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That Was Death

May 9, 2011

When I was an LPN and supervising a nursing home on the 3-11 shift (early 1980’s), late at night, (the first time I saw it)…I was sitting at the nurse’s station which could view down three long halls. I happened to look up and down one of the halls and saw this tall figure, dressed in a long black flowing hooded robe…no sound from the tiled floor it made. It appeared and just seemed to glide down the hall..and entered the room of a hospice patient. I turned to one of the nursing assitants who had worked there for many years…Bobbie just looked at me and said…”Yes, I saw it.” That was very un-nerving. I asked her “…what was that?” She replied…”that was death, we better go down there and check on the resident.” Trembling, and heat pounding, Bobbie and I walked down the hall…into the resident’s room…the resident indeed had just passed away. There was a distinct odor in the room…(difficult to describe), but throughout my 34 years of nursing, I have smelled it several times before, during and after a resident or patient has expired…the odor of “death.” I kid you not. After that incident…I saw the figure three more times, and always just prior to a death. I have worked nights in facilities when the locked front doors would open with the alarm sounding and doors closed on there own…also associated with an event of death.
Since I received my RN, BSN, I have experienced paitent’s words, fear, explanations of what they have visualized prior to their deaths…seeing and speaking to loved ones passed on before them, those who have described angels who have come to guide them from this earthly world. Now a nursing instructor…I teach clinical on a step down ICU unit where we have patient’s who are prescribed comfort cares, and those who’s code status is changed to DNR or referred to Hospice. The night and day nurse’s often talk about two rooms on the unit where the call lights come on throughout the shifts… The engineers have checked the systems, the hardware, electrical and have found nothing wrong. IT appears as these two rooms are rooms where patient’s have commonly expired from. Coincidence? Who knows… I only know that I don’t ever want to be a patient in either of those two rooms.

– Posted by copperhorset ; Allnurses

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