Who You See Before You Die

Wreckless

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#1
Who You See Before You Die: Hospice Documenting Patients’ Mysterious Dream Experiences

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Death is one of the mysteries of life. But the dreams of patients at Hospice Buffalo in New York State are revealing something incredible about the process of dying.

Dr. Christopher Kerr and his team have been documenting dreams or visions of dying patients for years.

They’ve found that the dreams are often comforting and make death less scary.

It turns out, when we have little time left, many of us may see the people we miss the most.

They’ve recorded many of the interviews.

A man named Horace explained one of his dreams: “My wife all of a sudden appeared.”

A woman named Jeanne describes how vivid they are: “I remember seeing every piece of their face. I mean, I know that was my mom and dad and uncle and my brother-in-law.” She continued: “I felt good. I felt good to see some people.”

A patient named Maggie dreamt about her sister, who had passed away before her.

“So I said, Beth, you’ve got to stay with me,” Maggie said. “I’m alone, stay with me. She says, ‘I can’t. Not now.”

But then, her sister gives her a message: “And then she says, ‘Soon we’ll be back. We’ll be back together.”

Dr. Kerr didn’t start out believing. He’s now the Chief Medical Officer at Hospice Buffalo, and when he was first starting out, something happened that opened his mind. He thought a certain patient could live a little longer with IV fluids.

“I walked in and the nurse didn’t even look up,” said Dr. Kerr. “And she said, “No, no, he’s dying,’ and I said, ‘Why are you saying that?’ And she said, ‘Well, he’s seeing his deceased mother,’ and I was like [laughing noise] ‘Yeah, right.'”

He was skeptical, but he explained that he was proven wrong over and over.

“Everybody but me was able to prognosticate death in part based on what people were seeing or experiencing,” he said.

He says doctors aren’t trained to deal with these dreams, but he began studying them and realized that they’re therapeutic.

“Instead of having this fear of death,” said Dr. Kerr. “It almost transcends the fear of death to something bigger.”

In 10 years, he and his team have documented 14,000 cases. Eighty percent of his patients report dreams or visions.

“What’s clear is people are universally saying this feels more real and different than any dream I’ve ever had before,” he said.

KDKA met one of those patients during our visit, a man named Gregg Liebler.

Liebler: “My grandmother and grandfather are both passed.”
Dr. Kerr: “Have you had any dreams of them?”
Liebler: “Yes. I see them often.”

Liebler’s sister, Karen Paciorkowski, is a nurse at Hospice Buffalo.

“He was really close with my mom’s parents,” she said.

“The people who loved him and nurtured him, he says the most, were his grandparents and that’s who returns to him,” Dr. Kerr said.

He sees himself as a child, talking to them again.

Dr. Kerr: “But it feels good?”
Liebler: “It sure does.”

Liebler passed away less than three weeks after our interview.

“You’re physically declining, but inside, you’re very vibrant and alive,” said Dr. Kerr.

He says the dreams happen more often as death gets closer, and there are common themes, like upcoming travel.

A patient named Paul shared one of his dreams, “She wanted me to pack up some things for her, so I had this crazy dream, I’m packing goods.”

Sometimes the dreams allow people to address unresolved issues.

A patient named Patricia felt relief after delivering a message to her deceased husband: “I told him, ‘You should have taken care of this, and I want you to know that I’m really angry that you didn’t,’ and he smiled.”

When children are dying, they often don’t know any people who have passed, so they dream of deceased pets.

A girl named Jessica explains her dreams: “I dream about my old dog Shadow, that has passed away.”

“They’ll come of these experiences and say they want to go back,” said Dr. Kerr.

So what causes the dreams? Is there a religious, spiritual or scientific explanation?

“I don’t have one,” said Dr. Kerr.

He says his goal is just to record what’s happening and he’s not sure there need to be an explanation.

“When they wake up crying because they’ve been so deeply moved by something,” said Dr. Kerr. “That just should be respected. Period.”

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02/25/hospice-buffalo-death-dreams-study/
 
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#3
Who You See Before You Die: Hospice Documenting Patients’ Mysterious Dream Experiences

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Death is one of the mysteries of life. But the dreams of patients at Hospice Buffalo in New York State are revealing something incredible about the process of dying.

Dr. Christopher Kerr and his team have been documenting dreams or visions of dying patients for years.

They’ve found that the dreams are often comforting and make death less scary.

It turns out, when we have little time left, many of us may see the people we miss the most.

They’ve recorded many of the interviews.

A man named Horace explained one of his dreams: “My wife all of a sudden appeared.”

A woman named Jeanne describes how vivid they are: “I remember seeing every piece of their face. I mean, I know that was my mom and dad and uncle and my brother-in-law.” She continued: “I felt good. I felt good to see some people.”

A patient named Maggie dreamt about her sister, who had passed away before her.

“So I said, Beth, you’ve got to stay with me,” Maggie said. “I’m alone, stay with me. She says, ‘I can’t. Not now.”

But then, her sister gives her a message: “And then she says, ‘Soon we’ll be back. We’ll be back together.”

Dr. Kerr didn’t start out believing. He’s now the Chief Medical Officer at Hospice Buffalo, and when he was first starting out, something happened that opened his mind. He thought a certain patient could live a little longer with IV fluids.

“I walked in and the nurse didn’t even look up,” said Dr. Kerr. “And she said, “No, no, he’s dying,’ and I said, ‘Why are you saying that?’ And she said, ‘Well, he’s seeing his deceased mother,’ and I was like [laughing noise] ‘Yeah, right.'”

He was skeptical, but he explained that he was proven wrong over and over.

“Everybody but me was able to prognosticate death in part based on what people were seeing or experiencing,” he said.

He says doctors aren’t trained to deal with these dreams, but he began studying them and realized that they’re therapeutic.

“Instead of having this fear of death,” said Dr. Kerr. “It almost transcends the fear of death to something bigger.”

In 10 years, he and his team have documented 14,000 cases. Eighty percent of his patients report dreams or visions.

“What’s clear is people are universally saying this feels more real and different than any dream I’ve ever had before,” he said.

KDKA met one of those patients during our visit, a man named Gregg Liebler.

Liebler: “My grandmother and grandfather are both passed.”
Dr. Kerr: “Have you had any dreams of them?”
Liebler: “Yes. I see them often.”


Liebler’s sister, Karen Paciorkowski, is a nurse at Hospice Buffalo.

“He was really close with my mom’s parents,” she said.

“The people who loved him and nurtured him, he says the most, were his grandparents and that’s who returns to him,” Dr. Kerr said.

He sees himself as a child, talking to them again.

Dr. Kerr: “But it feels good?”
Liebler: “It sure does.”


Liebler passed away less than three weeks after our interview.

“You’re physically declining, but inside, you’re very vibrant and alive,” said Dr. Kerr.

He says the dreams happen more often as death gets closer, and there are common themes, like upcoming travel.

A patient named Paul shared one of his dreams, “She wanted me to pack up some things for her, so I had this crazy dream, I’m packing goods.”

Sometimes the dreams allow people to address unresolved issues.

A patient named Patricia felt relief after delivering a message to her deceased husband: “I told him, ‘You should have taken care of this, and I want you to know that I’m really angry that you didn’t,’ and he smiled.”

When children are dying, they often don’t know any people who have passed, so they dream of deceased pets.

A girl named Jessica explains her dreams: “I dream about my old dog Shadow, that has passed away.”

“They’ll come of these experiences and say they want to go back,” said Dr. Kerr.

So what causes the dreams? Is there a religious, spiritual or scientific explanation?

“I don’t have one,” said Dr. Kerr.

He says his goal is just to record what’s happening and he’s not sure there need to be an explanation.

“When they wake up crying because they’ve been so deeply moved by something,” said Dr. Kerr. “That just should be respected. Period.”

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02/25/hospice-buffalo-death-dreams-study/
What is so fascinating about this, is that if one takes the broad view that we've evolved to our current stage of development and that in general, most of our behaviours had/have some kind of survival value, how does such a mechanism come into being?
 

Bigphoot2

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#4
Interesting. My uncle died a few months back and in the final weeks he would often talk about seeing dead relatives but he'd act as if they were still alive. I'd visit him and he'd tell me if I'd been ten minutes earlier I would have seen my uncle Frank (who died in 1972) or my grandfather. He told me that a niece who had gone to live in America and died five years ago was now working on his ward as she'd requested a transfer so that she could be near him.
Towards the end, he would talk about going on a cruise with his brothers (all dead) and they were just waiting for word from the captain of the ship.
 

maximus otter

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#5
Death is one of the mysteries of life. But the dreams of patients at Hospice Buffalo in New York State are revealing something incredible about the process of dying.

Dr. Christopher Kerr and his team have been documenting dreams or visions of dying patients for years. They’ve found that the dreams are often comforting and make death less scary.

It turns out, when we have little time left, many of us may see the people we miss the most.

A man named Horace explained one of his dreams: “My wife all of a sudden appeared.”

A woman named Jeanne describes how vivid they are: “I remember seeing every piece of their face. I mean, I know that was my mom and dad and uncle and my brother-in-law.” She continued: “I felt good. I felt good to see some people.”

A patient named Maggie dreamt about her sister, who had passed away before her. “So I said, Beth, you’ve got to stay with me,” Maggie said. “I’m alone, stay with me. She says, ‘I can’t. Not now.” But then, her sister gives her a message: “And then she says, ‘Soon we’ll be back. We’ll be back together.”

Dr. Kerr didn’t start out believing. He’s now the Chief Medical Officer at Hospice Buffalo, and when he was first starting out, something happened that opened his mind. He thought a certain patient could live a little longer with IV fluids.

“I walked in and the nurse didn’t even look up,” said Dr. Kerr. “And she said, “No, no, he’s dying,’ and I said, ‘Why are you saying that?’ And she said, ‘Well, he’s seeing his deceased mother,’ and I was like [laughing noise] ‘Yeah, right.'”

He was skeptical, but he explained that he was proven wrong over and over.

“Everybody but me was able to prognosticate death in part based on what people were seeing or experiencing,” he said.

He says doctors aren’t trained to deal with these dreams, but he began studying them and realized that they’re therapeutic.

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02/25/hospice-buffalo-death-dreams-study/

maximus otter
 

escargot

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#6
Towards the end, he would talk about going on a cruise with his brothers (all dead) and they were just waiting for word from the captain of the ship.
I've read that dying people sometimes talk about a journey they're planning to make. It can be holiday or just a bus ride.
 

Yithian

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#7
Sir Terry Pratchett reported meeting (or was it merely hearing?) his father while suffering from the early-onset Alzheimer's disease that would finally kill him.

On 8 June 2008, news reports indicated that Pratchett had an experience which he described as: "It is just possible that once you have got past all the gods that we have created with big beards and many human traits, just beyond all that, on the other side of physics, there just may be the ordered structure from which everything flows" and "I don't actually believe in anyone who could have put that in my head". He went into further detail on Front Row, in which he was asked if this was a shift in his beliefs: "A shift in me in the sense I heard my father talk to me when I was in the garden one day. But I'm absolutely certain that what I heard was my memories of my father. An engram, or something in my head...This is not about God, but somewhere around there is where gods come from."
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Pratchett

R.I.P., Terry.
 

escargot

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#8
This might be the place to re-share this experience of mine:

I was looking after a lady in hospital, mainly on late shifts. She had been very ill but over about a week was rallying nicely.

One day I said 'We were worried about you!' and she told me that as her mother came to visit her every night she knew she'd be OK.

This was a very elderly lady. Her mother must have been dead or a hundred years old. I saw all the ward visitors and knew no centenarians had been in.

Staff noted her sudden good condition after being so ill and diagnosed a 'death rally', where someone appears suddenly healthier before dying. It's a well-known phenomenon. When I mentioned her mother's visits there was tutting and shaking of heads.

So... I had a day off and was next in on an early shift. The lady's bed was empty: she had died suddenly in the night.
Well, I say 'suddenly', but nobody who had seen her 'rally' and heard about her mother's visits was surprised.
 
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brownmane

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#9
I had taken a palliative care course for lay people and the palliative nurses did say that they've seen that happen. They also said that they'd seen people who were near death hold on just to wait for someone (living) that couldn't let go of them yet or that the dying person felt s/he needed to see for a reason.
 

Mrs Migs

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#10
When my mum was in hospital, about a week before she actually passed, we were called in during the night because the nurses thought that the end was nigh. Me, my dad and my sister sat round the bed, listening to her breathing getting shallower.... then suddenly she took a deep breath, opened her eyes and sat up. Stared towards the foot of the bed and pointed.... of course, we couldn’t see anything, and she could barely speak, so...
Anyway, she rallied a bit, and the next day or the day after she told my dad that “Mum was here”. Her mum died probably 25 years before.
I don’t know if it helped her passing, but honestly? It helped us, a lot.
 

Wreckless

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#11
What is so fascinating about this, is that if one takes the broad view that we've evolved to our current stage of development and that in general, most of our behaviours had/have some kind of survival value, how does such a mechanism come into being?
It would make sense evolutionarily to ease the stress of both the living survivors as well as the recently deceased. It is a terminal process we all must go through so why not make it easier instead of harder.
 

EnolaGaia

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#13
What is so fascinating about this, is that if one takes the broad view that we've evolved to our current stage of development and that in general, most of our behaviours had/have some kind of survival value, how does such a mechanism come into being?
It would make sense evolutionarily to ease the stress of both the living survivors as well as the recently deceased. It is a terminal process we all must go through so why not make it easier instead of harder.
I wonder if there's a mechanism or capacity in the slowly dying that's analogous to what I learned of the 'total life recall' experience (life flashing before one's mind's eye), which involves a response to imminent sudden death.

I've experienced the TLR phenomenon three times, two of which reached their culmination / conclusion when the incredibly rapid replay reached the current time. In these two instances, there was a sudden sense of release and calm that rivals or exceeds orgasm. In both cases, I became emotionally detached from what still seemed to be impending death and simply didn't care what happened next.

My long-time theory is that these effects represented the endorphins kicking in.

I wonder if something similar happens in slo-mo with the terminally ill once they tacitly accept imminent death.
 

Krepostnoi

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#15
I've read that dying people sometimes talk about a journey they're planning to make. It can be holiday or just a bus ride.
A while ago I mentioned my relative who'd gone into palliative care. Her husband, poor man, is in fine physical fettle, but also deep in the throes of vascular dementia. The last report I had of him was that he had been saying he wanted to take his wife on holiday, to help her feel better. At some level, he was aware, and the metaphor is striking under the circumstances.

Alas, as of Saturday morning, they'll not get to go anywhere together in this world.
 

brownmane

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#19
A while ago I mentioned my relative who'd gone into palliative care. Her husband, poor man, is in fine physical fettle, but also deep in the throes of vascular dementia. The last report I had of him was that he had been saying he wanted to take his wife on holiday, to help her feel better. At some level, he was aware, and the metaphor is striking under the circumstances.

Alas, as of Saturday morning, they'll not get to go anywhere together in this world.
Sorry to hear that Krepostnoi
 

catseye

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#20
My condolences to all those who've lost someone dear.

My mum died eighteen months' ago. She was in the care of my lovely SIL, who reported that, shortly before death my mum reported being visited by her sister and her BIL. My SIL asked if her husband (my dad) had come too, and my mum (who was deep into dementia at this point) said, 'oh yes, he's over here, just sitting in the chair' (behaviour very appropriate to my lovely, quiet dad).

A day or so before she lapsed completely,, she reported 'the lioness has come for me.' We're not sure who that was, but my mum knew she (it) had come to take her away.

Just my secondhand reported experiences.
 

Rahere

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#22
From my side, it was the other way around. Some time before the event, another seer-sensitive, Kathryn Kurtz, wrote verbatim the death-bed events which surrounded my wife's passing. The book was published about a month later, which came as a considerable shock, given the only people in the room were me and her, as she passed, and the tale certainly didn't come from me.
On the other hand, as I've described earlier, my physical self already had a track record of being able to read the unseen and unknown, but from my angle, whatever did that was not part of my consciousness: I'd dropped into meditation and was fully conscious of something other than me talking through me. In addition, there's the time-jump question.
 

Yithian

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#23
From my side, it was the other way around. Some time before the event, another seer-sensitive, Kathryn Kurtz, wrote verbatim the death-bed events which surrounded my wife's passing. The book was published about a month later, which came as a considerable shock, given the only people in the room were me and her, as she passed, and the tale certainly didn't come from me.
Which Kathryn Kurtz is this?

Katherine Kurtz?
 

Carl Grove

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#24
A second hand report about an elderly neighbour (94) whose husband had died 30 years previously. After she died peacefully in hospital her niece told me that several weeks before she became ill she had had a visit from her husband. He had sat on the side of her bed and they had had a long conversation. She had been in good health prior to an episode when the council had told us all to leave all our windows open for painting in a bitterly cold winter. Hers had been open all day and the painters never came. The next day one turned up and laughed about going out drinking and his absence being due to self induced illness. Not so funny for my neighbour who came down with pneumonia. But perhaps it did not surprise her. I never found out what her husband had told her, and her niece has also died now so can't be sure, but it seems a fair bet that the husband knew what was going to happen and went there to warn her.
 

GingerTabby

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#25
A while ago I mentioned my relative who'd gone into palliative care. Her husband, poor man, is in fine physical fettle, but also deep in the throes of vascular dementia. The last report I had of him was that he had been saying he wanted to take his wife on holiday, to help her feel better. At some level, he was aware, and the metaphor is striking under the circumstances.

Alas, as of Saturday morning, they'll not get to go anywhere together in this world.
I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Krepostnoi. My condolences.
 

catseye

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#26
I noticed, when talking to my mum, that there was a certain metaphorical element in her dementia. During my last visit to her, whilst she was in hospital (although she died at home), she was desperate to ensure that my brother and I both put our names down for shares in gold. She kept urging me to make sure my name was down or I'd miss out.

I interpreted it as a metaphorical desire to make sure that my brother and i were both cared for and financially sound before she died. There were a few other occasions where she'd say something and I'd 'get' the meaning behind the words, rather than the words themselves.

She died (of other causes) before the dementia reduced her ability to speak, and she had occasional flashes of lucidity and could still recognise people (more or less). Anyone know if there's ever been a study into the metaphors of dementia? Or is it very much 'in the eye, or ear, of the beholder'?
 

AlchoPwn

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#27
I thought the person you see before you die was the oncologist. Hence the joke:

Q: Why do undertakers nail coffins shut?

A: To stop the oncologists administering another round of chemotherapy.

I have an uncle who is currently suffering with cancer and he told me this one. I do hope he gets better.
I am also saddened to hear of your recent loss Krepostnoi, I hope my gallows humor wasn't indelicate.
 
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#29
A while ago I mentioned my relative who'd gone into palliative care. Her husband, poor man, is in fine physical fettle, but also deep in the throes of vascular dementia. The last report I had of him was that he had been saying he wanted to take his wife on holiday, to help her feel better. At some level, he was aware, and the metaphor is striking under the circumstances.

Alas, as of Saturday morning, they'll not get to go anywhere together in this world.
Sad news indeed. My condolences.
 

AnonyJoolz

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#30
A while ago I mentioned my relative who'd gone into palliative care. Her husband, poor man, is in fine physical fettle, but also deep in the throes of vascular dementia. The last report I had of him was that he had been saying he wanted to take his wife on holiday, to help her feel better. At some level, he was aware, and the metaphor is striking under the circumstances.

Alas, as of Saturday morning, they'll not get to go anywhere together in this world.
I am sorry to hear of your family's loss. I hope their passing was as peaceful as could be hope for.
 
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