Does anyone talk about death?

I used to hate that word. But since having some form of understanding about the dying process it has helped me come to terms with the loss a little more.

My main worry for my dad was that he was scared and knew he was going to die and of course I felt helpless and couldn’t save him or make him feel ok. I worried he knew he was dying and somehow he was aware in the final hours. It does make me a little sad to think about the person you love is at the end stage, but knowing they are unconscious and their brain is making the journey easier for them gives me some calmness to know my dad wasn’t in pain but could still probably feel and hear our words of love and kindness, yet not know what’s happening, kind of like that of a person who’s in a coma.

Feel free to share anything that maybe insightful about this topic as I now think that the more we understand, the less we will have to torment ourselves about the “what ifs”.

1 Like

They do say that hearing is one of the last senses to shut down when end of life is near, which is why in intensive care situations, relatives are encouraged to talk to their loved ones.
In reality - who knows?
I suspect, as with most things, it will vary from person to person.
We can’t know what it feels like - never having experienced it, but you do wonder does it feel like you are dropping off to sleep? (Hopefully, yes, as that is not an unpleasant feeling.)
I have aclose friend who, thankfully for him, is one of the 10% or so of people who has been successfully resuscitated, at home, following a cardiac arrest.
He says he felt absolutely nothing and can remember nothing at all of the incident.
His poor wife, however, remembers every little detail!
One thing we can be sure of though, is that it comes to all of us and is unavoidable.
There are worse things than death, I think.
Being bereaved is one of them.


@Wingingit I had also read that hearing is the last sense to go so I stayed and spoke to my wife for a half hour after she had passed. The process of dying though seemed protracted over a period of days as her body shut down and she seemed in distress in this lead up. I think there is a strong case for assisted dying. This could allow the patient to be moved to a more relaxed end of life setting, perhaps at home, and for relatives and loved ones to arrange to be present and would avoid the stress in the lead up to death for the person who is dying .
I wonder what others who have been through the experience of seeing their loved one die gradually in front of them think.


Hi thats what i wanted for my husband to be at home with all his family around him in his own bed with the tv on so he could hear it in the back ground but the hospital said no his to unwell and needs to be here i feel he could have come home as all he was doing was laying in bed and the hospital was just keeping him pain free which i could have done at home as he was under a hospice who used to come out to him

@sue11 I am fully with you. My wife was the same at the end. They were just keeping her there to die but had no end of life support. I sometimes think I’d rather take a cyanide tablet than be admitted to that hospital for my final days. Love and hugs xx

1 Like

It was the same with my mum they just left her laying in the bed her lips were so dry i had to ask them to do something about it near to the end she was still on a ward which she should not have been on as she had cancer and needed a room on her own it was so hard as when others had visters you could hear the doctor saying to them your mum can go home in the morning

1 Like

@sue11 The nursing care was just 4 hourly visits and readings taken, very little else. Nurses seemed to do little else and did not look at trends in readings which I did. One time all the readings were only just ok and had been heading the wrong way. My wife was shaking. I said this was convulsions, the nurse said she was just cold. I got a Dr and within minutes she had an emergency team around her. No apologies. When she was dying she was still attached to monitoring machines. I had to insist these were removed so I could hold my wife and kiss her goodbye. I cannot describe to you how I am feeling writing this. Have to go meltdown coming. xx


I agree with the dying at home if being an option. I think for my mum that would have been too much. I spoke to the hospital today and went through my dad’s treatment and issues and it was as I thought. A steady decline, a positive pickup then a down trend. What I didn’t realise is that he started the dying process sooner than I thought but it now makes sense. The medical teams decisions where then based on how to make him comfortable and from what I now know he was very comfortable. I wasn’t told he was essentially having palliative care and that is ok.

My dad was already suffering with pain due to arthritis and something else before going to hospital. Sadly, he didn’t realise that sepsis was setting in when he was at home so the outcome was going to be the same for him.

I certainly think learning about death has helped.

@Happycamper I’m glad your dad was in a better hospital. My wife had extremely limited personal care. I had to comb her hair, clean her nails and cut them because apparently health and safety would not let the nurses do this in case of a nick and infection, clean her face, arrange a full feeding programme 3 times a day because they could not supervise feeding and my wife could not eat independently during her last few weeks, salve her lips, apply her mouth medicine. I could go on. I was in the hospital sometimes up to 5 hours a day because I insisted. My wife’s best friend and my sister were both nurses and could not believe the state their profession had become. This is the part of my grief tainted with PTSD and I cannot really deal with it yet.

1 Like

I lost my daughter suddenly 16 yrs ago suddenly from SUDEP she was in the bedroom next to ours l never heard a thing.
Apparently you only have 3minutes to revive someone when the seizure attacks the breathing or heart mechanism of the brain. I was told that she would not have felt anything but I hate the fact that l was not with her.
My husband died in late June whilst we where on holiday, they got him to ICU and he seemed to be progressing. He went on the cardiac ward , then developed pneumonia.
I watched my independent strong man body break down infront of me. When he was conscious he was crying and saying “Sorry and our son name who is Autistic “
I tried to keep positive for him but l knew he would not come home. The doctors would not admit he was dying but his body was breaking down infront of me.
When the consultant came back after the weekend he gave my Geoff Morphine, l held his hand and Geoff stared at me and l said “Goodbye “ I knew he was going he died 30 minutes later.


Everyone’s stories are quite something.

I spoke with the hospital today, it put my mind at ease. My poor dad a number of severe infections and then to top it off, he got covid and pnuemonia. He had was well medicated and despite pain when the painkillers wearing off, he was mostly comfortable. Right before he passed he was also comfortable.

One thing I believe we can all take from our experiences, is know that you can only control the controllable and even though we may lose loved ones, we never lose our fond memories of time spent with them.

1 Like

Hi Mike,
Like you juts posted about personal care I too experienced a shortfall when my mum was ill. I stayed by her bedside at the hospital sleeping in the chair and was there 24/7. Never left the room for 17 days except to go to the bathroom so saw everything that happened or not happened should I say.
My mums personal care entailed 2 nurses coming in and giving her a wash and turn her to check her bed sore in the morning and again at night time They also came in during the middle of the night. That was it. I noticed her false teeth had been taken out and no one had cleaned them and put them back in so I did that every day for mum so she could at least speak a little. Her nails needed cutting but no one offered to do that so I did them. Her ears were never cleaned so they quickly became bunged up with wax so i did that also. She wasn’t allowed food so only had drinks of water They were left on the bedside table that she couldn’t reach At no point did anyone offer to help her have a drink. This was all under pallitive care.
Then after 17 days I insisted on taking mum home and I looked after her with first class treatment. One day I noticed that she had the most awful thrush at the back of her mouth and I actually cried as it was so bad. Mum could hardly speak. I immediately spent almost an hour trying to remove it as carefully as I could and got mouth rinses etc for her buts she was so weak she could hardly spit it back out. When the district nurses called that day I told them and they didn’t seem bothered and just arranged for mu to have mouth drops. I pointed out to them them the entire time mum was in hosp no one had actually helped to wash her mouth. Again they didn’t seem bothered.
Maybe mum was just unlucky and that not everywhere is like the hosp she was at. i would like to think that anyway
Words fail me to be honest
Deborah x

1 Like

@seychelles I’m afraid everything you say about feeding, mouth cleaning etc. was also part of my experience. Personal care was almost entirely absent. Like you I spent hours at the hospital and my impression was that nurses with their degrees felt above personal and nursing care. There was one notable exception. I took her to one side at the end and thanked her and told her how proud she should be of herself.
Hospitals do not properly function for the end of life. That is why I would support assisted dying to allow the choice to avoid dying in such places.
Mike xx

Hi Mike,
Believe me what I wrote was the tip of the iceberg!!!
My mums stay in hospital was awful. Too distressing to even write about it.
Deborah x

1 Like

@Mike75 I agree with you to some extent, regarding hospitals not being suitable places for a peaceful death and often sadly lacking in support for distressed relatives.
That, for me, makes it even more ironic that we seem to be so reluctant in the UK, to have constructive, frank, open debate about assisted dying - it’s not everyone that has a peaceful death (and, unfortunately, there is an element of luck involved) - and some people really struggle to get access to good palliative care.
This leaves bereaved families with some terrible memories, at a time when they can well do without it.
I find the future a scarey place to look at regarding health matters.
As a childless widow, all I can do is hope that my Living Will will be respected - God knows, they need the beds!!

1 Like

I agree those memories never fade of our loved one ! Had a peculiar day today … been a strange one … not too sad … just lost without my darling hubby :frowning:

1 Like

Sorry for your experience with your mum in hospital.
I to had a horrendous experience with my husband when he was in hospital l made a formal complaint.
I still agree what people are trying to say grief is a journey and sometimes you feel like you are drowning.
It doesn’t