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Nurses share people’s final words on deathbeds, ranging from heartbreaking and profound to peaceful

A nurse shared that right before a man passed away, he told his children that he wished they would meet again, as molecules in a flower.

Nurses share people’s final words on deathbeds, ranging from heartbreaking and profound to peaceful
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

Death is considered to be the greatest mystery of life. The moments right before we meet death are the most vulnerable, heart-touching, chaotic yet cathartic and in some cases peaceful. People's final words on their deathbeds are often what we recall the most when we think of them. The words could mean a reflection on life, regrets, joys, clarity, confusion and in some cases a little humor. u//maaraa_h asked nurses about the most haunting things people said on their deathbeds. So nurses, medical professionals, and people, who were present when a loved one died, came forward to share their stories. Here are the last words said by 25 people that make us feel a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from profound and heartbreaking to peaceful and amusing. 

1. The time has come 

"Right before my grandma died, her heart rate shot up to the 220s. As the monitor started sounding all sorts of alarms, she yelled out, 'Am I supposed to stop breathing now?!'" - u/Decent_Relief

2. When things get hard, "sometimes you've got to do what you don't want to do."

"I had to tell my grandmother that dialysis would only give her another week or so to live, and it was her choice to try or not. She was in and out of consciousness at that point, but she was in a clear state for the moment. She asked, 'Will I die?' I said, 'Yes.' She looked me in the eye, smiled just a little, and said, 'Sometimes, you've got to do what you don't want to do.' She closed her eyes, squeezed my hand, and slept until she passed a day later." -u/-Silouan-

3. "He was my first long-time patient"

"I had a patient whose memory had been fading for years. It's weird, right before a patient dies, sometimes they'll suddenly appear to be doing a lot better. Anyway, he thought I was his late wife. I played along and just listened to him while he recalled his engagement, his wedding, his first childbirth, and a few other memories. At one point, he says, 'Oh! Irene, there you are! Sorry, you know my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. Well, thank you for listening to an old man tell his stories. I hope you have great stories to tell one day, too. I'm coming, Irene.' Then he passed." -u/bedroompopprincess

4. "I was her favorite nurse too." 

"She looked at me and said, 'You really are a little pipsqueak.'"  - u/kratomstew

5. Just death

"Many moons ago, when I was a nursing student, a man in his forties was lying on his deathbed from terminal cancer, with his sobbing wife lying in bed next to him. He looked at his wife and, using the last bit of energy he had, gently wiped away her tears and stroked her cheek. He took off his oxygen mask and said, 'Don't worry, love, don't be afraid. It's just death,' and passed shortly after." -u/vikingnurse

6. She knew

"My grandmother grasped the nurse's hand and said, 'I think I'm going to die now.' The nurse was telling her no, she was doing much better and would likely leave soon, but my grandmother was gone before she could finish her sentence." -u/KneeDragr

7. "He was a cool guy"

"I'm a nursing student in Canada, and on my palliative rotation, I had a patient that was getting medically assisted dying the next day. He was an elderly cancer patient. He told me he was a 'self-ordained minister, nothing official — but an at-home type preacher,' and that I could confess to him anything I wanted. I humored him and whispered to him some of my biggest secrets. I figured who cares? He was going to die tomorrow. He told me it was alright, and I could tell he appreciated that I confided in him. He also told me his email address and said that while he would not be sending emails in return, he would be receiving them." -u/Eld4nte

8. The last dance

"About two minutes before my grandma passed, she had clarity. She'd suffered from severe dementia for years. She opened her eyes and said, 'I found Jack.' Jack was my grandpa who'd died eight years prior. She said they were at a ball with their friends. Then she said, 'I've got to go, he asked me to dance.' Then she was gone." -u/Chilibean127

9. "Wouldn't that be cool?"

"My brother couldn't really talk while he was dying, but the look in his eyes before his death rattle will haunt me forever. Whatever he saw…it awed him like a kid seeing Disneyland for the first time. I've never seen a person's eyes go so wide. My guess is he saw the whole damn universe at once." -u/RL_Mutt

10. He didn't mean to 

"We were sending this middle-aged guy home after his ER visit. As soon as we moved him off the bed, he went unresponsive and had no heartbeat. We did a couple of rounds of CPR, and he began to come to. He blinked a couple of times, and the doctor running the code jokingly said, 'Sir, you almost died on us!' The man said, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to,' in a sad way. His heart then stopped again, and we couldn't get him back." -u/yourloaclbeertender

11. "I want to be in that mindset when I go"

"I looked after a guy with end-stage heart failure. He kept having episodes where if he coughed or leaned forward — did anything to increase his intrathoracic pressure — he would pass out. He'd come back after a few minutes and gradually go from purple back to pink, asking, 'How long was I out for that time?' He was fully fine mentally — sharp, witty, and at peace with what was going to eventually happen to him. He and I were joking that one of these episodes was going to kill him as he sipped his tea, talking rubbish. Five minutes later, it happened again, and he didn't come back." -u/knifechoir

12. He made us smile 

"When my mom's friend passed, he had the best last words we've ever heard. The nurse asked him how he was, and he replied, 'I don't know. I've never done this before.' He was a wonderful and hilarious man, and it's only fitting that his last words make us smile." -u/79screamingfrogs

13. "We had their funeral together"

"My grandparents passed three days apart from each other. My grandmother was on her deathbed for a long time. It tore my grandfather up. He was healthy. One day, he was at the grocery store and had a heart attack. He died within minutes. A few days later, my dad told her that my grandfather was waiting for her whenever she was ready so she wouldn't have to go alone. My grandmother spoke her first words in a week: 'He's right here with me, I see him.' My dad asked, 'What's he wearing?' She giggled, 'He's in my favorite grey suit, I think we're going out.' She passed that evening." -u/anonymouspigeons

14. Ask God when you meet him 

"A paramedic I know once told me that a man was dying and saw a clock that was set to a different language in which December is abbreviated as 'Ded.' He said, 'Is God kidding with me right now?'" -u/SilasMcSaucey

15. "Most wonderful person"

"While in hospice, my grandma said to me, 'There are a great many things in this world worse than dying.' She then talked about how lucky she was to have lived the life she did. I had never looked at death like that before and that conversation truly changed me and my outlook." -u/feddeftones

16. "It is what it is"

"My great uncle's last words before he passed were, 'It is what it is.' I know it's really common, but I find myself saying it quite a lot nowadays. It is what it is." -u/PanzerKatze96

17. Ready to leave

"When my great uncle was on his deathbed, he asked the nurse, 'Hey, can you do me a favor and go get my car keys? I'm ready to go.' The nurse went to get the keys, and he died before she got back with them." -u/zachthesuperjew

18. In the face of death 

"Seconds before his blood pressure plummeted and he could no longer sustain consciousness, he yelled, 'Come and get me then!' We did not get him back." -u/cotxplant

19. Not a nice joke

"My mom told me that my grandma's last words were, 'Want to hear a joke?' Then a long beep was the only noise that filled the room." -u/CasualAsPossible

20. There to help 

"When my sister was on her death bed, she would point and ask who the people were in her room, but no one else was there. I'd then see her having conversations with these invisible people. I finally asked her what she was talking about and with whom. She said she was talking to our grandfather, who'd died 20 years prior, and that he'd told her he was there to help her cross over. She told him she wasn't ready to go, and he told her that it has to be her decision. When she's ready to take his hand, he will guide her across." -u/Dada2fish

21. DNR, baby 

 "One night, I was giving an elderly lady (who was pleasantly confused) a bath, and I asked how she was doing. She goes, 'I'm a DNR, baby, I'm doing just fine.' She passed 30 minutes later." -u/AvatarAiron

22. "As molecules, in a flower"

"My spouse's grandfather passed away last autumn. He was a biologist and loved nature. Before he passed away, he had explained he had seen another dimension and how all life was connected. He told his children that he wished they would meet again, as molecules, in a flower. I thought these things were beautiful and reflected well on his life as someone who dedicated his time to learning about nature and its wonders." -u/Illyriel

23. With sass

"My grandmother said, 'Let's get this over with,' right before she passed on." -u/TheTangeMan

24. Letting it go

"I'm an ER doctor. An old lady had had a big heart attack and refused treatment, so we made her comfortable by giving her morphine and benzos for her shortness of breath. While she was in the process of dying — I was with her and the family providing comfort — her daughter said to her, 'Just let go, mum.' The old lady opened her eyes one last time, looked at her daughter, and said, 'What do you think I've been trying to do?' She passed away a short time later." -u/craycraxy

25. It's time

"On the day my dad died we were waiting for a lawyer to come by so he could sign his will. At one point dad opened his eye and said 'it's been 1 o'clock for 4 f**king hours.'" -u/a-real-life-dolphin

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