Whether it’s sudden or foreseeable, a visit from the grim reaper often makes for some interesting last moments to a life. As the Redditors below can attest, many people see and say odd things when they’re nearing the end. Some are cryptic and some will put a smile on your face, but all these last words will leave you wondering about the mysteries of what lies beyond.
1. Surprise, Surprise
My grandpa was really sick in the hospital, and he was told that he would die in his sleep that night. When he woke up at 6:00 am, he said, "Wow, I'm still here!" Then, he fell back asleep and passed on.
2. Staff Appreciation
I work as a palliative nurse at a hospital. My patient was slipping in and out of consciousness and would mumble words, but you couldn't understand her. During her last few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked right at me, alert. Her words will stick with me forever: "Thank you for coming. I am sorry but I am going to be poor company. I love you.”
All I could do was kiss her forehead and tell her that I loved her, too. She passed shortly after. I am not sure who she saw standing there, but I am pretty sure it wasn't me.
3. Time Warp
My grandma's last words to the nurse on duty were, "Time is not what you think it is." She kept repeating it, and then passed on. It was so eerie. The nurse pulled me aside when I arrived and told me how strange and alert her eyes were as she kept repeating that statement about time. To this day, I still wonder what she meant by it.
4. Tough Guy ‘Till The End
I worked at the hospital and was helping my grandpa with Alzheimer's. He had bad knees, and I was getting him situated in bed. I accidentally bent one of his knees wrong and he said, "IF YOU DO THAT AGAIN, I’LL PUNCH YOU IN THE NUTS!" I chuckled and let him go to bed. His blood pressure dropped, and he went peacefully in his sleep.
5. Rough Riders
I’m a firefighter and paramedic. I've seen way more than my fair share of active endings. The 36-year-old who coded last week said, "I'm going down, guys. I'm going down". He went into V-fib and didn't come back out of it. I had a man once in the ER who coded, and we shocked him and got a rhythm back. When he woke up, he asked if he had just passed. When we said yes, his reaction really shook me:
He started crying and said he saw God. Seconds later, he coded again. But that wasn't even the craziest thing I have seen. That was a skinny woman who went into cardiac arrest and since it was witnessed, we were able to start compressions immediately. As we compressed her heart, she would wake up and kick us and try to scream.
The second we stopped compressions, she would go back out. This continued over and over for a good 30 minutes until the cardiologist ordered us to stop. The whole time, we’d had a nurse dedicated to speaking in her ear to try to reassure her and get her to stop kicking.
6. You’ll See It Coming
I had a man witness his own heart stop. He was having an arrhythmia and I had the defibrillator turned toward him in the ambulance. He was watching the monitor as I was treating him, and his heart stopped cold. I'll never forget the horror in his eyes. I saw the panic, then he put his hand on my knee and faded away. The poor guy literally watched his own heart stop when he passed.
7. Dietary Instructions
My grandfather told me to "eat my green beans," then passed moments later. I eat the heck out of my green beans.
8. Happy Birthday
Grandpa called us into his bedroom as he was going to sleep after his birthday party. He said, "I think I've had enough. 92 is plenty, I won't be here in the morning. I love each and every one of you and you have made my life joyous one. Goodnight." We all thought he was just losing it. We were wrong.
He didn't wake up in the morning. He completely called it.
9. Closer, My Dear
My girlfriend just told me a story of her grandma's last words. Her grandma had a stroke and barely talked anymore. Shortly before she passed, she motioned for my girlfriend to come closer to her. She mouthed words, barely audible, and my girlfriend couldn't understand. So, she leaned closer. Still couldn’t hear anything.
When she leaned closer again, her grandma smacked her in the head, laughed, and said, "Got ya." Those were her last words to my girlfriend.
10. Looks Like Heaven
Massage therapist here. I sometimes massage patients who are at the end of the road. My first final massage was with this little old lady that was known to speak her mind. She was sweet as heck but would let you have it. I was giving her a massage with a soundtrack that imitates a cruise line, since going on cruises was her passion in life.
She was breathing short, ragged breaths and finally simply passed on. Her pulse was checked, and it was marked as non-existent. About five minutes later, as the family was talking and dealing with her passing, she breathes, leans up, and says, "Oh God, they're so freakin’ happy up there". Then, she laid back and was gone all over again.
11. Family Reunion
My great-grandma used to call out the names of her departed siblings in her sleep. She never spoke of the living, it was always the ones who had passed on. Sometimes, she’d have conversations with them when she was close to the end. Well, one brother passed, and nobody told her because she was in very poor shape and living in a home.
Nobody thought she could handle it. Then, one day she started talking to the brother we never told her had gone. She passed shortly after.
12. Best Regards
My mom's a nurse. Before she got her current hospital job, she used to work at an old folk's home. She's got quite a few stories but the one that sticks out the most is when one of the orderlies came and got her to tell her that one of her residents was looking really weird. He was pasty white and wide-eyed and not like himself.
When she went in, he looked at her and said, "Thank you for coming to see me. I'm going to go now. Have a nice evening". He closed his eyes, coded, and passed on.
My father’s last words were to me. In his last few months, we had sorta re-bonded over Halo 3. His last words were just for me: He told me that if he died, he wanted to respawn in a different place. He went into a coma a few minutes after waving goodbye to everyone. I still laugh about it from time to time. Those last words took away some of the sadness.
14. Take It To The Grave
I once had a patient say, "And no one ever figured me out” right before he passed. He must’ve had a heck of a secret.
15. The Visitor
I’m a night shift nurse. I had a hospice patient actively dying. She hadn’t been responsive for days. All of a sudden, when I walked into the room, she sat bolt upright in bed, looked into the corner behind me and asked, “Who’s the man in the corner with the red eyes?” Every hair on my body stood up on end and I felt a presence behind me.
I turned around to see nothing there. I turned back to the patient, and she had a huge smile on her face while looking at the other corner of the room. She said, “Never mind dear, my husband is here for me”. She then gently laid back in bed and passed on. You bet your bottom dollar I opened the window to release her soul.
That final moment was very peaceful, but I will never forget the feeling of that presence behind me. It gives me the creepy crawlies just thinking about it.
16. The Meaning Of Life
As my mom was dying, she was reaching out calling for her mother who had been gone for over 30 years. She was speaking in her native language, so I could only understand her mom's name.
However, the last thing she said in English was, "Oh well!" She repeated this dozens of times all while laughing. I'm not sure I could sum up life any better than that. “Oh, well”. Screw cancer.
17. The Trio
I work in oncology and hospice. If any of you have worked in the medical field, then you will know deaths often happen in threes. This one lady was going to be our second passing of the evening. I was sitting with her while her family went for a break, and she kept on looking at the corner chair where no one was sitting.
So, I asked her what she was looking at. Her answer sent a chill down my spine. She said, “Oh, it's just Charlie. He's waiting for me, and we're going to go together”. She never said another word and passed shortly after. It may have seemed like a normal thing because many people "see things" before they go…but Charlie was the first patient who had passed earlier in the shift.
18. An Appreciation For Nature
When my grandpa was dying, my dad and I visited him in the hospital. My grandpa loved nature and before he got sick, he used to spend hours sitting outside watching birds and other animals. So, my dad bought him a nature book. My dad held the book in front of him and flipped the pages as my grandpa silently looked at the pictures.
He didn't make a sound the whole time until we reached a page that had a picture of beavers on it. My grandpa, in a frail, dying voice said, "Stupid beavers". Those were his last words. He passed the next day.
19. Monkey Business
My grandmother had brain cancer and lots of secondary issues. She was in a really bad state, and I think the nurse was trying to keep things lighthearted. Just before my grandmother passed, the nurse asked her about doing her nails. Grandmother simply grabbed the nurse, looked her straight in the eyes, and said completely seriously, "Go on, be a monkey”.
20. Knock, Knock
My neighbor is a doctor and he once told me that one of his patients said, "I am the one who knocks" before going out. Being that my neighbor doesn’t watch Breaking Bad and wouldn't understand the reference, I sometimes will knock on his door late at night to mess with him.
During my last days in clinical, I was taking care of this man in hospice. My buddy helped me with getting him cleaned up. Right as we finished, the man said: "Sorry, boys. I done besmirched myself". And that was the end. No more words.
22. An Angelic Host
My ex-boyfriend’s grandma asked me if I saw the angel in the corner of her room. I said, “no”, and asked if she was sure it was an angel. She said, “Yes, he comes in that window every day and stands in that corner until I go to sleep”. I said, “Well...what's he doing here?” She said, “Jesus sent him to take me to Heaven so I wouldn't have to go alone, because I'm afraid to die.”
I stared at her unsure, thinking that it all could have been because of her meds. She said, “I told him I'd go with him on Saturday morning”. None of us thought much of it as we gave her hugs and then left. She was gone the next morning, which was Saturday.
23. Final Promise
I worked in hospice for a while and always had my nurses call me when one of our patients passed, regardless of the time. I only ever heard one of them sound shaken. She went with our chaplain to check on a patient with lung cancer that was actively dying. For those who don't know, lung cancer patients typically suffocate as their lungs fill up with fluid.
Their energy is so sapped from shallow breathing that they usually don't communicate much for a week or more before they pass. This patient was no different except that right before he passed, he became completely coherent. He hit our chaplain with a 1,000-yard stare and said, "If you've mucked this up, I swear to God, I'll haunt you”.
If there's a heaven, I hope he got in. Our chaplain was a nice guy.
24. Cheer Up!
My grandma was in the hospital because of cancer. Everyone was standing around her bed crying. She opened one eye and said, "Why don't you people freakin’ do something instead of moping?" She passed a few hours later.
25. Game On
My dad used to be really competitive with me and would challenge me at anything. You name it, and he would try to beat me at it. Even at the very end of it all, he was competitive. I will never forget that on his deathbed, as he breathed his last breath he said to me, "Staring contest...GO!" I wish he could’ve won that contest.
26. Child’s Play
I’m a certified nurse assistant and today I had a woman that was constantly covering her head with her blanket. As this wasn't her normal behavior, I went and sat with her on my lunch break and asked what she was attempting to do. She looked up at me and said, "I'm playing hide-and-seek with the children". She passed on about an hour later.
27. Nursery Rhymes
My grandfather passed last year, and he was always very sarcastic and cracking jokes. When I went into in his hospital room, he said, "If you kiss your honey, and her nose is runny, you may think it's funny but it's snot". We both laughed for a few minutes, and then he went back to sleep. He was gone soon after that. I miss him.
28. An Important Appointment
My grandmother was sick for weeks before she passed a little over four years ago. While she was in the hospital, there was always a member of the family there with her, day and night. Towards the end of May, my sister was spending the night at the hospital with my grandma, who woke up in the middle of the night to ask, "What day is today?"
My sister replied, telling her whatever day in May it was. My grandma said, "Good, good. I have somewhere to be on the first". To this day, despite being an atheist, it freaks me the heck out that my grandmother passed a few days later, on June 1st.
29. The Power Outage
I recently had a patient who was not supposed to be in any danger of dying. He was actually expected to go home later that week. Late at night, I heard a noise from his room when I went by. So, I looked in to find him sitting straight up in bed, looking terrified. He looked at me, and said, "The power, it’s going out!"
I was assuring him that even if the power failed, our generators would take over, when he started seizing and passed out. I did chest compressions for about half an hour, but never got any response.
30. Potty Mouth
He yelled: “Help me, skank!” This guy was one of the nastiest patients I’ve ever had. We were all doing our best to help him, but he was just cursing and insulting everyone the whole time in the hospital. Then, he climbed out of bed, ripped out his IV, and pulled off his monitor leads. He walked out into the middle of the hallway and clutched his chest.
He muttered those last words and collapsed on the floor. It was as if he was struck down by the proverbial lightning bolt.
31. Live Long And Prosper
When he was in the hospital, my grandfather asked his doctor, "Is the order given?" And without missing a beat, his doctor said, "The order is given." My grandfather passed about five minutes later. He was a proud Trekkie ‘til the end.
32. The Epiphany
I was about five or six when my grandfather was on his deathbed. The last thing he did was put his hand on my shoulder and say, "No wonder you never liked my spicy food". Then, he passed about 10 seconds later. We were all super confused. About three months later, I almost died from suffocation after eating some salsa.
At the hospital, I was diagnosed with a capsaicin allergy. Basically, this means I’m allergic to spicy food. To this day. it still creeps me out. No one knew I was allergic before then, and I didn't show any signs either. I guess somehow, on the night of his passing, my grandpa got the answer to some of life’s mysteries.
33. A Lovely Singing Voice
My pop lost a battle with lung cancer. The last lucid thing he did was wake up just long enough to start singing: "Show me the way to go home. I'm tired and I want to go to bed. I had a little drink about an hour ago and it went right to my head". Watching him sing like that was pretty amazing and freaky at the same time.
34. The Skydiver
During the second month of my intern year, I had a patient on the cardiac ICU who had newly diagnosed heart failure. We couldn't figure out what caused it. He was a healthy guy in his 60s. He did yoga every day, and walked a few miles, five days a week. He was also a genuinely nice guy which is always a bad prognostic sign.
With his heart failure, his heart was so stretched out and not squeezing adequately to provide the blood and subsequent oxygen he needed to the rest of his body. After a few nights into his hospital stay, I went in one morning and discovered that the senior resident had to code the patient for a sustained unstable heart arrhythmia.
I went and talked with the patient about it the next morning. He told me that he was in and out of consciousness during it all, but he compared it to the feeling of jumping out of the plane and skydiving. Later that morning, I was checking on him again and he didn't look so good. He went into the unstable arrhythmia again.
Then his blood pressure dropped, and he went in and out of consciousness. As I was charging the defibrillator to shock him again, he woke up briefly and asked me if I was taking him skydiving again. He let out a nervous laugh before losing consciousness for the final time.
Perhaps the one that stuck with me the most was a 29-year-old male. He said, "I wish there was more.” before he went to sleep and passed on.
36. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
Paramedic here. I was transporting a cardiac patient and while we were both watching my EKG monitor, he went into V-fib with a lethal heart rhythm. His heart stopped pumping blood effectively at that point but there was enough blood pressure for a few seconds of consciousness. He looked at me and said, "But I don't see the light".
Then, he went unconscious. I coded him, shocked him a few times, and gave him meds by the handful. Nothing worked and he was gone before we got to the hospital.
37. An Unexpected Turn
I remember when my friend's husband was dying from cancer. He had done lots of chemo and had one surgery. Overall, his prognosis looked really good. He had gone through another surgery and was due to be released from the hospital a couple days after this story takes place. My friend had been with him and was going back home to sleep for the night.
Just before she left his room, he said, "I'm going to miss you, my love". Obviously, she thought nothing of it, and said, "I'll miss you, too. I'll be back in the morning". A couple hours later he was gone.
38. Marching Orders
My grandmother once told me the story of her grandfather's or great-grandfather's passing. He had been in Sherman's March to the Sea during the Civil War years before. While he lay dying, he revisited the march and was ordering his men about. He was telling them to leave the woman and her kids a couple of chickens, and to slaughter and burn everything else.
No one in the room left unchanged when he passed.
39. Travel Advice
The last time my grandmother spoke was when her cousin visited her. This happened right before the cousin was supposed to hop on a plane to Russia. My grandmother had been unresponsive for the whole visit, until her cousin got up to leave. That's when my grandmother whipped her head around and shouted, "Don't you DARE kiss Putin!”
40. Judgment Day
While visiting family in the hospital, I overheard an old lady whisper this to her old husband dying of kidney problems: "You are going to beat this. You got away with murder, this is nothing.”
41. Smooth Sailing
I was working on a crew boat that would scuttle us across an inlet to a logging camp. I worked with an old fisherman who ran the boat. One day, I was getting on the boat and jokingly said, "Good morning, Dave, you crusty old scoundrel". The next day when we showed up for work, we found out that he had passed in his sleep.
I felt bad that those were my last words to him until I remembered his smile when he responded, "Go screw yourself, you tramp!"
42. Get Comfy
I had a patient come into the ER with shortness of breath. He started deteriorating in the ER, and then quite rapidly on the transport up the ICU. We got him wheeled into his room, replaced the ER lines and tubes with our own, and transferred him from the transport stretcher to his ICU bed. He actually did most of the transfer himself.
He didn't say anything, but just before he passed, he pleasantly adjusted his own pillow. Then, he laid his head down, and his eyes went blank. This man just made himself comfortable before laying down to go.
43. A Heavenly Sight
I'm a nurse and I used to work at an assisted living community on the dementia and Alzheimer's unit. My favorite patient had been declining steadily, so I was checking on him very frequently. We would have long chats and joke around with each other, but in the last two weeks of his life, he stopped talking completely and didn't really acknowledge any conversation directed at him.
I had finished my medication rounds for the evening and went to see him before I left. I told him I was leaving for the night and that I would see him the following day. He looked me in the eyes and smiled SO genuinely and said, "You look like an angel". I thought it was so sweet because he had not seemed lucid in weeks.
He was gone the next morning. It took me a while to come to terms with his passing.
44. All According To Plan
My dad had multiple sclerosis. He'd had it since he was 18. He married my mom at 24, had me at 29, and passed 15 days short of 45. Six months before that, he was put on hospice. He and Mom were discussing funeral arrangements. My mom jokingly said, "You know, Tim, the best thing you could do would be to die on a Wednesday.”
She explained, “That way we can have the body prepared on Thursday, the viewing on Friday, and the memorial on Saturday, so more people could come”. If only she'd known... The morning we got the call that it was time, my mom, two sisters, and I went to the hospice. We were about five minutes too late. After we said our goodbyes, the nurse pulled my mom aside and asked if that day had any significance.
It wasn’t even 6 am yet, so my mom didn’t know what day it was, much less if it was important. The nurse told her it was May 21st. Still, nothing was coming to mind. The nurse told her that the previous day, my dad kept asking what day it was and they would tell him it was the 20th. He had looked irritated but accepted it.
That morning, he asked what day it was, and they said, "It's Wednesday, May 21st." He smiled, squeezed his favorite nurse's hand, and was gone almost immediately. It was Memorial Day weekend, and we did just as he and Mom had planned. And despite many friends being out of town for the holiday, we had over 250 people show up at the memorial service, overflowing the tiny church more than it had ever been filled.
To his dying day, Dad was trying to make things easier for our family. I miss him.
45. A Spooky Congregation
I had a cousin that had cancer and passed when he was a little kid. He once asked his mother why all these people visited and she said, "Because your cousins, aunts, and uncles love you very much. They want you to get better". He answered, "I'm not talking about them, I´m talking about the ones that visit me at night".
46. Please Come Again
I'm an apprentice funeral director. We went to a nursing home on a removal and as we were walking down the hall, one of the patients got antsy and opened the door to his room. He saw us walking with the stretcher and said, "I'll see you next week, boys". I’ll give you three guesses as to who we had to pick up the next week.
47. Put Out To Pasture
I checked in on a patient before the end of my shift and she was in good spirits. She had been joking with me the whole time. Her condition was tenuous, but she had been positive throughout. I asked how she was doing, and she replied by singing, "The old gray mare ain't what she used to be". Then, she wished me a good night.
I went in the next morning, and she had coded and passed overnight.
48. My Ride’s Here
I'm a registered nurse and while I was a student, I was caring for a lady who had end-stage renal failure. She had a DNR and was shutting down, but we were having a little chat. I was chatting away while helping her put on some lotion when she stopped, looked over my shoulder and said, "Bill's here, love. I've got to go".
Then, she swiftly stopped breathing. I felt a little eerie when I read her old notes and saw that Bill was her deceased husband.
49. A Fitting Punishment
I had this patient who had a stroke. He seemed to recover fine, but he did get pneumonia about 4 weeks into his recovery. The last words he said to me were at about four in the morning. He said, “You took his girl, and you will burn for it”. I went as white as a ghost. There's no way he could have known that I actually took a girlfriend from a friend of mine. Somehow, my patient knew.
50. Grandpa Knows Best
Before my grandfather passed, he said to me: "Take care of your father, and sleep with a lot of women”. They’re not creepy but they are my grandfather's true last words to me, and I have tried to live by them as best I know how.
51. Divine Guidance
I loved my ex-husband's mom with every ounce of my being. She was this little bitty Greek firestorm, and she didn't like very many people, but she loved me and my girls fiercely! I had the most amazing honor of taking care of her when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. One day near the close, she asked me, "Who is that little blonde girl running around and smiling and waving at me?"
Not one of my girls fits that description. I do believe that she was seeing her sweet guide. And I do so hope it’s the same for me and mine at the end.
52. Momma’s Boy
When my grandma was on her deathbed, she had no idea that my uncle had taken his life the night before. Her last words were, "I'm going to see my son now." I got goosebumps when I heard that. I still wonder if she somehow knew about my uncle. Or if maybe she had a different son who passed, and no one ever knew about it.
53. Boxed In
My mother was in my grandmother's hospital room when my grandmother suddenly roused from her comatose state. She said one, chilling sentence: "Oh God, it feels like I was in a coffin. How terrible." Then, she shut her eyes and fell silent again. She passed about an hour later. We changed her arrangements so that she was cremated instead of buried. It seemed like the right thing to do.
54. Proud Momma
My mother passed on three years ago from Alzheimer’s and COPD. A year before her passing, she went into the hospital for breathing problems, and they shot her up with prednisone. She had a reaction that made her bonkers and she kept trying to get out of bed, saying that we needed to get to the family cemetery because Trump had offed us all.
She was convinced that we were all gone and wanted us to get buried. After that, the Alzheimer’s progressed rapidly and she didn’t recognize any of us until one night a year later. On her last night alive, my mother had a moment of clarity. She talked about having been sick for a long time and not knowing where she was.
She asked about all her children and wanted to know if their lives had turned out okay. I lied to her and told her that everyone was doing well, married well, and enjoying good careers. This comforted her greatly as I think she viewed her children as mostly disappointments before the Alzheimer’s began. I then told her that she had just missed my birthday.
So, she began singing “Happy Birthday” to me, and ended by saying, “Momma loves you”. I had not heard those words come out of my mother’s mouth since I was five years old. When she was finished speaking those words, she laid back in bed and passed on.
55. In One Ear And Out The Other
I have had SO many patients say the exact same thing: “I just don't feel good...” Then, BAM—they’re gone. But there's one that bothers me more than the others. There was a guy who was having a big heart attack. It was really hectic, and my partner and I were trying to get some information. For whatever reason, we kept forgetting the guy’s first name.
After asking him for a 3rd or 4th time, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “You guys really don't listen to each other”. Cue seizure, coma, V-tach, gone. I now actively ensure I listen a whole lot better.
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