When A Loved One is Dying

I often see on message boards questions about loved ones that are in the end stages of life.

Often this includes loved ones:

Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
  • Seeing people that others can’t see
  • Talking to people others can’t see in the room
  • Reaching up or out towards others
  • Making comments such as “He’s so beautiful” or “heaven is beautiful”
  • Mentioning loved ones long deceased
  • Even claiming to have a glimpse of heaven and sharing what was seen
  • Open eyes when in a coma and look straight up
  • Smile at an unseen entity

All of this is very common in the end stages of life.  This is a time and occurrence that none of us are going to understand until we are there.

Just as the journey through life is different for everyone, the journey towards life in heaven is different for everyone.

However, I want to assure you that all of these situations mentioned are very common.

This is a time to love and comfort the person leaving us for a better place.heaven

Remember, hearing is the last of our senses to leave us.  Even if your loved one is in a coma they can still hear you.

We may not be able to see what our loved one sees, but we can be assured that angels and loved ones long deceased are with us and waiting to escort our loved one into their new home and to meet Jesus.

10 Benefits of Hospice

hospice 2




Recently, I’ve learned of several families that placed a loved one in hospice.

This is never an easy decision. There’s no easy way to prepare for this.

However, I’ve worked with hospice on numerous occasion.

Some of the benefits of hospice are:

  1. Helps in decision makinghospice
  2. Offers support groups
  3. Offers spiritual support
  4. Certified and knowledgeable workers in the end of life stages
  5. Provides knowledgeable feedback
  6. Oversees the final preparations {such as contacting mortuary, having death certificate issued, etc.}
  7. Provides services to you at home, in a hospital, at a nursing facility or at their own facility
  8. Continues to care for your loved one through a decline—while usually this is for six months or less, at times their services extend beyond this time period. If the loved one improves they can be discharged and later readmitted when a decline reoccurs.
  9. Give the patient and their family a sense of dignity
  10. Respects the patient’s wishes
  11. Bonus: Lessens financial burden of being in the hospital

How has hospice been beneficial for you?

Caregiving Monday: 9 benefits of hospice




Hospice is a great resource when the time comes.  They provide equipment, supplies and assistance at no charge.  If you think you need hospice, I’d advice that you speak with your doctor about the manner.   Hospice is usually called in with the decline of that patient from cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.  Your doctor or local hospice can give you more information.

Just remember to be thankful for all that the workers do.

Some of the assistance provided includes a nurse, social worker, aid to assist with bathing and other needs, religious advisor and prescriptions.

What are some benefits of hospice?

  1. They can guide and direct you through the process—they’ve done this before and are able to answer questions you have and direct your next hospice2steps.
  2. They help keep your loved one comfortable—whether at home, in a hospital, at a hospice center or in a nursing facility they will keep your loved one comfortable in these last days. Often this is in an environment that is familiar to your loved one.
  3. Personalized support and care—they have the resources and staff to personalize care that will best benefit your loved one and your family.
  4. Lessens the financial burden—hospice is normally covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies and their expenses are often less than a skilled nursing facility.
  5. Respect for the Patient’s wishes—the family can focus on spending time with the loved one and not dealing with a lot of red tape.
  6. Numerous services—hospice provides numerous services such as spiritual care, social workers and counseling.
  7. Gives the patient a sense of dignity—the loved one is able to die with dignity instead of dealing with procedures that prolong life.
  8. Provides family counseling—provides bereavement and grief counseling for the family and other guidance may be available if needed.
  9. Wraps up the details—the hospice nurse and social worker often take care of a lot of the final paperwork that needs to be completed, lifting the burden from the family. This can include calling the funeral home and submitting a death certificate.


Caregiving Monday: 9 Things to Remember When a loved one is dying

end of lifeEventually our time as a caregiver will come to an end and our loved one will pass on.  This can be a very tiring and trying time.  This is also a bittersweet time.   The end of a painful journey is coming to an end but you are also saying a final goodbye to that loved one.

This can be a long goodbye at times lasting from a few hours to a few weeks.

So what should you do when your loved one is actively dying?

  1. Make the loved one your priority—take the time to spend with your loved one, hold his/her hand and talk to him/her.

    Make the transition as peaceful and soothing as possible. Don’t leave anything unsaid.
  2. Remember hearing is the last sense to go—even if your loved one is in a common or sleeping s/he can still hear you. Take the time to say what needs to be done and make peace.  Don’t regret what is left unsaid.
  3. Cherish the time—cherish these last moments with your loved one. Take the time to reminisce, share memories and tell him/her how much you love him.
  4. Respect his/her wishes—a lot of decisions have to be made in a hurry during this time. Knowing your loved ones wishes help to eliminate chaos and confusion.
  5. Accept your loved one is dying—this is difficult and you will find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster, but allow yourself to feel and be honest about your feelings
  6. Maintain a peaceful environment—keep your loved one as peaceful and calm as possible. Any dissention should be taken out of the room.
  7. Follow your loved ones lead—is s/he discussing seeing a loved one or angels?, does s/he want to discuss about passing over? Go with what is comfortable for your loved one.   Don’t insist, “no you’re not dying” because s/he will know better.
  8. Remember to take time to also take care of yourself during this time.
  9. Stay in the moment—don’t try to get too far ahead of yourself. Take time to cherish the moment and don’t try to overanalyze everything.


How have you dealt with a loved one who is dying?