Since many fear witnessing death, the nurse explains what happens during someone's last phase and people find it helpful.
One of the many things people wish when they face an unfortunate incident is that they could've been more prepared to confront it. Particularly in the case of the death of a loved one. If people knew about how the final stages of life are going to be, it would become easier for them to handle the grief. So, to help people tackle the tough times of seeing their close ones on the verge of death, a hospice nurse, who cares for terminally ill patients, has shared an informative clip on the 'actively dying' phase. Julie's (@hospicenursejulie) TikTok video is an eye-opener for those afraid to witness death and people have grateful comments for it.
"I'm going to show you a real-life video of what it looks like when someone is in the last phases of life. It's called the 'actively dying' phase," said Julie. The nurse assured the audience that she would give a heads-up before playing the video snippet given to her by a follower who consented for it to be posted publicly. "I have found that most people are afraid or scared when they are around someone who is dying or even just talking about death and dying," she mentioned and added, "From my experience, the more we prepare ourselves, the more we know what it actually looks like, we alleviate a lot of that fear and we can better be there for our loved ones." She emphasized that people have a common misconception that their loved ones are suffering during the last phase and mentioned that that was not the actual case.
With a trigger warning, the snippet of an old woman in her actively dying phase was played in Julie's video, after which the nurse discussed the whys and wherefores of the old woman's condition and how the family perceived it. Speaking about why the old lady's mouth was wide open while nearing death, the nurse explained, "That's because it takes muscles to close the mouth and these muscles are relaxed at the end of life," and added, "It almost seemed like she wasn't breathing. So you're gonna see very long pauses between breaths. All very normal, not causing any issues." She also said that the hand-twitching, caused by abnormal electrolyte levels in her body, and the noisy breathing are not causing the elderly woman any issues.
"Her family said she died about 12 hours after that video was taken. So, she was very close to the end of her life in that video," said Julie and added, "Also, about 2 or 3 weeks prior to this, she was talking to her sister, who had died years before. So, she was having that end-of-life visioning that a lot of people have." The nurse then mentioned, "The family also disclosed that this person did have the rally a few days before this video was taken where she had a burst of energy, where she felt really good and ate and talked to everybody." Talking about her objective, Julie said, "I'm trying to change the way we look at death and dying and I think education is the key," and expressed her gratitude to the viewers and the family who provided the snippet.
Thousands of responses poured in with people thanking her, sharing their experiences and also expressing their doubts. "This is so helpful. I had no idea the reality of dying. I genuinely appreciate your efforts to share more about it," wrote @tmcgee445. "The more I watch your videos, the more I think that nothing else truly matters. Life and death are both hard, but it helps to understand it," commented @nurseylori.