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My dad suddenly has been very, oddly peaceful. Smiles a lot, tells me I need to smile more. Thanks me for every little thing I do. Says he isn’t going to make it to Christmas. He has been so depressed lately but suddenly seems... peaceful. It’s the only way to describe it.

My mother died at 64. She had been ill with cancer 10 years before, but was cured(?), and for 10 years lived a great life. Then, holy hell broke lose.
Cancer returned went from her lungs, bones and then brain, in 6 months!! She had stopped smoking 40 years before this.
Anyway, about 2 weeks before she died, she said she saw her mother, and some others who had previously passed.
I told her that God is waiting for her to hold her in His arms.
I also told her , that her angel is here with her now.helping her.
( Guess you know by now, we are Catholic) She suffered mentally & physically those last few weeks. I am actually crying as I write this. She was so good, kind, and loving. But the day she died, I went in to see if she would like some tea. She said," I saw a bright light, and my mother again". She told me she loved me, and was disturbed she would not see my daughter graduate from college, a few weeks later.( my daughter & my Mom were very close) She said, no tea, she wanted to go to God.
She died less than 5 minutes later. There is so much more to this story, but now is not the time. I didn't want my mother to die in a hospital, so she was with me. Thank God, for a good husband and friends, and the angels from Hospice care that last month. ( My job was wonderful, and gave me all the time I needed, plus, they paid me, which I never asked for, nor expected.)
I really think people do know when they are ready to die.
I guess because of my belief in God, that she would finally be out of pain, and with the loved ones who predeced her.
And I do believe that we live on this Earth for a very short time, but in Heaven, no one is sick,or in pain. I'm sorry for going on & on. To this very day, I miss her so.
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Reply to Pepsi46
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After a traumatic brain injury, my husband knew he was dying. I asked the nurse if there were medical indications of that. No, no medical indicators, but sometimes patients knew better than the tests. So our daughter got their children out of school, and brought their babies in. Everyone got to see Grandpa. Grandpa lived another 10 years, developed dementia, and lived another ten years after that.

So, no, patients don't always sense their own deaths correctly, but I expect it happens sometimes.

One situation where people "know" when they will die is when they plan it themselves. I have read that sudden calm, peacefulness, making peace with loved ones, etc., can be a sign of planning suicide. I hate to bring this up, mama123, but you mention severe depression. Is your dad being treated for that?

You might find these articles about suicide by WebMed and Mayo Clinic interesting:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/recognizing-suicidal-behavior#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/suicide/symptoms-causes/syc-20378048

I hope I am way, way off base here, mama, and I probably am. But I'd want someone to bring this to my attention if I were in your spot. Better safe than sorry. Please come back and tell us how this progresses.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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My mother knew it was coming. Kept reading life after death books. She was in denial for months though. Kept asking why she wasn’t getting better. It wasn’t until the last two weeks of her life that she came to terms with it. The most amazing thing was that she was no longer afraid. I kept asking. Her last words to me were to tell me she was dying. It was gut wrenching to hear and that day was difficult to watch, but I find great comfort knowing she was truly at peace, and that I was there to witness all of it. It was the most difficult 11 months of my life. Watching the decline was brutal. The biggest clue to us that it was getting close was her disengaging from all the things she loved. When she stopped reading, watching the news, asking about her hearing aids, watch and eyeglasses, we knew she was ready to leave. It wasn’t depression related. It was more like letting go of the world, and preparing for the next.

Whether it’s a day, week, month, year or years, cherish your time together.
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Reply to Cindy916
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I was a hospice nurse for many years. Many of my patients knew when the end time was near. Many would tell me and tell me not to tell their love ones ,because they had made peace with it , and did not want to worry the family.
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Reply to onlyfamily
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Those who do not fear death can feel it's presence more readily and embrace. My grandfather became very peaceful in spirit in his last few weeks and spoke his truths. My father feared his death and would not acknowledge its inevitable presence in his last few hours, therefore, it was not peaceful for him. My cousin feared hers as it was within hours of a late stage diagnosis of cancer, but she was young mother and feared for her children and her death was not peaceful. My husband was in denial about his imminent death from cancer and never reconciled with it but his death was peaceful in the sense he was not conscious during his end of life days. You and your father are fortunate.
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Reply to dinlawduzit
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Some people have a near death awareness. My aunt told me the same thing. Check out the book Final Gifts by Maggie Calonan and Patricia Kelley
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Reply to MACinCT
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There is a great book called "Final Gifts." Read it.

Yes, I think they know. My aunt told one sitter, 2 nights before she passed that her (deceased) husband visited her that night. She also kept saying he was coming to get her to take her on a trip. In the book I mentioned, it says people who are terminally ill will frequently mention they are going on a trip soon. Or they talk about getting in a line.
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Reply to XenaJada
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I live in a different state from my parents. My dad told me one year at Christmas that "I won't be around much longer". I dismissed it because he was in relatively good health for 83 year old. He passed away January 30. I will always regret the lost opportunity.
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Reply to rusbar
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My dad fought the thought of death for 5 years, he was angry and argumentative. I noticed about a month or so before he passed he became calm and didn’t argue anymore. The day his legs gave out we had to call 911 to take him to the er to get checked out I told him I would not leave him. He knew, within 3 days he passed, I was with him for his last breath, it was peaceful. I miss him I am now an orphan.
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Reply to Lindasos
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I wish I had the answers but interestingly my mother became extremely "sweet" during the month or two before we lost her. My wife (we were caring for her in our home) mentioned how she hated to leave her when she had to care for our kids because she was so sweet and wanted just to love on her. My mother was never a mean person but an obvious increased sweetness was present. I wish I knew what that meant but she told an aide a few days prior that she wasn't ready to leave and go to heaven yet so her very sudden decline shocked us. Literally talked to her and told her goodnight and a few hours later found her gurgling. She lived a few more days but could not talk much other than to say she was getting weaker and that she loved me "more" as she always said in response to me telling her I loved her. She had lost interest in things she used to enjoy and eating had diminished but we thought we had the remaining months of the year. Her service was this past Saturday and only a miracle from God will help me move on. I loved her so and wish I had of had more talks with her. Just took fore granted that time is not promised and regret every minute that I spent away from her to work, clean the house or go to the Y.
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Reply to CarolynsSon
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