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Hospice nurse shares final thing patients always say to her before they die

Caring for a loved one when they are in a hospice is an extremely hard thing to do – but most are grateful to see their friend or family member cared for and comfortable in their final days.

But others find it, understandably, tough to be in the room when a loved one passes away – but one hospice nurse’s account of what people say before they die might help solidify your decision to be there.

Julie McFadden ( @hospicenursejulie ) has worked as a nurse at a hospice for five years after previously working in the ICU for more than a decade. She now also uses social media to talk about her job in a bid to educate people on death, and how to prepare for it ahead of time.

Speaking to The Sun, she revealed some of the most common things that occur in a hospice.

She said: “The best part about my job is educating patients and families about death and dying as well as supporting them emotionally and physically.

“Also, helping them to understand what to expect is another part of my job as a hospice nurse.”

Talking about people’s final moments, she explained: “There is something most people say before they die and it’s usually ‘I love you’ or they call out to their mum or dad – who have usually already died.”

She also recently discussed some of the things that can happen at the end of a person’s life that look ‘abnormal,’ but are ‘actually really normal.”

These include changes in breathing, changes in skin colour, ‘terminal secretions’ and fevers, which people may not expect.

Prompted by her viewers, the experienced nurse said most people naturally dying in a hospice show the same signs and symptoms.

.Julie explained: “The symptoms of the actively dying phase include changes inconsciousness (unconscious), changes in breathing, mottling and terminal secretions.

“These are normal and not painful or uncomfortable. Our bodies take care of ourselves at the end of life – the less we intervene, the better.”

The dedicated nurse has said that she’s glad to have a platform to educate people about death – and the vital support that a hospice can offer a whole family.

“I want to normalise death by educating people about it. I went home to visit my family,and my tween nieces were on TikTok making dance videos,” she explained.

“I later went on TikTok to see their dances. This gave me the idea of starting my ownTikTok about death and dying, four days later I did it and it took off.

“I’ve been doing it for six months now and have over 340,000 followers – it’s crazy!”