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I went to see my mom yesterday. When I got there mom was actually up using her walker to go to the bathroom - first time I've seen her moving on her own in quite a while. After she got settled back into her recliner she said she had some important things for me. Mom handed me a much folded piece of paper covered in writing that didn't make a lot of sense to me. But on one part she had listed the important events in her life along with the year of occurance. Birth, college graduation, meeting my dad, marriage, first real job, birth of children etc. Mom said it was important for me to have this and handed it to me with the reverence due the original tablets containing the 10 Commandments. Then she gave me a zip-lock baggie containing a weird assortment of items and papers. Paper clips, random business cards, a page from an address book that was blank except for where she had written the word "scarf", a magazine article about the band One Direction (she doesn't even know who they are) and a few other odd things - again this was done with solemn reverence. I asked her about a few of the items but she really wasn't able to explain in any way that made sense. Baffled, but Iet it go. Mom went on to say she was going to die right after the New Year. I asked why she thought that and she said "it seems like a good time to wrap things up". Then she said she wanted me to help her with buying Christmas gifts. We spent an hour going over her list of people and deciding on gifts. I told her I would also pick up cards for her - for these specific people which pleased her. It was important to her that I get these things for her to personalize - made me promise I would have them for her in a week. Before I left she talked about how much she had always wanted a baby girl. With tears in her eyes she told me how happy she was the day I was born and said "you turned out pretty good". By the time I was walking to my car I was crying - and spent most of last night crying on and off. Finally my questions: First - does anyone here believe in NDA - near death awareness? When my dad was dying hospice gave me a copy of Final Gifts. It address what happens as people begin the process of dying. I thumbed through it but didn't read it and tossed it after dad died. It says it's common for people to take stock of their lives - to focus on the major events. It also said a lot of people who are in the death process can predict the date of their death with uncanny precision. Is this what's happening with my mom? And secondly - she has been so miserable to me I thought her death would be a relief to me - I never expected to feel the sadness I am. And it isn't over nostalgia because mom was no June Cleaver. Why so many conflicting emotions? And is NDA real?

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In all honesty my mom has been death obsessed for most of the past ten years. At one point she had a three ring binder full of instructions for her funeral. Another time she had one of her paintings made into note cards with a poem printed in side - along with her full name and birthdate then a dash. I was to fill in the date of her death. She went so far as to address the envelopes and put forever stamps on them. She and my dad would frequently change their minds as to where they wanted their ashes scattered - then any time one would get so much as a cold, I would get "the call" which came with a solemn discussion -on their part at least detailing the directions to the sprinkle spot. The spot was always somewhere on or around Mt. Hood so my dad would also actually draw me a map! Three different dates with destiny have come and gone for my mom. In the past two years she hasn't mentioned it much- the binder and note cards long forgotten. Once in a while she'll say to me " don't be sad when I go. I've lived long enough and I really don't enjoy it anymore. I miss your father". But even with all her past talking and planning for death - there was something different about this last conversation. I can't really put my finger on it. She did however say right before I left " you do remember where to put me?" How could I forget? Half way up Mt. Hood off a specific rock where my dad is. I have the map!
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Muther and everyone, there are some times when people know the end is near, and other times that that just don't feel good and will get over it. Ask yourself if you have ever had those premonitions about someone who didn't die. It's called recall bias - you remember potential antecedents much better when some event actually happens.

But seriously, right or wrong, it is always good to not postpone the things you would want to have done with someone, just because life really is fragile.
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Nana insisted at 76 that "I'm not here next year" and picked out the clothes she wanted to be buried in. She lived all the way to 96.
My MIL insisted she was going to die Easter Sunday 2015. She did not, lived all the way to October. So they don't really know 100% of the time.
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My mom just died this last October, after a brief stay in the hospital for routine procedure. Days before she went in she wanted to give me money, didn't want the family to fight over it...I just brushed it off, and didn't want to talk to her about it. she was 84, by the way. Anyway, she went in had the procedure and died several days later while still in the hospital....did she have awareness I don't know maybe? I just wish now, I would have taken her thoughts more serious and listened more. I think maybe she did know she wasn't coming home.
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My husband was in the hospital when he insisted he was dying and he wanted to say goodbye to his grandchildren. The nurse assured me there was no known medical reason to suspect he was close to death, "but sometimes the patient knows something we don't know." I called our daughters and they picked up their school-age children and also brought the younger ones. It was very emotional and traumatic. That was more than 20 years before my husband died. I guess NDA awareness isn't always accurate! I don't suppose these kinds of stories get circulated as often as the accurate ones.

I was not aware of any NDA before my husband did pass. He was on hospice and he knew what that meant so I guess he was "expecting" to die. I'd arranged for everyone to see him in the previous few weeks. Our daughter from out of state had been there and gone. Even his ex-wife had seen him. All of us, including hospice, were expecting him to live several more weeks.

My Aunt Ethel began preparing for her death in her 80s. One time we visited and the lace tablecloth that was always on her dining table had been replaced by a plastic one. She explained that she wanted her daughter to have that so she gave it to her to avoid confusion after she passed. Over the next few years other items disappeared from her house. She gave her complete collection of the local school year books (she bought them even when she had no one in school that year) to the local library. She got, as they say, her affairs in order. In her nineties she checked herself in to the local care center. She was a no-nonsense, highly practical, intelligent woman. She knew that she was going to die because everyone does. She lived to be 100. As far as I know, she never had any NDA.

Preparing for death may or may not be the same as a premonition that one will die soon. But I don't doubt that some people do have this awareness.
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muther, I can understand about premonitions. Mine weren't about death, but about fires. The first time it happened I was home sick from work but I had to get a letter into the mail so I drove to the closes mailbox just down the road [back when pick-up mailbox still existed].... for some strange reason the old 1920's building across from the mailbox drew my attention, I kept looking at the building, it was a livestock feed business... oh well.... later that morning there was a fire. What an eerie feeling.

The premonitions happened just a few times more, but only if I was under the weather with a bad cold or whatever.
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Ive had many experiences that left me baffled. Here are some examples. Please do not judge me, I keep this to my self and have only told my father.

1) When my second child was born, I did nothing to prepare for her homecoming. Then after giving birth, I asked my Dr what day it was (long labor!) he triumphantly announced the date and time and weight of baby and I said 'No, this can't be her birth date' He said why not? I thought for a moment and I replied, 'I can't see us celebrating this day for the rest of her life. Everyone looked at me blankly for a moment then activity resumed in the room. A few hours later she died. Heart failure.
2) 11 years later. I attended my niece's communion which was facilitated by her Uncle, my brother in-law. He wore full ceremonial attire, he looked like a bishop. After the ceremony it occurred to me that I will never see him dress like this again. I asked myself where such a thought would come from. I felt he was going to die before he lived out his dream of officiating at all future family ceremonies. Indeed, 8 years later he died two days before performing wedding vows. We attended a his wake on Friday and a wedding on Saturday. He died of cancer within a year of being diagnosed. But I thought he was going to last until the wedding.
3) I hired a young man at work. Very smart, talented and he drew my attention. I couldn't help thinking about his future and it occurred to me that he was too introspective for his own good. He finished out his internship and returned to college. The next summer I got the news that he died in a head on collision. His vehicle crossed the center line. I looked up the police report. The other driver was intoxicated and charged with man slaughter. I know that was a fact but am also certain the young man was distracted and crossed the line into oncoming traffic. Very tragic for both parties involved.
4) one of my big bosses was a mother of two. I admired her career but had a bad feeling about her taking on too much work. I felt she was not taking enough care of herself. She was constantly on her cell phone. I felt her health was at risk. That same week she ran her car off the road while on her cell phone. She survived. But I'm kicking myself for not doing something about it. She was unable to return to work due to health.

I tell myself that its not true. My premonitions are of no use to me or anyone else. I've had these thoughts before but they are of those elderly and expected to die soon anyway. I try to evaluate these premonitions to see what good it would do for me to say something out loud but have decided that I'm not God and if He has a job for me then He would enable me to do it.

I'm pretty certain that I will be able to predict my own death.
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My great aunt, who was in rehab in a NH, but was going down hill with cancer, told that she was so worried about her adult daughter. Her daughter had been very attached to her parents her entire life and had only lived apart from them for short times. She was rather spoiled and an only child. I told her that I would make sure she was okay and not to worry. She seemed to take much comfort from that. She passed away the following day. even though her doctor thought she was improving a little.

What is so bizarre is that I was appointed her daughter's DPOA and a few years later she developed dementia and I am her caregiver. So odd.
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The week before my Dad died (with no inclination that anything was wrong), we were talking and he said to me in a very odd tone, "Sometimes I just feel like quitting". I got so mad at him. A week later he had emergency surgery for an encarcerated hernia and didn't make it.
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My daughter has a close friend whose grandma had dementia. One day, out of the blue, Grandma called the young woman and said " grandpa just died". Now, the young woman was hundreds of miles away; she called my daughter for advice, and we told her to call the local police. Grandpa was fine. I told this young woman she'd been given a gift, and to use the opportunity to get all the neighborhood phone numbers and such. Three weeks later, Grandpa DID die and she was well prepared when the call came. Not the same thing, but yes, I think there is sometimes awareness .
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My dad died in his 70's while waiting to have a coronary bypass. Although he was experiencing angina we had no reason to expect that he wouldn't be OK after the surgery, this would have been his second bypass. When he collapsed with a massive heart attack we called in our minister and he told us that my dad had been in to see him a couple of weeks before to get himself right with god. We still didn't have a date for the surgery, so it wasn't about preparing to go under the knife. If he had a sense that the end was approaching he never shared that with us, but looking back now I wonder.
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I believe in near death awareness. Does that mean that at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve you should speed to the nursing home to hold your mom's hand? I don't think so. But I believe some people have intuition regarding their time left here with us.

I understand why you felt the way you did. It sounds like you had an amazing visit with your mom. An emotional visit. And like cwillie said, regardless of your relationship with your mom she's still your mom and you will mourn her loss if the mourning hasn't started already.
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Self bumping. Really curious if anyone has experience with NDA.
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Whether good or bad your history and your mom's are woven together, so you are bound to be affected by her passing or the anticipation of it. It has been a while since I read Final Gifts, but there are plenty of stories out there about people who seemed to have an awareness of death approaching. On the other hand there are probably as many or more who feel that way and are totally wrong.
I would take this as a gift, an insight into the innermost thoughts of your mom, and try not to read anything more than that into it.
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