Do your dying patient's have company? - page 3

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... Read More

  1. by   Dixen81
    Just because you haven't felt that presence lately doesn't mean that you are a hardened nurse. Maybe we felt it because of our closeness to the one who died; I don't know. But you're right, it is an incredibly peaceful feeling. How long have you been a nurse? I am just a student right now; a 42 year old student.
    Best wishes.
  2. by   Nightcrawler
    I am currently studying to be a nurse, but when my grandmother was dying several years ago, I would take the bus up to visit and take care of her whenever I could during the year it took her to go through the process. My grandmother started to have visitors within the first four months. At first the presences weren't anyone that she knew, but she would talk about that nice lady in the wedding dress that was living in the playhouse in the yard. Needless to say, we all thought that this was a little strange. At about the six month point, the guests moved into the house. She started refering to my grandfather as if he were still alive in conversation, and reaching over to pat the couch beside her as if she was patting him on the knee like she had when he was alive. That wasn't the only thing. The dog started to go crazy, barking and trotting through the house looking up and prancing, just like she used to follow my grandfather through the house when he would get home at night. My grandfather was a prankster in life, and he continued to be in death. My sister and I would prepare to go to bed, turning off the lights and the tv in the living room and start up the stairs. Several times the lamp or the tv would turn itself on just as we reached the landing. I would just laugh, say "very funny grandpa", go down and turn everything off again. I never felt threatened by any of the presences, and I know that they comforted my grandmother and made the process easier for her to bear and accept. That is all that matters.
  3. by   wyndwalker
    I'm a CNA working in a 16 bed Hospice care center...I believe it's a very spiritual place and have had many of my patients receive "visitors" - I've also seen things that aren't quite explainable to those not involved with hospice...however, twice now, I've seen a golden light come over my patients...the 1st time, I even saw a beautiful blue light (it brought tears to my eyes & took my breath away)...

    I was so freaked out the 1st time it happened...I had trouble sleeping for two days...I finally talked to the Hospice Chaplain, who assured me that I wasn't crazy and that I'd been given a gift and to just accept it as that...I thought I was okay with it, until it happened again overwhelmed me again...Is there anyone else out there that's seen the lights ???

    I don't think they were a figment of my imagination and I truly know that I'm not the same person I was before I saw the lights.....

  4. by   Wren
    Beth, this is not quite the same thing but I was once at a gathering to listen to a man speak who is known for his work with the dying and impoverished. He was speaking that night about compassion. A couple of times I noticed that he had lovely purple lighting that appeared to radiate from around and behind him (he was on a stage) I mentioned to my friend that I like the way the stage was lit and he just looked at me funny. I noticed later that the lighting was "turned off" and later found out that there was no lighting other than the usual overhead.

    Like you, I know that I saw it. Since then someone told me then that purple is the color of compassion and that I probably saw an "aura". If so, it is the only one I've ever seen!

    I agree though that you've been given a marvelous gift! :angel2:
  5. by   wyndwalker
    Wren, thanks for your reply...One of my nurses said something about aura's, but not sure that's what I'm seeing...will have to wait and "see". How awesome that you've seen your own lights..Thank-You for sharing, hope we get some more posts...

  6. by   Mazzi
    This is a neat post. As a hospice nurse, I have many stories about this subject. Most memorable is when a pt. woke for the day and realized he had not passed yet, his wife asked if he wanted anything for breakfast. He told her what he wanted and asked if there was enough for everyone. Not seeing any one else there, she asked if there were others in the room. He said " Yes, but if you don't see them, then don't feed them. She had to laugh.
  7. by   seasonedlpn
    AFTER my father died, he gave me instructions for my mom. he told me to teach her to drive, keep the house, and keep the poodle trimmed. When my sister and I got to the mortuary, the Ladies room smelled like "Old Spice", my Dad's after shave. I then heard his voice (inside my head) complain about the cost of the casket! I told my sister that Daddy was mad....but she didn't believe me. At the cemetary, my father said,"better get one for your mother, too." I told my sister, "Maybe we should get two plots." she told me not to be morbid....then I said, "no, for Mom."....and she thought that was a good idea.I didn't bother to tell her it wasn't MY idea.
    When my son died, we postponed the funeral until his friends could come from other states. His nickname was "smartass", and it continued to fit for weeks AFTER the funeral. His childhood friend heard him say, "Tell then I'm OK"
    He wasn't sure what to make of it. I gave each of his friends something to remind them of their times together....the childhood friend got his fishing gear . He wasn't sure if it was OK to have it.....he told me he could "make the answer come, but it wasn't the same" (as being told to 'tell them I'm OK'. )Just then the poor boy got a strange look on his face, reached down to my kitchen floor and picked up a live night-crawler! I just said, "nice touch, son", and the boy knew the fishing gear was his.My son continued his "gotchas" for several weeks, I'd get calls from all over the US...."could he make it to.........?" I'd just say, "yes, why, what did he do?" He's been dead for 17 years now, but those stories still bring a smile to my face.

    LIFE: A sexually transmitted, terminal, condition.
  8. by   JUSTYSMOM

    Before my grandmother died, my uncle (who was by her side) watched her reach her arms up towards the right side of the ceiling. She wouldn't drop her arms or take her eyes off that part of the ceiling. Shortly afterwards, she passed on.

    The day my mother died, I was driving to the hospital by myself for a last visit. On the way there, I was hit with a TREMENDOUS feeling of inner peace. It radiated throughout my whole being. I felt that a few more times throughout the day until she died that night.

    At her funeral, the immediate family was able to see her privately in an open casket. We were floored by how beautiful and at peace she looked! She literally looked 20 years younger.

    She had been diagnosed with advanced metastic breast cancer 5 months earlier. She also had a trach in place. because one of the tumors had attached to her vocal chords and paralyzed them. She had looked so horrible. She didn't even make it to hospice.

    While we were in the room with her, we all felt the same inner feeling of peace & happiness. We were almost giddy with happiness. It was wonderful.

    That night, my sister had a "dream" that my mother came to her and told her that she was fine. She also said that although she missed us, we had to go on and be strong.

    In addition, I had a "dream" that she was sitting next to me in my bed and hugging me. It felt so real that I woke up with my arms wrapped around my own body.

    Thanks for letting me share this experience. To be honest with you, I want to thank all hospice nurses who take care of the dieing. You really are so special & appreciated.

  9. by   proud2basn
    Originally posted by CANRN
    Yes, I agree. My father passed away at home, he told my Mom one day to open the door and "let them in." She did, he was waving them in and suddenly said "CLOSE THE DOOR! Don't let that one in!"

    I believe in our deceased family and friends come to guide us.
    I love that! That just shows you that there is humor in life including the dying process. My mom had hospice for the last couple of months and I know that they helped her. They made her laugh right up to the end.

    Hospice Nurses are Angels in Disquise!
  10. by   Dixen81
    I like to believe that when it's my time to go, that my Dad will come and escort me. I sure hope so, anyway.
  11. by   STM
    Originally posted by Disablednurse
    My husband almost died this past July r/t having a build up of blood pressure meds in his body. He started counting and really scared me because I have seen some the elderly residents start doing that when they were dying. He had a blood pressure of 60 palpated and a heart rate of less than 12. He told me that he watched them take care of him as he saw himself laying there on the stretcher. Fortunately he made it, but he told me later that it was like watching the tv shows like ER, etc. He said that they really do things like that, throwing things on the floor, etc.

    Almost every patient I have ever had in hospice has experienced or said to experience, someone in their past being near by. How can so many people be that wrong???/ I don't doubt it myself and families seem to find comfort when they realize it may not just be hallucinations....and they respond accordingly. What a beautiful thought indeed to think we may be escorted off this earth with a loved one or two!!!!
    And the looking past you, like they see something real, I don't doubt that either. Seen it way too much!
  12. by   LydiaGreen
    My father died a little over a year ago at the age of 58. He died in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I had sat with him during the evening. Told him it was okay to go, that I would take care of the family like he had always done, that we would all be "okay". My mother took over at 2 a.m. He died at 2:30. In the morning, I called my father's cousin in Newfoundland. I needed someone to tell my grandmother (his mother) in her nursing home in St. John's. My father's cousin called back a few hours later and said that Grandma already knew, that she told her about it as soon as she walked in the room. Grandma said that my father appeared at the end of her bed. He was standing (for the last two years of his life, he had used a cane and then a wheelchair) and his face was "normal" (he had had multiple CVA's and had paralysis in several areas of his body including his face) and he told her that he had come to say goodbye. She said that this happened at 5 a.m., which would have been 2:30 a.m. in Manitoba. The nurses verified that my grandmother rang at 5 a.m. for a new box of tissue... she was crying and told them that her wee boy had died.

    As a student I have had several dying patients. I assisted a classmate with one of her's last year. My classmate was freaked out because the patient kept talking to her "brother" who was standing in the corner. There was, of course, no one there - at least no one that we could see. The air in that corner of the room was cold even though that was where the vent was for the heating system. I asked the client about her brother. She said that Jim had always taken care of her when she was a little girl, that he had died in WWII when he was just a young man and she was still a teenager. She said that he started coming to "visit" the previous day and that he told her it was time to "get ready to go". I told her that was lucky to have a such a good brother to watch over her all of these years. She smiled and agreed. I continued to help my classmate with her patient, but she became less freaked out and more comfortable with the presence in the room. She died after we had left for the day.

    What I HAVE noticed every time I was with someone who died was the smell of molasses cookies. Being with my maternal grandmother when she died (I was 18 at the time), the wonderful care of the nurses towards her and my family was a lot of what made me want to be a nurse. She always baked me molasses cookies when I was a girl. The first time it happened, I asked the nurse who was with me if she smelled anything and she said, "It's cookies straight out of the oven." We searched for the source of the smell but never found it. Now, I believe that our loved ones come to support us as well when we are with a dying patient.
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Originally posted by 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.

    Okay, here is the story I was referring to. This is true. I was there. All the names have been changed, of course.

    ************************************************** **

    Strange, but true story:

    About five years ago, I was working nights as an LPN at an inpt. hospice unit. It was a quiet night, I was in with "Gladys" and her family. Gladys was quietly actively dying, and her son "Bill" and daughter-in-law "Sue" were with her. I heard the phone ring at the desk. My CNA "Mary", answered it, took a message and met me in the hallway. She said "That was a weird call. It was some guy named "Harry." He said to tell Gladys that he'll be here for her in a half hour."

    I walked back to the patient's room and relayed the message to Bill, Sue and Gladys. Gladys was non-responsive, so I leaned over and spoke the message quietly in her ear. The message didn't make sense to me, but I figured the family would know what is was about. Bill and Sue didn't say anything, but they gave me a funny look. I went back to the desk.

    A couple minutes later, Bill and Sue came to the desk. Sue said "Are you sure the caller's name was Harry? The only Harry we know is Gladys' husband, and he's been dead for five years." Mary was sitting there, and read from the message log, confirming the message.

    Bill said "That doesn't make any sense." Then he and Sue went back to Gladys' room. A little while later, Sue came to tell me that Gladys was not breathing. I went to check. She breathed two more times, and stopped. I assessed for signs of life, and wrote down the time of death and called the Charge Nurse, who confirmed it. When we checked, we saw that Gladys' time of death was oner half hour TO THE MINUTE from the time that Harry called. Mary said that his voice had had an echoing, staticy quality to it. Was it really Gladys' dead husband calling to let everyone know her time was at hand? Who knows!?

    We all talked about that incident for a long time after that. -

    contributed by: ME