10 Signs Death Is Near

What to expect and how to respond to the natural dying process
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No one can predict the moment of death. But physicians and nurses involved in end-of-life care know that certain symptoms are usually associated with the body's shutting down. These signs of approaching death are specific to the natural dying process (apart from the effects of particular illnesses the person may have).

Not all dying symptoms show up in every person, but most people experience some combination of the following in the final days or hours:

1. Loss of appetite

Energy needs decline. The person may begin to resist or refuse meals and liquids, or accept only small amounts of bland foods (such as hot cereals). Meat, which is hard to digest, may be refused first. Even favorite foods hold little appeal.

Near the very end of life, the dying person may be physically unable to swallow.

How to respond: Don't force-feed; follow the person's cues even though you may be distressed by a loss of interest in eating. Periodically offer ice chips, a popsicle, or sips of water. Use a moistened warm cloth around the mouth and apply balm to the lips to keep them moist and comfortable.


3 days ago, said...

Meredith never knew she was near death. Either did her doctor. She was very tired Sunday night after setting the clocks ahead. "I think I'll sleep in my chair." "No we will get you to the couch."The next day she was gone.


30 days ago, said...

I just found this site today & joined. I am an alternative healthcare practitioner & have been an "end of life caregiver for several, both family & friends. I think an 11th sign needs to be added: As the circulatory system is VERY SLOWLY shutting down, the capillaries are the first to go causing the appearance of dark/black tissue in the diaper area (folds of the skin around the genitals as well as the anus. In women, the clitoris turns very dark/black). These tissues are normally various shades of pink. This is actually necrotic tissue & should be reported by anyone who is responsible for cleaning these areas. My mother had this particular sign about 2-3 weeks before she transitioned to the other side. I dismissed it since she had a dark olive complexion. She had developed "hospital psychosis" & was brought home as she had no pathology. She was suppose to be recovering not dying. My mother was very sharp & alert until the hospital psychosis. All the drs evaluated her & àll agreed she should snap out of it once she was back in her familiar surroundings. I was shocked as she did her final exhalation. I was sitting next to her & jumped out of the chair. I patted her face & begged her to come back. Even though I knew she was out of her body, I still did CPR & mouth to mouth till the paramedics arrived. My mom had already bought tickets for 2 of her great grandchildren & herself. They were all going to Costa Rica so I knew she really didn't want to leave just yet...she was gone. I truly hope this info helps others.


about 1 month ago, said...

Well thank you for this info.. i will be talking to my doctor more often thanks to you, it really helps to know these things :)


about 1 month ago, said...

I thought I was dying, when I closed my eye I saw my room red and the windows black, could not focus, isolation, a LOT of dizziness, constant worries, lack of sleep, very emotional, negative thoughts and pretty much hating others. Now some of the symptoms are gone but once in a while I still see red spots in the corner of my eye. But since most of these symptoms don't match I am thinking panic attack or stress.


about 1 month ago, said...

my grandfather is in no pain. is that also a sign


about 1 month ago, said...

Yeah. My Dad is sleeping all the time. At least got to see him one last time. Bye Dad. I love you.


2 months ago, said...

My mother had Cancer for four years. She had started to hint to me she was not going to make it months before but I would awalys tell her she would not leave us.. I would tell her to not talk about death cause she was my mother and I could not live without her . She had even showed me her swollen feet in May and all I did was caress them. I was not educated about death signs.Even if I had been..I would have been in denial..i did not want to say goodbye. She ended up beng in a coma for 10 days and die slowly on her terms. I even said my final words asking her to go home to prepare for us. I DO not know up until today what I said and how I could have let her go with my words. I sang to her for 10 days and read her the bible.. I am still living with guilt of not had known how tp deal with her body shutting down..Oh Lord! The guilt..If I could have known..i wous have taken the week off on her ast week on this earth. I would have stayed with her 24/7. I went to work. My last day with her was a Friday. That Friday ahe was confused like never seen in my life..A sign we did not know as an end sign...Coma started on Sat July 10. and death came on July 19,1999.She was 55. Would have ben 56 in November. She had even joked at one birthday celebration, she would want a Heller Bakery cake. She did not have a birthday. Maybe she hoped but God called her home..There were no goodbyes. She went to sleep and never woke up for 10 days. I am.sorry mommy I failed you. I did not know. I miss your love. IT has been 16 years now...Aurevoir maman. Je t'aime.


2 months ago, said...

My grandmother was 95 years old when she passed 2/5/16. She had a stroke in 95'. Other than arthritis in her knees and signs of dimensia, she had no other health problems. My mother took care of her from day 1 of her stroke until the day of her death. I do not believe she would have lived this long if she was in a nursing home, no one can give her the care my mother did. We thank God for allowing my mother to be able to do this but at the same time, my mother had no life for the past 20+ years. When grandmother had her stroke she would talk with her husband and all her deceased siblings. She would continually ask about her brother who passed within months of her stroke. The doctor told us not to tell her he passed because she wouldn't be able to handle it. She lived over 20+ years after talking with invisible siblings and her husband. This apparently was not a sign of death for her. She would also have the glazed look in her eyes, she still lived years later. She slept a lot but loved watching TV. She kept a good appetite until the day of her death and mom made sure she had dessert with just about every meal (grandmother loved sweets). She was put under hospice in 14' and 9 months later, they took her off. After reading the post on this sight, I wonder if she was afraid to die. The day the nurse saw her feet and instructed us to call everyone, grandmother still lived for another 33 hours. The nurse later told us she expected her to be gone within the hour.


3 months ago, said...

I feel it is not right for any of us to give up on our loved ones when they are nearing death, a person is only going to die if you accept it and you allow them to accept it, but even if the situation looks bleak you let them know that with God anything is possible and that they have the opportunity to live beyond what they are told, many people who are told they only have a certain amount of time to live and of those who accept it they die in that time frame or sooner, but for those who don't accept it they are able to live longer and appreciate life more. I was told that my father only has maybe another year left by his doctor, this of course was devastating news that gave me strong emotions. My father before he heard that was looking forward to getting better, sticking to his diet and doing his physical therapy, now we have heartless doctors saying he might have a year left. Which left him wanting things to happen as if he felt the news was true, but I won't let him accept it neither will I, as doctors are not God nor will they ever be. How long your loved one can live depends on your attitude about the situation just as much as theirs. If you accept it they will to, so this is why we plan to take him to mayo clinic and get him away from these horrid doctors who have no intentions of healing anybody, but simply getting their paycheck at the end of the week. Blessings to all that are going through tough times and don't let your loved ones give up on the fight of life as there is so much more we all can do, no matter the age. God bless and please keep my father in your prayers.


3 months ago, said...

Hi All What a experience this is for everyone here,I am currently caring for my wonderful caring Husband who is now in the last stages of nearing Death,as this s my first time to experience this,I didn't know what to expect? I did a lot of reading to prepare myself for the signs that would become apparent as the time draws near.As most of us if not all we all hope the outcome from the barrage of tests to results of the Disease,to the mega doses of Chemo and Radiation,Then a 9 hr operation to be told that they got all of the Cancer,have a great normal life for 7months to then be told to go home and get your affairs in order and do a bucket list of to do.Well that was 4 weeks ago,Now we are at hm rapidly going downhill,In saying all this I cherish the time we have left even tho sometimes he is aware of me,This experience has changedour life forever ,But If I was ever afraid of Death? I am no Longer as I have seen the Normal Process and It really do,s seem a very relaxed and quiet way for our body and souls to go.And hopefully He is not to far away from this so He can be free.Thankyou


4 months ago, said...

thank you so much for your prayer and for that response. As a Navajo, i woke up early before the sunrise, as my mother taught me, to pray and offer up the day to our Lord. Today is a good day for her! I just called and talked to my mom and she is excited that today is Ash Wednesday :) i know there will be good days (like today) and tough days, I know when she is gone, I will feel no guilt because I so all i can for her. Her doctor friend told me that doctor's cannot predict but to cherish every day and I and I am blessed with this. One day at a time with God. Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.


4 months ago, said...

I wished I had taken the family leave of absence sooner so I could have been there for my mother.


4 months ago, said...

Antonita, a prayer for you. I wished I had something like this when my mother died. I found a pamphlet hospice had left for us that told us what to expect after she was gone. I also found out that she was scared to die. I wish I had known that. I would have held her and held her to help her through. Just by being there, you can give her the greatest gift, like you did for your dad. I hope it works out. We can't control these things but if we pause and do the best we can, we can live guilt free. It's a gift.


4 months ago, said...

this is an amazing web page. I stumbled upon it while looking for answers. My beautiful mother is 82 and in a nursing home. Thank God I’m only 10 minutes away and I visit her everyday after work. I am the only daughter and my father passed on in 2010. Mom has had RA for a long time and that has led to a lot of health issues. I met with her doctor on Monday 2/8/16 and I asked him how long does she really have. He was very straight with me, said she is unraveling and she may weeks to months, not years, to live. This was a very hard to hear. She is starting to show some of these signs...since Jan. 2016 she's been in the hospital 3 times. Low blood pressure, low sodium.....like the article said, mom has been sleeping a lot more now, she eats very little. I call every morning to check on her and this morning 2-10/16, the nurse reported to me that mom didn't have a good night. She was up crying and saying she was afraid to die. It's the first time I or the nurses ever heard her say this. This breaks my heart. I don't want my mom to die but I do pray I will be with her when she does. I was with my father when he walked on, that was very very sad but beautiful. He was there for my first breath of life and I was there for his last. I pray to God he will give me that gift with my mother when the time comes. I pray for all who are dying, who are scared like me, lost, grieving or needing peace.