Thursday, 23 October 2014

Sixth Sense


Over the last two shifts two patients have told me they were going to die.
They experienced a strange cold foreboding sense of doom from out of the blue.
And sadly, despite the best efforts of the nhs, both patients did indeed die
Now nurses and doctors out there will recognise  this phenomenon
It leaves the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.
For invariably when a patient experiences this often sudden overwhelming emotion, it's time to get the defibrillator ready. It's as though their psychi has just been pricked by something unexplainable but something very honest....a premonition of extraordinary power.
Like I said, it's very eerie when it does happen.
And happen it does.
When the trappings of the 21st century have been stripped away, and people are able to listen to their inner voice the ability to " hear " those complex messages from that " sixth sense" centre can be so strong  and extraordinary.
It happens on a much small scale every day to all of us.......we just don't pick up on how amazing thus gift is..

I always think of Chris often seconds before he calls me. This morning as I was falling asleep in the chair I turned to my iPad and thought " he'll call soon"
And he did!.....all the way from Istanbul .......this little gift, call it what you will, happens daily

We are clever and complex little machines are we not?





102 comments:

  1. When I was caring for my father before he died, something similar happened: during his terminal illness he had steadfastly refused to talk about actually dying, even with his pastor. The last time he spoke before his death he grabbed my hand and told me he was dying and was scared, and that he needed me.
    We all have that little voice, if we listen.

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    1. That's why is so important to listen to them
      One patient we sedated just prior to his death..the last thing he heard was a reassuring voice

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  2. my great uncle was in a nursing home, he was into his 90s and his heart was weak but there was no sign of imminent death. he waited for his grandson to recover from surgery and visit then a day or two later he asked to be dressed in his best clothes because he was going to meet his (departed) wife. He died that afternoon.

    It's fascinating.

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  3. That's lovely and somehow very reassuring.

    When I was younger I always knew where my sister was even when I couldn't see her. In large shops or the town library. I all I had to do was shut my eyes and I knew which direction she was. Very useful when I was meant to be keeping an eye on her! :-)

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    1. Is she your twin?

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    2. No she isn't, she's my younger sister- I guess that makes it even weirder. I've never actually told anyone about that - I'm not sure she even knows - it wore off when we were both at Uni; it's just one of those things you take for granted when you're a kid and only realise is a little weird when you're an adult. Sadly it doesn't work with my husband.

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  4. So true, my dad told me he was dying, initially I did the whole 'no you are not, you will get better.' I then realised for his sake I had to except what he was saying and told him that if he was ready to go and join my mum then I was ready to let him go. He died in my arms within the hour.

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    1. How sad but how wonderful

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  5. I find these things very reassuring rather than spooky.

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  6. My mother put her make up on, asked four of us for tea for the last time and died next morning. She knew. Thanks, I liked reading this post Johnx

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    1. I also find it spooky that TS and me commented simultaneously.

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    2. I knew I was right just look at the responses in this blog
      This straw poll speaks volumes

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    3. Indeed John. I have just been reading them all again in bed this morning. It has been very moving the words that have been shared here.x

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  7. My mother lay sleeping in the hospital bed. We got up to go and she waved goodbye. Then she carried on sleeping. Next day she died. She couldn't speak but she could wave. Isn't life so cruel?

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    1. You can say a lot with a wave Dave x

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  8. Very interesting, as are the comments. My stepfather gave me a strange smile from the heart and a wave as I left his hospital room some years ago. I burst into tears once I was out of sight. The next day he was dead. While it wasn't about him but a friend, let me offer some advice. When someone says they are dying and they are not normally given to melodrama, believe them and don't respond with, of course you aren't, you'll be fine. People don't tell you they are dying without good reason.

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    1. I think some just need reassurance they will be ok....especially if you listen to them closely others like your stepfather....just needed to be heard

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  9. I've read articles suggesting that people have some control over when they die. There are innumerable instances of people waiting to see a relative coming from afar, or waiting until a spouse dies or a loved one "gives them permission," before they let go. I wonder if, in this case, these people had simply come to terms with it and were in a position to let go. (Or maybe it's just the control freak in me that likes to believe so!) It is a bit eerie, because we all imagine ourselves in that position, as we will be someday.

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    1. Also....when the desire to fight is over, death comes very quickly sometimes....it's as though a certain strength is extinguished

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  10. We have many abilities that are dulled by modern living, and by our dismissing of so called phenomena...which are simply our beings working as originally designed

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    1. That's what I think......and I feel it more strongly the older I get

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  11. spouse and I often think the same dinner thoughts. I would like to "leave this moral coil" like your patients and those in the comments.

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  12. Our bodies and minds are amazing, when we listen to them.

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  13. I've experienced the 'gift' a time or two (on a much humbler scale). It is an amazing thing.

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    1. Before my folks died I always knew when the phone rang if it was going to be Dad....he got to expect me to just pick up and say Hi Dad.

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  14. I can see dead people............I used to be in tune with my psyche much better when I was younger.

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  15. Whatever comprises the spirit of our life is beyond our full understanding. As with so much else in this life the fact that we don't understand something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Who am I to judge but just accept there are things I don't understand.
    The end of the animation of the body (death) is fraught with such curiosity, dread, solemnity and fear. Whether we be the one about to pass over from here to whatever may or may not be out there or are the one quietly telling the dying person they are not alone it is a singular experience.
    My late mother wanted to die at home. We had to move quickly to get her home when she took that last turn for the worst in the rehab facility. We cared for her at home in those last foggy days. For some reason I kept asking her if she knew how much I loved her. She was able to say my name and say "yes, I know".
    I always wish I had the ability to silence my mind to pursue some higher insight.

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    1. Leslie....thank you for that comment x

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  16. I am not a believer in "God," but I am a believer that there are other energies out there other than just our biology. My grandmother told her aid that she wanted to be bathed, have her waist-length hair washed and braided, and a new scarf placed on her head because she was going to die that night. She did...

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  17. I have that 6th sense with my daughter.

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  18. I've always had this sense with my siblings; I "knew" when my brothers or sister would call or show up. My sister and I think the same thoughts, simultaneously. It's not a bad thing.

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    1. Sometimes I think siblings have such an amazing connection......it's like the Borg From Star Trek

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  19. A reassuring post John. We all have that sixth sense in there somewhere, of that I am certain, it's just that most of the time we haven't needed it to survive, and so over time it only manifests in extraordinary circumstances. Do you find it a positive thing to witness?

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    1. It's not always reassuring gary
      One of the patients I mentioned was very young.
      And very upset.....

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  20. Yes, that Sixth Sense lies in all of us.

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  21. The one I can't get over is when elderly couples pass within hours of each other. I had some long time customers well in to their nineties that went like that. She passed and within 24 hours he was gone too.

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    1. It's when the soul gives up
      It's ligt a light being puffed out

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  22. Willy Dunne Wooters and I often send each other emails at the same time. When I worked in the nursing home, patients who were near the end quite often called out for their parents.

    Love,
    Janie

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  23. I'm sure it's very common that people know when they're about to die. Many holy men and gurus are said to have decided when they're going to die and then it happens just as they said. I'm sure our sixth sense would be much more acute if it wasn't heavily overlaid by "civilisation". My only sixth sense is the occasional 100% certainty that a coming event will turn out well - and it always does.

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    1. I wish I was so sure of things

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  24. I am a firm believer of this 'sixth sense', John. Just before Ron's mother died in her lifetime home of an extremely devastating form of cancer, she sat straight up in her bed, eyes opened wide as if the realization of her her death was very near. She died a few moments later.
    There is SO much more going on than we are capable of realizing.

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  25. What a wonderful post! I was a respiratory therapist for 25 years before I entered a send career. This also happened to me. But not quite in the same manner. They persons who expressed this were elderly and ready to go. Thus it was viewed with joy. A 6th sense is wonderful - sadly I do not have it.

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    1. As you know we often the the suddenly acutely ill on itu

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  26. There are many times throughout our lives, especially when confronted by what seem to be unsolvable problems, when it is a sixth sense that comes to our rescue. That Sixth Sense is what has brought me to South Korea at this time. And as \i a writing you this comment, the rightness of that Sense is proving to be true...

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  27. We are indeed, and if we learn to trust in our instincts it's amazing how connected we can be to things we should know nothing about. Animals are so much more in tune with themselves and their true inner being, it's such a shame we have mostly lost these abilities.

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    1. Mind you.. I don't like the way animals often hide away when death approaches

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    2. I sometimes wonder if domesticated do that for our benefit or is it just their nature to hide when weakened so as to die with dignity and not be mauled by a predator? Even though there is none in the house? My one cat hid when she was ill. Broke my heart when we finally took her to the hospital to see the towel we had laid down for her was urine soaked. She had refused to get up, probably couldn't and out of respect I saw no need to move her and cause her any pain until it was time. I miss Rebecca. She rocked.

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  28. I've seen this several times, it's as John says, the patient has a sense of what is going to happen.
    I'll take a less mystical viewpoint. I think over a lifetime we become familiar with our body and it's workings. We might not be able to put a name to what's happening inside us, but it feels different, and not good. We sense our heart rhythm change, we feel the difference when our liver or kidney stops functioning as well.
    I'm not denying that people can have a 'premonition' of something that is going to occur, phone call or whatever, but in the specific instance John is referring to, I think there is an explanation.
    Guess I spent too much time in sciences.

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    1. I agree with you Mike, but personally I think the truth lies between the sciences and something a little more unexplainable ....
      Hypoxia has, I am sure, it's role to play too

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    2. This is how I tend to view it as well, Mike, although it may be just because I've never had anything remotely resembling a sixth sense experience. I would like to, but so far I haven't, and feel I likely never will. So it does make it hard to believe in it.

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  29. Last week during a bad bout of malaria, I thought I heard that little voice. But here I am, strong and healthy again. xx

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    1. Hummmm hypoxia and fever? Two causes of body threat...no wonder we think we are dying sometimes

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  30. I've experienced that sixth sense, too, and have sometimes seen a light around a person before s/he dies. I can't explain it any better than that, it's like an aura only wispier and more subtle.

    When my father was dying, I was trying to find out which hospital he was in. My gram had just said, "He's in the hospital," but by the time I found out, he was gone. I think he was waiting for me to show, and I cried and said aloud, "I don't know where you are to come see you; I am sorry," and he died soon after. Even eerier was Gram got home from the hospital, and the dog was howling inconsolably. The dog knew.

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    1. Megan... I love this story. I especially would like to hear a little more about the light you describe

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    2. John, it's hard to describe, because it's really subtle. There's a light about the person that wasn't there before and a sort of stillness that's more profound. I wonder if you saw that with Andrew just before he died.

      The first few times I saw it, I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks on me, because it was similar to being out in brilliant sunshine then coming inside where it's darker, but when you blink, you see sunspots. Only I hadn't been in brilliant sunshine just moments before. After the first few times, I understood it was a harbinger, and if I saw it, I made sure I said all I needed to say to the person or ask if they had anything they especially wanted me to do.

      One of my friends is an operating room (OR) nurse, and she's seen it, too.

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    3. It's interesting you mentioned andrew Megan
      I looked after him the day he died and never had a clue it would be then......in my mind I had fixed he would last another week or so........
      I was his brother then and not his nurse
      On reflection if I was in proper nursing mode....I would have spotted the fact he was breathing his last on that day

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  31. Oh John, I have had many of the sixth sense feelings.
    The most wonderful one was after my mother died. I was sitting in her room looking through a box of papers and photos. After some time I felt the bed move like someone some sitting across from me on her bed got up and walked away. Sad and yet so lovely. I think of this moment often. She came to see me one more time. Just like her.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Bittersweet and very moving

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  32. This is one of the best posts I have ever read here. After working many years in Homecare here in the States, I know of what you speak. Once we know, accept then we observe and experience this wonder. My mother was the last for me but more will come.
    Our spirits are so connected, so One...

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    1. Sandra, thank you for that

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  33. Being an identical twin I and my brother experience this sixth sense quite often. Knowing when one or the other is experiencing pain or illness. When we were toddlers my mother took us in for our first haircuts. The barbers were amazed at how much we looked alike. The barber cutting my hair announced he had a way to tell the difference by a scar I had on my head, a few moments later my brother’s barber dropped his scissors and announced “this one has the same scar”. I called to remind my brother to get his flu shot the other day and he told me he was walking into the clinic to get it at that moment, coincidence or sixth sense?

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    1. That's amazing! I am a twin too
      I think I have blogged this before but I once bought a couple of items from a local antique shop and both turned out to be stuff my twin sister had sold to them a few months before

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  34. I suppose it's your job to drag out the defibrillator, but if you were my nurse I'd prefer that you just held my hand and said, "Well, good then. Just relax, I'll be right here until you're gone. I love you, sweetie."

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    1. Som you do that for jan, others you cant

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  35. I have had moments where I think of someone out of the blue and BAM, I get a text, email or a call. Very freaky, but has happened all my life.

    I have two death experiences I would like to share.

    When I was 6 years old I had my tonsils out and tubes put in my ears. As I was being put under, two big beautiful black OR nurses stood over me, fussing over my eyebrows and how pretty they were. The next thing I remember was floating in the air and looking down at my body on the gurney in the recovery room.

    My other experience was when I was doing my clinic at a major hospital in NJ as an oncology massage therapist. I was sent into the room of my first patient who was sitting up in his bed, twitching and jerking, a seething ball of rage. His mom, a sweet woman who was either in her late 50s/early 60s told me they were there to bring him home as he was dying of bile duct cancer. I hesitated as I knew she had more to say and she revealed he had an 18month old son. Instantly all that anger spewing from every one of his pores made sense. I asked if I could touch his feet, he could not speak, but his mom gave me the go ahead. They we so hot and red and right then I knew there was no way he would accept any comfort.
    I felt so sad for him because while I understood his anger towards death and of being taken so soon, the raging he was doing was obliterating any meaningful moments he could have with his family. I think of him and his loved ones often and I hope they all found some sort of acceptable peace.

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    1. And may I say I have never felt such rage from another cancer patient before or since. It was unique and I learned a lot from him that day.

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    2. And what you did was to accept him and his anger
      Anger is just a way of coping
      Very hard to watch though

      Very hard
      Thank you for that x

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    3. My mother also died from cancer of the bile duct/pancreas. She was SO angry, would not settle and would not let go, despite the morphine. She kept raising her arms, then letting them crash down onto the bed. The poor nurses were so upset as they couldn't help her with her anger. I spent the night next to her bed and the next morning she seemed calm, breathing quietly. I slipped away to see my anxious teenage son before he left for a planned school trip, and in that three quarters of an hour, she died, without me there. I'm still not sure whether she wanted to die in private, or she realised that my son needed me too and she let me go to him.

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    4. Vintage Maison - Perhaps she wanted to die in private, but needed to have you there for a bit to gather up the the strength to let you go without the anger infusing it. Hugs to you.

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    5. I have seen this sort of behaviour
      I think it is a reaction to hypoxia

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  36. That is eerie that the patients had a correct premonition. I understand that dogs and cats sometimes can tell that too, as pets living in assisted living places. The dog or cat sits at the door of the room or on the bed right before the patient dies.

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    1. I want all my animals with me when I go..to be sure x

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  37. Lovely post. My mum seems to know when someone is going to die just from looking at them.

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    1. U remind me not to meet her

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    2. I can do the same Andi-i am not overly fond of looking at photos sometimes for that very reason :/ I don't know when it first came on me to do that, but this is the first time i have talked about it openly.

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  38. This is all so interesting John. My cousin owns a residential home and repeatedly says that before one of the elderly residents dies they seem to mention their mothers a lot...and then say that they have 'seen' their mother...in a happy way...curious.

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    1. Seeing my mother wouldn't be a particularly wonderful experience!

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    2. For you it would be Russell Crowe ;-)

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  39. I have my own theory that what we conceive of as "God" is really a manifestation of a greater human consciousness. That our souls, minds, whatever, create a sort of force (thank you Star Wars) that we all swim in. So it makes sense that those close to changing their state would feel that force reaching out to them, and people close to each other might have a sort of otherworldly connection.

    Mind you, I am happy to label myself Episcopalian, not Metaphysical Spiritualist Hippie or some such. The above is, as you might say, airy-fairy musings of my own invention.

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  40. One of my uncles suffered from liver cancer for several years. Eventually it went metastatic. One Monday, he went into town, had his hair cut and a shave, got his best suit dry-cleaned, did a grocery shop for his younger brother who shared his house, put his army papers, passport, will etc. into a box file on his bed, then went to the community hospital where they offered palliative care and was admitted. He died on the Wednesday morning, all in order.

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    1. I love this story........I oh so want to go the same way

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  41. I have two death experiences to share. A friend with terminal cancer met with his friends to say goodbye to them. They all said they'd see him the next week as usual but he told them that he knew he'd die that weekend. Nobody took him seriously, but he died in his sleep the next day.

    The second experience was my partner's death from motor neurone disease last year and was, for me, confirmation that people near the end can choose to 'let go'. The nurses suggested that I talk to him and that even though he couldn't talk or open his eyes he could still hear. So I did, saying everything I wanted to say to him but also asking him to make it easy on himself and to let go, reassuring him that I would be alright (because that's what we all thought - that he was worried about leaving me alone). They hadn't expected it to be so quick, they thought a few more days, but five minutes later he died in my arms. It was exactly as the nurses said, that he needed my permission to go.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Eileen
      A cracking blog reply thank you x

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  42. 44 years of nursing in trauma and intensive care provided many opportunities to hone the 6th sense theory. Of the hundreds of people I have been with at the time of death only two were terrified. They both kept pushing me away from their right sided orientation of the room. One elderly gentleman even said 'they are coming for me!' All the others either faded away, peacefully or passed during CPR. I distinctly remember a few aura-like experiences but only on of them I recognized while it was happening. I think I had a 6th sense sensitivity at one time but it is long gone. I suppose life has hardened my heart and the doors have close. Most people who consider themselves mediums tell you that you must keep an open heart to receive. Oh well.

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    1. I too have never " seen" or felt anything...... I have just observed.
      When I first started nursing , I worked with an old irish nurse who used to open the ward windows near to a dying patient
      " so he soul can fly upwards after death" she used to say

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  43. On my previous ward, we had a lot of palliative admissions and terminal cases sent down from ICU (they don't like people dying there, so the powers that be transfer them to surgical floors to die).

    Many of my elderly patients would talk to whoever was calling for them to cross over. They would focus on the right hand corner of the room up by the ceiling and within a few hours they would be gone.

    My father died at home. His dog was on the bed beside him. He died and within five minutes, dog's breathing stilled. You couldn't see his ribs move or hear him. He was gone too. We asked the Palliative Care nurse to check for lung sounds and she tried and shook her head. Next thing we knew he did that doggie snort and was back just as there was a loud noise at the back of the house. My father always said he'd send a sign that there was something out there. Well, we also think he sent the dog back.

    Our vet said he'd heard of older dogs doing this when their human passed.

    The dog died exactly one year later in my father's chair.

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    1. A wonderful story............I am a bit misty eyed reading it

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  44. Indeed we are, John. Hope you all have a blessed weekend. ♥

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  45. I have had the same happen with some of my family and friends, on a very small level. Mostly it happens in a way that two of us think the same thought.

    Sometimes I tell my dad before he starts to speak, "No dad, that won't do because...."

    Great of you to bring this sense to notice, John.

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    1. Some people we just click with mentally, whether they be relatives or loved ones......when we are that level....we sort of know what the other is thinking

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  46. I don't say too much on my blog John, but I do have a sensitivity which connects me to the world which is beyond our own world. Well done you for opening this subject up. Death is not an ending but a transit stage for the soul. To help someone who is entering this transit stage is the best thing you can do for them. To love them for being here, but also love them enough to let them go, that is what life has taught me. Vx

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    1. I must have seen hundreds of people die...and it's always a sort of privilidge to be there

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