Intense eye contact from hospice patient; Can he know he is going to die?


I visited my father who is on hospice tonite he was awake and alert but not talking stoic look on his face. I said Dad you don't look like yourself tonight he replied I'm just tired. Before I left he was going to be put to bed I told him I love him like always. He said good bye but his eyes were locked in mine he was looking so intently as if to take in the look of my was visceral I felt a pulling from my gut as if he was looking at me for the last time. I left said good night but cried after I got outside, he's never done this. I feel like he is going to die tonight. Can he know he is going to die?

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When my husband was in the active dying stage, his eyes were closed, and he couldn't talk. Every now and then he would kind of moan like he wanted to say something. So I told him "I know you love me and are worried about me, but I am a survivor and God will help me through this". I also told him other things and told him it was ok to go to Jesus if he is calling you. I had my hand on his chest and felt him take his last breath. I was glad I was with him to the end. He was the one and only love of my life for 51 years.
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Reply to trmyor

The meaning of Dad's intense look into your face is to be interpreted only by you, and whatever meaning you give it is what matters, and what you will remember.

If this was goodbye, then you will remember. And I hope you find a good peaceful meaning for yourself, something that will comfort you.

Of course you are worried because he is in hospice, end of life care. Perhaps you want to be with him. Patients in hospice can and do live for years. You might want to protect yourself for the long run. So sorry that you and your Dad are going through this.

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns tonight.

I did not get to say goodbye to my Dad, so many years ago.
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Reply to Sendhelp

Do we know? Sometimes. My own dad, however, was sure he was dying one night. Mom and I sat up all night with him in the NH. In the morning, he wanted and ate bacon and eggs and lived for many more months!
Mom on the other hand, was later in SNF just for recovery from a heart attack, then planning to go back home. One evening I felt a strong urge to go visit her, but didn't because I'd been there that day already. She died that night.
So, I believe sometimes the dying are ready to go and know it's time; and sometimes loved ones can sense it, too. And, sometimes, we're wrong, in thought and/or deed. Thank God for grace.
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Reply to Agingmyself

Too many are unprepared for death. That unknown land is our last frontier. I know that Jesus Christ has opened an avenue for me and for my immediate family, so I can look at everyone and know that my death is just a momentary separation.
When my father died, it was an unexpected event. He went to work, came home and died on the living room couch. My mother, who was not yet a Christian was devastated and required that I go to the mortuary and view my father’s body.
As I gazed upon the image on the table, my heart rejoiced. I lifted his right hand and held it, observing the scars, wrinkles and grime that still clung to his body. The thought came to me that he was now with God, his labor of this life was ended and the cord was cut, releasing him from all of earth’s demands and disappointments.
I look at my loved ones who are awaiting death now, and I see in their eyes that anticipation of release. Let Christ be your intercessor and He will bring joy, not sorrow, because then, you will see him tomorrow.
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Reply to dgorr2

No one knows for sure Spiritstruck. I haven't been through this myself yet. But I just wanted to tell you, you're not alone tonight, and you're in my prayers.

Cyber Huggz
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Reply to Pepsee

Hi Spiritstruck - I believe some people can feel when their time is approaching. My uncle wrote a good bye letter to his wife and kids a day bebore he died. Perhaps you dad knows it, or perhaps he is scared that he won't see you again.

I hope you will have more time with him. If you do, make the best use of the time. If there are things you want to ask or tell him, do that now while he is still with you. It's probably the most difficult conversation to have, and I don't know if I can bring myself to do that with my mom.

(((Hugs))) for you during this stressful time.
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Reply to polarbear

Not many days before my father died, at home with home hospice care, (primarily mine) — and after weeks of non-communication, physical deterioration and rejection to the point of living wholly within himself — I was stricken and remain so - four years later - by a look my father gave me. It lasted and told of a lifetime, mine, and it was over in a second. It was a look that transcended the regular doses of morphine and the inability to do more with this life. It was acute with clarity, intensity and deeply familiar. That was the last time he engaged with another being. It remains with me and I know I am free to interpret it as I wish. One thing I am certain of – it was a farewell and it is my talisman. I hope you find what you need in this journey you are on. There need to be important moments, even seconds, of connection to remember. Good thoughts for you and yours.
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Reply to Axamermaid1

Spirit:  Please don't concern yourself with what may or may not be. It will only bring you trials and worry. Enjoy the moments
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Reply to Llamalover47

You might want to read Final Gifts by Callinan and Kelley. There are some signs that can be interpreted as a near death awarenes.
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Reply to MACinCT

He did not die that night. Fear was justified....You just did not know, and were worried.
Yes, that is normal for your circumstances.

These days, I rejoice when my worries and fears do not come true, and I am wrong.
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Reply to Sendhelp

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