A person's last words are so important.
That final thought can encapsulate so much.
When one is in the medical profession, you're privy to more than most.
It's part of the deal, but hat can be a lot to bear.
Redditor ttatonouar wanted to hear about what people had to say when leaving this Earth, so they asked:
"Medical workers of Reddit, what were the most haunting last words you’ve heard from a patient?"
"My grandmother fell, and my grandfather couldn’t get her up again and had to get a neighbor to help. He called my mum and said that it had reached the point for both their safety that he was going to have to put her in a nursing home. She had progressing dementia but was mostly lucid. Her physical health was declining too, and they were both in their early 80s. She heard my grandfather say this and said that she wasn’t going. She was going to die in her own home."
"That was just after lunchtime. We were sitting having dinner at my parents’ house when my grandfather called again. She’d sat down in her recliner for a nap as she did many afternoons, and when he went to check on her, she’d already died. She told him she’d die in her own home, and she did exactly that only about two hours after the conversation. My grandmother was one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever known and did exactly what she said she’d do."
"84-year-old woman with advanced dementia. She was very combative at night: scratching, biting, and pulling out her IV and oxygen. I was her nurse for a week or so before she died. One of the last nights, the clouds parted, and she had a moment of clarity. She looked up at me from her bed and said: 'This is hell. I am in hell right now.'"
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"I am a medical worker, but the one that stays with me is actually when my aunt was dying. I think I was about 14, and she was my favorite aunt. I held her hand and asked her to wait until her birthday so that I could wish her happy birthday (a silly request looking back), and the last thing she said to me was, 'ok.' She lasted until the morning of her birthday, I wished her happy birthday, and she passed away with a smile."
"I had forgotten that until I saw this question. Thank you for asking it. ETA Thank you to everyone who responded with kindness and love. I loved my aunt very dearly and I'm glad I could share this memory with you all. Thank you all for sharing your stories too, they made me feel all warm inside ❤️."
"My dad came by my house and just poured the love I needed to hear my entire life. We hugged, and I’ll never forget him telling me how proud he was of me. This was very out of character but it was validation for me. He died five days later from a massive heart attack in my arms."
"My mom came home to me in hospice and one day said, 'I'm done. I'm tired of fighting. I'm going to sleep.' She never woke up after that. I'm happy for her because she fought so hard, and I know she was tired. Think of her a million times a day and coming up on her death anniversary on the second."
2 Days Later
"My dad was in the hospital, dying, and before I went inside to clock in at work, I called him. We didn't have a good relationship, but I told him that I was just calling to tell him that I loved him. I was about to hang up, when he said, 'Wait! Talk to me a minute.' I did. He asked how I was doing, how my car was running if my tires were aired up."
"He asked about his dogs at home, and I reassured him that I had been taking very good care of them. He said he was feeling terrible, and I told him not to worry about getting out of the hospital, coming home, or getting better because it was all about to be over, and all he needed to do now was rest. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me. He died two days later. I'll never forget him saying that, 'talk to me a minute.' ."
"When I worked at a nursing home there was a couple who was pretty poor off. The wife had dementia and ignored everyone but read magazines all day. The husband was frequently distressed, agitated about being trapped in his wheelchair, ranting about how son’s wedding, talking about the news. The husband died first. The next time I saw the wife, she spoke to me. She said that her husband is preparing their new home for her, and she’s going to see him soon. She died that week."
"Peds ICU HIV positive kid. Must be 3 years old. Got an infection from Mum. Bad shape. But was a delight to play with. He had a transformer toy. Routine rounds, we used to play with him. I broke a small part. Promised him to get a new one the next day. He passed away at night. I am haunted by that promise."
"In my grandma’s last days, we went to visit her. She had exactly one lucid day, and she asked 'Is everybody here to see me?' I said yes and she said 'Why? Am I dying?' I held back tears and told her, 'We just love you very much.' Even typing it now I’m crying."
"'It's not my fault, right?' - A patient (a very long time ago) about 2-3 minutes before he died from complications. I told him it was absolutely not his fault. I still think about this at LEAST once a week."
"I don’t work in a hospital, but when I was younger my family moved in with my grandmother to take care of her while she was dying from lung cancer. I used to sit with her in the den and read to her. One morning, she looked right at me and said 'Go get your father, I’m dying today.' Then she did."
"My first day in the ICU, I was taking care of an older lady with sepsis. She was very confused and, for the most part, incoherent, but when I was assisting her at one point in the night, she started muttering and wailing to herself. I leaned in closer to hear since I thought she was saying something to me, and she just kept repeating, 'I'm dying, I'm going to die.' Sure enough, later that night, she ended up coding and passed away. I did postmortem care that same day for her family to see her in peace."
A Good Day
"A very dear friend of my family was in the hospital, very old and very frail. Her grandson's wife gave birth to their second child extremely fast in the bathroom at home (they were on their way out the door to go to the hospital. She went to pee and felt the child coming out. Was assisted by her FIL, who had come to look after their toddler while she went to the hospital)."
"They then went to the hospital for checks and went to show the baby to her great-grandmother (the elderly lady in question). She lay in bed, holding her great-grandchild, and asked the nurse if it was possible to die from joy. The nurse answered that no, she'd never heard of that. Lady replied, 'It is a good day to die.' She died a few hours later."
I was completing my internship at an elderly home for individuals with dementia. One day, one of the residents experienced lower saturation (low oxygen) and had a fever. He wasn't feeling well, and given the ongoing pandemic, we decided to call an ambulance just to ensure his safety. When the ambulance arrived, they conducted a brief examination and determined that he needed to be taken to the hospital."
"We packed some of his clothes, and they placed him in the ambulance. Before leaving, he expressed gratitude, saying, 'Thank you guys for your care. I don't think I will see you again. It has been enough for me.' We were taken aback by the unexpected statement and didn't know how to respond. Unfortunately, he passed away three days later."
"It still amazes me how he had a premonition about his impending death."
"'Don't tie that. I'm not going to make it.' I was trying to check his manual BP cause the automated was detecting nothing. He passed away minutes later."
This is one of the reasons I could never do anything in the medical field. I can barely attend a funeral without waterworks.
These jobs take a certain amount of fortitude, and we're so grateful for the individuals who train their whole lives for them.
Do you have any "last words" to share? Let us know in the comments below.