Need humor on death and dying


Am doing a presentation on death and dying. Need some humorous stories, antidotes, or even jokes to lighten up a serious subject.

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JBudd, MSN

1 Article; 3,836 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 42 years experience.

There's a cartoon on nursetoons with the nurse standing over a table with a sheet covered shape, feet with a toe tag sticking out, with a bag in each hand going "Paper? or Plastic?"

Specializes in Palliative Care, NICU/NNP.

When I was taking care of a dying woman the family brought in a photo of the patient in her earlier years. Out comes, "She's drop dead gorgeous"! Lucky the family had a sense of humor.

Another pt I had that had an unresolvable bowel obstruction. When her doc told her there was nothing else he could do for her she just said to let her die--like right then. It amazes me when people get this news and they are just ready to die then. They were Italian and they decided that they would bring in a bottle of wine that evening and have a drink together since she wasn't going home and the doc OK's it. It went in and came out her NG! The nursing supervisor was horrified when she found out about it.

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

This is a funny commercial: Electro shock - Google Video

The docs are in the room with a sleeping(?) pt, and a fly is buzzing around the room. The get tired of it, grab the defib paddles and shock the fly.....dead fly. Holding the paddles over the dead guy, the doc says "well that killed him" just as the family walks in the room.

They played this video as an intro to a lecture in school a couple of weeks ago. It was a good attention grabber.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I love the old story that goes like this (it is a little sacreligious but fun)

In life there is really only two things to worry about - whether you are healthy or whether you are sick

If you are healthy then there is nothing to worry about

but if you are sick there are only two things to worry about

Whether you will get better or die

If you get better, well there is nothing to worry about

but if you die you only have two things to worry about

Whether you will go to heaven or hell

If you go to heaven well, there is nothing to worry about

but if you go to hell - well you will be so busy shaking hands with old friends that you won't have time to worry!!:D



2,719 Posts

Thanks! More is welcomed. Great stuff here.

vamedic4, EMT-P

1,060 Posts

Specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi. Has 23 years experience.

This thread reminds me of a T shirt I gave my dad some years was a NO FEAR GEAR shirt that said

"It's not that life is too short, it's just that you're dead for so long.";)


4,177 Posts

one boy told another : my uncle knew the exact day and hour that he was going to die

GEE did he have esp?

nope, the judge told him


31 Posts

The best story I have is about a patient I had. He was inpatient hospice. He had been doing fairly well considering and then suddenly one afternoon, his breathing changed. His breaths became more shallow and with periods of apnea. This man who was normally joking around with us was no longer smiling. He said that he felt a crushing feeling in his chest and that he knew he wasn't going to live much longer. His blood pressure was dropping and the pallative care nurse was in visiting with him. After assessing him, she told the family that if there was anyone they wanted to call, they might want to start calling them. She wrote in his progress notes that his death was imminent. As the day progressed, the hall was full of his children and grandchildren coming to say goodbye. I spoke with one of his daughters and and she was upset because her brother was still at work and had not been able to leave to come to the hospital. She told me that she hoped Daddy would hold on until this last son could be there. As soon as the son's shift was over, he raced to the hospital. As soon as the elevator doors opened, he burst through them...running to his father's side. The crowd parted to make room for him to say his final goodbye. As he leaned over the pale man in the bed, he said "Daddy, I'm here." With the solemn look on his face, the old man responded "Thank heavens! I really have to go pee." As everyone stood there in shock, the old man got out of bed, walked to the bathroom, then proceeded to come back and perform magic tricks for the children and tell jokes to the stunned crowd. When we rechecked his vital signs, they had all returned to normal. He lived for another week and a half. :jester:


1,355 Posts

OK here goes, I had just come on duty , was in the middle of getting report about a dying gentleman down the hall, his son was very attentive and was with him all shift. Up to the nurses desk comes the son with a bereaved look on his face to report that his Dad had just passed away. The PM nurse and myself went down the hall with the son and into his Dads room.The son had taken it upon himself to cover his Dads face with the top sheet. I guess he thought that was proper according to the movies, or whatever, but as we were bending over the dad , getting ready to remove the sheet , Dad let out one huge last breath, WHOA!!! I dont know who jumped higher the son or we two nurses!Well it was the last breath and Dad did pass peacefully .When we two nurses were alone , I admit we just cracked up at our own response to seeing that sheet puff up over dear Dads face!NO disrepect meant here.

Specializes in Palliative Care, NICU/NNP.

One noc shift the nurse went into this dying patient's room and thought the patient was dead. She called the family and they were on their way. The charge nurse and another nurse went in the room and the patient said something. They both jumped out of their skin! The son and d-i-l arrived and luckily had a sense of humor.

Liddle Noodnik

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep.. Has 30 years experience.

Three buddies die in a car and go to heaven for an orientation. They are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say, 'LOOK, HE'S MOVING!!!!!'"


Last Request

A murderer, sitting in the electric chair, was about to be executed.

"Have you any last requests? asked the chaplain.

"Yes," replied the murderer. "Will you hold my hand?"


An Irish fella left the pub late one night, and since it was late he figured to cut through the cemetery..

As he walked through it, he fell into a fresh cut grave.. Try as he could, the loose dirt allowed no hold, and he kept slipping back into the hole.. Finally, he decided to wait till morning and let the caretakers help him out, so he sat in a corner and went to sleep..

A little later in the night, another Irish bloke made the same shortcut, and he too fell into the grave site.. As he scrambled at the sides to no avail, the other drunk woke up..

"Ya kanna get out, I've tried", he said..

He got out...


Warning! This one is gross and probably won't be used in any educational session...

A woman went to the undertakers to have one last look at her dearly departed husband.

The instant she saw him she started crying.

One of the undertakers strides up to provide comfort in this somber moment. Through her tears she explains that she is upset because her dearest Albert was wearing a black suit, and it was his dying wish to be buried in a blue suit.

The undertaker apologizes and explains that traditionally, they always put the bodies in a black suit, but he'd see what he could arrange. The next day she returned to the undertakers to have one last moment with Albert before his funeral the following day. When the undertaker pulls back the curtain, she manages to smile through her tears as Albert is resplendent in a smart blue suit.

She says to the undertaker "Wonderful, wonderful, but where did you get that beautiful blue suit?"

"Well, yesterday afternoon after you left, a man about your husband's size was brought in and he was wearing a blue suit. His wife explained that she was very upset as he had always wanted to be buried in a black suit," the undertaker replied.

The wife smiled at the man.

He continued, "After that, it was simply a matter of swapping the heads."

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