Death stories? - page 6

Weird, bizarre, peaceful or totally memorable occasions that you observed death, any stories? I don't mean to be morbid or anything but I am looking for ways to improve our service in the ICU and... Read More

  1. by   Ginapixi
    just had the most amazing death story so far in my hospice endeavor
    i went to stop back at the end of my day to check on a dying pt; the family was asking "why is he still here?" "what is keeping him?" "what is he waiting for? we all told him it was ok to go" So i asked if he was waiting for some one else and the one daughter looked at me and said he was waiting for her children, but they are not coming; so i asked if she told the patient that; the wife and the 3 grown children gathered around his bed and talked softly to him and the daughter told him that the kids were not coming, they could not come; within 1 minutes time the breathing changed and within 3 minutes he stopped breathing, in the arms of his family; i felt most privileged to witness the love this family shared and a peaceful death after watching him struggle earlier; yes, we need to tell the dying it is ok to go; yes, sooner or later they do die either way, but if we can ease or prevent the struggle it was a job worth while; yes, i have been with other patients when they took their last breath, but this was a tear jerker Grade A+
  2. by   Ginapixi
    Quote from remrimsgems
    I've worked in a hospice before....

    I used to admit dead bodies into to the morgue while working in the pathology department at night.

    I think that most of the paranormal are true.

    But my opinion is that those little kids or deceased family members "visiting" them etc are purely Satan's device (demons) to gain their trust....

    The Bible says clearly that we are not to communicate with the "spirits" or the dead.

    Hebrews 9:27.." And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

    Also try to investigate the story of Lazarus in the New Testament.

    I dare to disagree with you
    mostly because no one is trying to communicate with the deceased but relating experiences of the passing from the world we know to the other side;
    i do not know what to expect after we leave this life, what judgment will be like or how eternal life is
    i do believe there are deamons and they do want to deceive, and i would never have any one call my relatives spirits from where ever just to get my curiosity satisfied - i will once i get there....

    what puzzles me every time in this world is, that i live in a culture of so called Christians who are deathly afraid to meet their Lord; to quote scripture: "to live is Christ and to die is gain" philippians 1:21 and i do have patients who are not afraid, but they are rather the exception; our culture fights death with more gusto than it hates the devil it looks like;

    there is a spirit world that our human eyes usually cannot see, once we get ready to go there we will see- so much of my 2 cents to the paranormal
    God bless
  3. by   Heogog53
    Yes, why is it that all those repeatedly described stories of our patients knowing when it's time to go, who speak with their beloved family members again, who plan out their funerals, who await family members one last time before they let go and drift off, are stories of demon and devil influences? I'm not a Christian, I'm Jewish, but it doesn't seem to matter much at end of life situations what denomination or religion you are, there are so many commonalities in what people experience then- how could it all be evil and bad? Most of these stories tell of people letting go with a smile on their faces, or simply speaking a tender name- how can these be negatives? I think it should give us all hope that death is simply a passage from one state to another, a state which I can't and dont propose to explain. But from what I've seen, heard, and read, it looks like an easy transition to a kinder place.
  4. by   Butterfliesnroses
    I know this is probably off topic but I'll share anyways. I was in labor with my daughter (first birth) when her heart rate dropped, they rushed me to the surgery room to do a c-section. Lots of people around but what I remember the most is a lady with gray hair and white scrubs comforting me, telling me it was going to be okay, rubbing my arm. I told my mom later how comforted I was with this lady and she said there was no elderly lady in white....I think it was an angel cause guess what? Everything did end up okay!
  5. by   AniRN
    I saw a patient yesterday who is dying of a GI bleed and abdominal mass. All signs point to liver involvement, but she did not want further testing done to find out of indeed that is the case. I met her two weeks ago and have only seen slight changes since. Increased weakness and fatigue, more jaundiced, belly is bigger, but her spirit and her mind are so alive. She has the most wonderful support, you couldn't ask for anything better. Twelve kids to take turns to care for her, and there is so much love in that house, it really is incredible. Anyway, I saw her yesterday and she was describing the hallucinations she was having, she said at first they were scary to her because she was afraid she couldn't tell the difference between reality and not reality. She was seeing her family members who weren't there. But, she said, it got better. "Now when I close my eyes I feel as if there is someone standing beside me, holding my hand, and I don't know who it is, but it feels nice." She says, "I feel as if I am half in this world and half in the next." I was so amazed and honored to hear that. You see, dear computer, when people who are dying start to hallucinate they are usually unable to talk about it because they are so far down the path to unconsciousness. We hear people say, with their eyes closed and a smile on their face: "Ah, hello dad." And we know quite well that dad has been dead and buried for many years. This brings them comfort. But they, for the most part, cannot describe why they are seeing these people. But my patient did. I told her it was a good thing, for her to be aware enough to talk about what she is seeing and hearing and feeling, she is very fortunate. She said as I was leaving, "This must be a hard job." And I said, "It can be, but you make it worth it. Making you smile and knowing that you are as comfortable as possible in this process makes it all worth it." That made everyone smile. God, I love little moments like these. In a day full of hell and demand and exhaustion from doing what I do, a two second conversation like that can make it all bearable. It can make my whole week better for that matter.

    So this patient is one of the luckier ones, to remain calm and comfortable in her process. Let me tell you another story, of the opposite situation.

    I have another patient who is 102. Last week she started having delerium, agitation, anxiety, and paranoia. It came out of nowhere. All her labs came back normal, so there was no infection. They put her on hospice on Monday as there was nothing else to be done and after many injections of IM Haldol the patient was still out of control. I have been in with her for the last three days trying to get her under control. Problem is that she is in a nursing home and I don't have the freedom to do what I would do if she were at home. So I had to give her a little bit at a time and prove that the little doses weren't cutting it. I was there yesterday with the intention of getting her symptoms under control and one shot of Haldol in the back of her arm seemed to do the trick. I would have stayed to make sure she was out for good, but the aforementioned pt needed my attention as well. Today I went back, with the hopes that it would be a short visit, that the nurses at the nursing home had done their job and medicated her like I asked. But as soon as I walked in I saw the venom in her eyes and knew it would be a long day. So, 7 hours, 7.5mg of Haldol, and 4mg of Ativan later she is out like a light. That's really not that much compared to what I've given in the past, but remember I had to start out small. I ended up putting SQ lines in her so the staff could give the drugs properly. Before I got her sleeping she was yelling at me, "Open that door! Dammit I told you to get over there and OPEN THAT DOOR!" At one point she sat me down and said, "The man will come in at night and make you spread your legs and put that thing into you and all his fluid will go in. You are next. It happened to my little girl and it will happen to you." Mind you her "little girl" is 86 now. The patient went on and on about the children that were being murdered at night, the man standing in her room, the fires in the building. She would not take any medications, stopped eating and drinking, all because she believed she was being poisoned. The poor tortured soul. And it was so frustrating for me because on one hand I had the daughter telling me "Don't sedate her" and on the other hand I have the staff who are terminal-agitation-naiive and think I would be trying to kill her if I gave her too many meds. Anyway, the pt is comfy now, and what a learning experience that was!
  6. by   Ginapixi
    Heogog53; yes a kinder place!
    i always thought that we do get insights for ourselves not for all human kind any way; so if some one discounts all spiritual experiences because they do not fit into that persons thinking and understanding does that make your or my experience invalid? we all grow and learn at different speeds; even if i do not agree with some one does not make them a bad person, an evil person or what ever; we are created differnetly for a reason and until we grow to accept that and walk humbly in our faith we are far from the goal;
    i have come to believe that no matter who you are, what you believe or how you lived there is a "last chance" to make peace with your maker before you leave this world; some seem to take a long time to make peace and i do not know if they actually do; but i do believe God is a gracious God !
    (sorry if there are typos it is too late to spell check, i am tired)
  7. by   Butterfliesnroses
    I had one resident who came back from the hospital. When the medics dropped her off she was talking to her daddy (who was long gone!). She was hungry so I was feeding her. She started gurgling so I ran and got the nurse who said she was dying. So we ran her to her room (she'd wanted to sit at the nurses station and visit) where she died in her wheelchair. I went and got the male aide to help me put her to bed. He insisted she wasn't that heavy and could do it himself even though we told him she'd be dead weight. He lifted her like a baby and was swaying and almost dropped her...thank the Lord he didn't! Anywho I've actually had quite a bit of people talk to dead relatives before or as they are going.

    My great grandma was taking days and days to die. One evening my mom was reading her the bible because she was a really strong Christian woman. She hadn't talked much at all and she moaned the word why. We think she was getting angry with God that she wasn't dead. For months before she kept saying it was her time to die. Another time I was in the room with her and I was crying. She opened her eyes and saw me crying and she started to rub my hand. I told her she could go but she just kept comforting me. You see in church I'd always sit next to her and she'd rub my hand and it was our sign for I love you.

    The most agonizing death I remember was a lady who was dying and was screaming in agony the whole time. She screamed for days and days. It was really heart wrenching to me!

    We had a nurse that insisted the lights needed to be on so they could go towards the light! I tried saying that they wouldn't go towards THAT light but she thought I was silly...same nurse thought mg=ml so I think it was time for her to stop nursing!
  8. by   Code Brown RN
    Lets bump this thread... its a good one!
  9. by   rdsxfnrn
    Here is my story..... my dad had stage 4 lung CA. We were taking care of him at home. A cpl weeks before he died, he started asking where his suitcases were, was his good suit pressed, shoes shined, insurance papers in order? All of us stayed there with him.... the last night, we were playing his favorite music, taking turns sitting on his bed, holding his hand, etc. All of us had told him previously that it was ok to go..... he only asked that we "take care of your mother". I asked him who he thought would come for him, and he told me "my father". The last night, he seemed to be "waiting" for something or someone. The only person I could think of that had not given him permission was my ex husband. He was out of town so I called him and had him talk to my dad and tell him it ok. (he thought I was nuts) My father died later that night, his heart stopped beating as I was feeling for a pulse. We gathered around and told him we loved him, said a prayer, and weeped. We also prepared his body for the funeral home, and (I made sure of this) we gently tucked him onto the stretcher and carried him out. (absolutely no body bag, ICK) It was a peaceful loving death..... I have no regrets, and when I think back, it gives me PEACE. I miss him dearly..........
  10. by   MCFielder
    My father had really bad pancreatic cancer. He was in pain for a year and nobody knew why until the cut him open for surgery and found cancer. They told us it was too much and too late there was nothing that they could do. He was so adamant about fighting the cancer. He used to always say Im going to beat this. He got very close to God on his deathbead and read the bible often. During his last few days he was slipping in and out of sanity. I remember him talking to God as if God were in the room I thought he was high on meds but now I know better! He was asking God to bless us and watch over us. Now I know God had come for him and promised him we would be ok thats what gave my dad the peace to leave us as he was VERY protective over us kids. He gave us final words of advice which I hate myself for not remembering because I chalked it up to this meds once again. He told us he loved us I do remember that much. That night he went back to the hospital because he was detriorating. He had a seizure in the ambulance and when we saw him in the ICU he had tubes down his chest and he was literally FIGHTING for his life. He was squirming and squeezing onto these things I cant remember really hard. He was not going down without a fight. A few hours later he went into renal failure and at that point we decided to let him go. We all got together and prayed over him, said our goodbyes. I went out of the room after I said goodbye and waited for everyone to finish so we could let the nurse know we were ready to let him go. As soon as my grandmother-his mother kissed him on the forehead the lines went flat. Everyone thought she had stepped on a chord or something because it happened so suddenly. But nope, he was just waiting for everyone to say goodbye.
  11. by   LuvMyGamecocks
    I came across this thread as I'm researching what all you fine nurses have to say about the hospice profession. I'm thinking of making a change from LTC to home hospice....

    Actually, the reason I'm a nurse is b/c of the way a nurse in ICU treated US as a family as she furiously attempted to save my grandfather's life. She focused on our pain knowing inside that her attempts would prove futile. We sat with him in peace after staff was told to just 15 IV lines/tubes, no CRRT, no blood from the episode w/DIC. We were given comfortable chairs, tissues and quiet.

    I recently admitted a inpatient hospice resident to our LTC unit...young doctor w/ brain Ca. The family came the night before admission to decorate his room w/ memorabilia from college and golf and family....Soooo many visitors brought beautiful signature posters to go w/ the decorations. We even got our house doc to give us an order to let him have beer on Fridays. One Friday, the family paid to hold his bed on the unit so they could take him for a weekend trip. He passed away on his favorite spot on the coast of the Carolinas, with his family surrounding him.

    I've learned of many deaths in LTC, but that one will likely stick with me for a while.
  12. by   lookingGlass
    I am not an RN but came across this as I searched for answers.
    Also I'm not into the paranormal nor am I a church attender - meaning I know there is something more but I tend to not like organized religion (just me I suppose).

    Years ago I had two relatives die within weeks of one another. I was close to both of them. The first was in the hospital 35 min. away. It was late in the evening and I was in bed. I felt him tell me all was going to be alright. It was like time stood still as I kept staring at the clock, finally the minute changed. The next morning my mother told me he had died and at what time. It was that exact minute. The second relative was my grandfather and he lived across the country. 20 minutes after he died I felt him tell me he loved me. Again, I only found out he had died the next morning.
    Years went by without this happening another time. Then I think it happened when my great aunt died. I was half asleep when it happened.

    I'm going to skip one for now and go on to the last time it happened. My relative had mets to the bone, she was in a coma and had been in the hospital for nearly 3 days. She lived half across the country. I was up late waiting for my husband to get home from a job and we were talking (he had come home within the hour). Suddenly it happened, it's like a shock to the brain and I knew she was leaving. I stayed up for the next hour and a half thinking about it (wee hours of the morning) and finally told myself if true, then she would want me to turn off the tv and go to bed. The next morning my mom called. I nearly told her before she told me that our family member had died and at what time. The time I felt it was 35 min. before she was pronounced. She was pronounced dead at the top of the hour so I wonder if they were not exact (it was in the middle of the night). Besides this being an odd thing, I find it interesting that it didn't matter that she was in a coma. The other interesting thing is, I knew what it was BEFORE I was told she had died. It was NOT a false or pieced together memory to ease the pain. The feeling is very strong, quick and unexpected.

    Knowing it is a real feeling has become very special to me. Now returing to the one that causes me so much emotion. I had a friend whom I had not seen in 20 years, he was very special to me and as things go...something tore us apart. I did not know he was sick / dying. I was cleaning up some items and noticed some old yearbooks. I got a strong feeling to look for his photo. Without being too personal, I told him good-nite and then proceeded to look to the sky and ask God to please let him live (he did have a condition & said would shorten his life but I have never asked this of God before and I rarely ever looked at his photo - only a few times over the years). I found out 3 years later he had died. I thought maybe I had the day wrong since it was 3 years ago but I didn't and it can only be that day. His photo was sealed in a box that evening and not opened until after I found out he had died.

    I don't know why this happens but it does. It's not wishful thinking on my part to ease the pain of loosing someone.
  13. by   Hygiene Queen

    One night, when my grandmother was in the hospital, my grandfather was at home and having great difficulty sleeping.
    At 3:00am, he was startled to hear his name being called. It sounded like Grandma.
    He got up and checked everything out, was pretty darn nervous, but tried to forget about it.
    Well, it bothered him so bad, he (reluctantly) told my mother about it.
    That was interesting, because, apparently, Mom woke up at 3:00am and just couldn't get back to sleep. However, she didn't hear anything.
    That day, in the hospital, my mother and aunt were sitting in Grandma's room. Grandma was going in and out of consciousness, and after a particularly long period of "sleep", Grandma suddenly got a second wind. She chirked up a bit and asked, "What time is it?"
    Mom said, "It's 3:00".
    Grandma replied, "Is it a.m. or p.m.?"
    Mom answered, "It's p.m."
    To which Grandma just said "oh" and fell right back into sleep.
    I came that evening to be there, and toward midnight Grandma became very restless. Finally, after sometime, she settled down. As my mom and I watched her, I witnessed the life leave her features.
    It's hard to describe, I can only describe it as the soul and the very essence of her personality being sucked right out.
    I know others know that I mean.
    But my mom saw it, looked alarmed and turned to look at me.
    "I think it will be soon" was all I could say.
    I left at 1am.
    At about 7am, I get the call.
    Grandma had stirred, opened her eyes, looked at the clock, drew a last breath and died.
    At 3:00am.
    The funeral was then arranged and some very nice photos were arranged on a poster board which was resting on an easel.
    Suddenly, a swift breeze blew through from nowhere and the poster board rather swooped to the ground, almost as if it was tossed with a bit of an attitude.
    Everyone, feeling a bit creepy, stared at the display and my mother exclaims, "Mom! You quit that!"
    Then we got to chuckling and noted the time.
    It wasn't 3:00am, of course, but it was 3:00pm.
    We don't know what the significance of 3:00 was, a.m. or p.m., but apparently it meant something to Grandma.