as he is slipping in and out of consciousness and cannot speak anymore........................
    leslie :-D likes this.
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  4. 4
    I'm so sorry about your father. I once had a hospice patient who was waiting for a train. I don't know what it meant to her or if it means anything in general in dying patients. At the time I chose to think of it as her saying that she was waiting and ready to move on to where she needed to be. My hope was that she knew that it was going to be a good place.

    I think that you are being a good daughter, and very brave. I am sure that even if your father is slipping in and out of consciousness he knows that there is love with him.:redpinkhe
    eagle78, leslie :-D, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
  5. 2
    I am sorry to hear about your dad. I've heard of trains, boats, bus stations.
    Every death is unique. I've put some links here for you to look at.



    http://allnurses.com/geriatric-nurse...ng-613779.html

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-article...nt-276228.html

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-article...nt-276228.html
    leslie :-D and tewdles like this.
  6. 2
    Dying people often speak of going to different places, by differing conveyances, and it is not incorrect to think that they may be speaking metaphorically rather than having hallucinations or confused thought.
    leslie :-D and Hospice Nurse LPN like this.
  7. 3
    Quote from angila1
    my dad is in the final stages of cancer and keeps saying he's waiting for the train. i know the obvious explanation is he's waiting to pass over but was wondering has anyone heard this before? i have heard people talking about dying people saying they are waiting for a boat and this can be linked to the egyptian belief of crossing over but does a train have any significance to anyone? sadly i cannot ask him now as he is slipping in and out of consciousness and cannot speak anymore........................
    i'm so sorry, angila.

    as mazy, tewdles, and hospice nurse have stated, these types of conversations are very characteristic of dying pts.
    i've had it happen as well....actually, many times.
    at first it confused and frustrated me because i wanted to help.
    i felt lost instead.

    then i read "final gifts" by maggie callahan and patricia kelley.
    it describes this very phenomenon and discuss how to understand their needs better.
    i remember in the travel section, they encouraged us to try and see any forms of travel metaphors, when pt trying to discuss what they dreamed.
    so whether it's boat, train, bike, plane, walking...it's all about where they're going to go.
    that book was invaluable to me.
    it also explains that while they're sleeping, their spirit is leaving the body more and more...
    and is often why they appear confused or disoriented when they wake up.
    that, and not even knowing where to begin with what they're feeling.

    it's ok to keep talking with your dad, even when he does lose consciousness.

    wishing you warmth and faith.

    leslie
  8. 0
    Quote from angila1
    my dad is in the final stages of cancer and keeps saying he's waiting for the train. i know the obvious explanation is he's waiting to pass over but was wondering has anyone heard this before? i have heard people talking about dying people saying they are waiting for a boat and this can be linked to the egyptian belief of crossing over but does a train have any significance to anyone? sadly i cannot ask him now as he is slipping in and out of consciousness and cannot speak anymore........................


    duplicate
  9. 1
    Angila, so sorry to read your story I highly recommend the book "Final Gifts", it talks a lot about how patients nearing the end of life use symbolic statements such as your father did. I had a patient recently who spoke of "going home" but he wasn't referring to where he lived. This book is invaluable and may help to give you some comfort & a clearer understanding. It's written by two Hospice Nurses.

    http://www.amazon.com/Final-Gifts-Un.../dp/0553378767
    Hospice Nurse LPN likes this.


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