It's true, most people don't get the opportunity to choose their last words with any kind of intent. It's not like choosing a yearbook quote. That doesn't mean last words can't be profound or awesome, though. Medical staff are probably the people who have the most experience hearing people's final words, so one Reddit user asked:
Doctors and nurses, what are the weirdest last words you've heard?
The answers were pretty amazing. Some people embraced humor, some were scared - we feel like we totally understand cheeseburger-lady on a deep and cellular level. Here are some of the best responses.
Grandpa, tough as nails. Had four heart attacks, each one worse than the last, lived 25 years beyond all expectations. He liked to tell jokes to the EMTs before defibrillator use, hoping they might be his last words. He was funny and stubborn and sweet.
When he finally went, my mom tried to fix his oxygen mask, "daddy, you need to wear this" and he looked at her, pulled it off, and said "pfft. Who says." Then he died.
I like it. I think it was fitting.
Sports? No Thanks.
My grandma was in the hospital,and we knew she would die in the next weeks. A nurse came in for her sport program,my grandma looked at her,said "I don't want to do sports now",closed her eyes and just died.
I love her for that sentence because now,years later, it's kinda funny.
For a lot of people their brains are just kinda going haywire to cope with the fact that they're dying. In a thread just like this but specifically about nursing homes, a nurse said that her "favorite" last words was an old lady who looked like and thought she was just eating this massive, delicious cheeseburger, then she faded out to nothing.
Paramedic here. Unfortunately seen the end of many people's lives, some in a much nicer way than others. Had a gentleman who was incredibly unwell, family were with him too. We stayed to offer support and ensure he was comfortable in the last stages of his journey. His last words were "she's here now, I think I'll go". The patients wife explained that they had lost a daughter at a young age, and we believe that's who he saw before he died.
The Worst Memories
Took a call from a man who was about to have what ended up being a fatal stroke.
He was a Vietnam vet, and I stayed on the line with him as long as I could. He first said he was feeling off and weak and as his brain started short circuiting he started rambling then yelling about "the LZ is hot requesting immediate evac we have heavy casualties".
I guess it was some memory from the war, but the panic in his voice was palpable and heartbreaking. He went out reliving what was probably the worst moments of his life before the stroke effected him to the point his words turned into a garbled mess.
Nurse was assisting a not-very-nice elderly woman terminal patient, who fully expected all her deceased family members to show up to take her with them up to heaven. Not long before she died, the elderly woman said in a scared voice:
"They're not coming."
Waiting For St. Peter
I once had a patient that put his call light on. When I went in to see what he needed, he said "could you please turn off the lights? I'd like to wait for St. Peter in the dark." Sure enough, by the time I went in there with his evening medications about an hour later, he had already died.
"Hold My Beer"
The thing is, people's last words are seldom ever memorable, because anytime people have something meaningful or coherent, let alone humorous or profound, they are definitely not dying.
After that delirium sets in and they most often mumble incoherently if they say anything at all.
By the time they proceed to imminent death, most often no one remembers the last meaningful communication they attempted.
For trauma patients that arrive coherent but proceed to death due to gravity of their injuries, they are mostly Just answering directed questions about their health history, substance abuse, past surgery, time of last meal, etc. The last thing that anyone present for their head injury, though, might frequently have been the proverbial "hold my beer."
Sometimes people have profound or inspiring things to say when they have a terminal diagnosis the last time we see them before they transition to hospice care, especially those who have or are in the process of achieving acceptance of their mortality.
Former paramedic here. 1st witnessed death for me was a 56 year old man that had passed out at the dining table with his daughter while they were having lunch. We get there and he's talking normally. Blood pressure was a little elevated, but otherwise all other vital signs and heart rhythm is within normal limits. He mentioned he needed to use the restroom before we went to the hospital, so my male partner stood at the door to the bathroom just in case. His daughter thought we were being weird, but we let her know that sometimes it's one of the last things a patient wants to do, so we were being cautious. He finished up, courteously washed his hands and we got him into our ambulance. About 30 seconds later, he started apologizing for taking up our time and wasting the resources on him. He said "I'm just so sorry that you have to waste your time on me," took a deep breath and died.
His daughter was following us to the hospital and watched me straddling her father, doing CPR as she got out of her vehicle. He didn't make it and she asked me if he said anything. I told her what he said, and she broke down in front of me. She told me that it sounded exactly like something he would have said, but had wished that it was more profound.
Feed The CatGiphy
3rd yr med student here. "Weird" and equally heart wrenching... 68 yr old man dying of metastatic lung cancer (with a 9 yr old daughter) turns to his wife just minutes before his last breath and says "don't forget to feed the cat, she likes dry food in the morning and wet food at night".
Knew He Was Loved
Not a doctor or nurse, but was in the room when my father n law passed. In the last couple weeks he lost the ability to talk or breath on his own. He decision was made to take him off life support and we all sat and waited for the moment when he was gone. At the very last second he reached out and grabbed my mil hand opened his eyes and held her hand while he took his last breath. it was the saddest yet most beautiful thing I've ever seen. She smiled at him and cried and told him she loved him in in his last moments he knew he was loved and that was it he was gone.
The Dog Was Her Favorite Grandchild
When my Nana was in palliative care she stopped talking 2 days before she passed. She would wake up and mumble a bit but not much more than that.
I decided to stop by and visit her after work one morning. I worked graveyards so I got there around 7am. She woke up and started speaking almost coherently to me. She asked me if I'd spent the night and I explained I just got there.
She asked me to give her a kiss and I did. Then she proceeded to ask me if I'd fed my dog and how my dog was doing. Of course her last thought would be about our dog. We had always joked that the dog was her favorite grandchild.
I told my poppa she had actually spoke to me that morning and he said he would go visit her the next morning and see if she would talk to him. She ended up passing away about half an hour before him and my aunt got there.
I Want My MomGiphy
Working cardiology, had a mostly stable 50 year old woman. Admitted with angina pain and was going for an angiogram the next day. She hits the call bell and I run into the room. She's hyperventilating, panicking, complaining of indigestion and back pain. I instantly know this is probably a cardiac event. She told me she's scared and wants her mom.
A few minutes later she was a full code with no recovery. My first code.
I had brain swelling and went in to a partial seizure for about 20 minutes or so then entered a full body seizure in the ambulance. With how long it lasted I could've died easily. My last words (for the paramedic) would've been a mixture of "dovnoeipntphomwepfinwepfigmeprgm" and "oijofveovuheoefpijewpiofpieo" due to my speech being completely slurred.
I'm an ICU nurse in a unit that cares for patients after open heart surgery. This particular patient was a couple days out from her surgery and seemed to be recovering well, if a little bit slowly compared to others having the same surgery.
I work at night, and while I was giving her her nighttime medications and doing her assessment, I reviewed how I expected the night to go. Automatic hourly vitals (our monitors to these for us, so no need to go in the room), every 4 hours I would have to wake her up to do a mini-assessment, yadda yadda. She stated a desire to sleep in the recliner instead of the bed; she just couldn't get comfortable in out beds. Pretty common complaint, and since was stable, I agreed to it.
The night progresses well. Around 5:30 AM, I go in to find out if she needs any pain meds, and tell her I am going to get a couple of meds that need to be taken on an empty stomach, as well as a couple of other things. She tells me that no, she's not in any pain, felt like she rested pretty well, even given that we keep waking her up. I say ok, I'll go grab the stuff I need, and be right back. She says ok.
I'm out of the room about 5 minutes when I hear the charge nurse yelling for me to go into her room. She's gray, unresponsive, and barely breathing. About 6 of us muscle her back into the bed, CPR ensues, followed by a return trip to the OR. She never regained consciousness. It turned out she probably had thrown a massive pulmonary embolism, which caused her to have a stroke.
Just weird to have someone's last words be about something so inconsequential.
Dad Jokes Til The End
Nurse asked grandpa how he felt, he said "with my hands" and died like two hours later.
I'm a nurse- my first death ever that haunts me to this day-
Dude started complaining of chest pain- I did all the things, called for a doc, then looked up at me with these terrified eyes and asked if this is what a heart attack feels like and promptly coded (died- we couldn't get him back) most horrific experience ever. I'm sure I have more (working in an Er it all gets blurred thank god) but it was my first- on my watch- and I'll never forget it.
"Get Ready, Pickle..."Giphy
I worked in hospice for a few years I took care of this particular woman who was always telling these off-the-wall stories about her past that I truly want to believe because they are just epic! Like she would tell us all how she was a mafia assassin and crazy stuff like that. I'm not sure if I can believe them but I REALLY want to.
Anyway her last words were, and I quote:
"Get ready pickle, I'm about to f*ck sh!t up"
She winked at me and that was that I know it sounds horrible but I laughed... She was the most memorable patient I've ever had.
Smile Still On Her Face
Oh man, I have a bunch of these! I am a hospice nurse and I was asked to see one of the nuns in the Motherhouse. I got there and she was alert and lucid, no pain, no shortness of breath, nuthin'. I introduced myself and then her gaze shifted and she looked thru me to focus on a spot about 2 feet behind me. Her face lit up and she said with a big smile "It's YOU!"
And promptly died with the smile still on her face.
I Don't See The Light
I had a guy in the back of my ambulance that was having a heart attack and while I was treating him, his rhythm changed to V fib on the EKG monitor. V fib is disorganized electrical activity and is lethal. We both saw it happen and in the brief couple of seconds before he lost consciousness he looked at me and said "but I don't see the light". I worked the sh!t out of him but he died.
When we think of a bad@ss, several candidates come to mind.
"Who would you consider as the most badd@ss person in history?"
These heroes made their mark in history for their fearless humanitarian efforts.
The Resistance Leader
"Witold pilecki - A polish resistance fighter who voluntarily went to auschwitz to get intel on what was happening and then proceeded to escape, survived the war and was later executed by the USSR."
The Espionage Expert
"Nancy Wake. So skillled as she was, she was nicknamed 'The White Mouse' by the Gestapo due to her elusiveness in avoiding capture. Highly talented in espionage, she worked as a spy for the French Resistance and the Special Operations Executive to take down the Nazis. One of the more highly decorated women from WW2, yet not well known."
"Helge Meyer, also known as 'God's Rambo'. A danish special forces officer who bought a 1972 Camaro and turned it into an uparmored beast so he could deliver humanitarian aid in war torn Yugoslavia during the civil war and ethnic cleansing."
Seen As A Traitor
"Definitely Major Hugh Thompson. I'm sure there are people who have done similarly brave things, but not that I know about. In 1968, Thompson managed to stop the My Lai massacre almost single handedly. He arrived after many civilians had already been killed, and couldn't understand how they had died."
"After realising his fellow American soldiers were firing on unarmed civilians, he landed his helicopter between the Vietnamese and the soldiers. He then told the troops that if they continued to do what they were doing, he and his crew would open fire on them. After getting back to base, he filed a complaint about what he had witnessed. His complaint was covered up, and he was shunned as a traitor. It wasn't until 1998 that the army acknowledged he did the right thing."
"It's common to be brave in war when you know that you'll be lauded as a hero - it's another thing entirely to do it knowing you'll be seen as a traitor. He turned against his troops and country to protect innocent lives, despite what it would cost him, and I think that's about as brave as you can get."
The Brave WWII Combat Medic
"Desmond Doss. An army medic in WWII who was constantly belittled and abused by his battalion and superiors for refusing to use a weapon as it went against his beliefs. Then, when he landed in Okinawa and more than half of his battalion were shredded by Japanese machine gun fire, Desmond Doss crawled through the dirt over the course of several days to as many of his injured allies as he could and dragged them all the way back to the 40ft cliff they had scaled up from, then lowered them to safety. Some of these injured men were lying 15ft from the enemy machine gun itself, and all the while Doss wore his medic helmet, which stood out like a giant bullseye on a battlefield where the Japanese soldiers were ordered to kill doctors first to crush morale. In the end he had saved the lives of 75 men, and survived with an arm fracture from a sniper round and several pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body from when he tried to kick a grenade away from him and his men. He is the only soldier without a gun to be awarded the Medal of Honor."
"The Québécois Rambo"
"Canadian Rambo AKA Leo Major. Dude liberated an entire town in the Netherlands by himself while injured in WW2."
These fierce warriors had their backs up against the wall but proved to be unstoppable.
Was Awarded The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
"Dipprasad Pun the Gurkha who took out 15-30 Taliban singlehandedly when surrounded."
Fought Without Hands
"Galvarino. He was a fierce Mapuche warrior that had both of his hands chopped off as punishment when captured by the Spanish during the Arauco war. Rather than slaughter Galvarino, the Spanish sent him back to the Mapuche to send a message, but instead of causing the Mapuche to surrender, it had the opposite effect. Galvarino decided to have two knives lashed to the stumps where his hands used to be. He learned to fight without hands while using the knives as weapons. Less than a month later, Galvarino fought with the Mapuche against the Spanish again. Around 3,000 Mapuche warriors engaged 1,500 of the Spanish on Nov. 30, 1557. at the Battle of Millarapue. Although they didn't win, Galvarino killed several of the Spanish before the army of 3,000 were all killed."
These bada**es did anything it took to survive.
An Impressive Resume
"Peter Freuchen. He was a Danish explorer, journalist, author and anthropologist. He is widely known for his exploration of the arctic circle and discovery of vast areas of Greenland. He was an indigenous rights activist, having married an Inuit woman. He escaped a death warrant issued by the Third Reich for punching Nazis. Received an academy award for the best motion picture in 1933. Won the $64,000 question as a contestant on the game show. He wrestled a polar bear and won. And as if this all wasn't enough, he escaped a near-death encounter in a blizzard by fashioning a spade out of his own frozen feces."
Plane Crash Survivor
"That teenage girl that was the sole survivor of a plane crash and made her way through the Amazon…. She's definitely up there!"
I would personally add Bruce Lee to the list.
I grew up Japanese-American, but I was often made fun of for my "slanted eyes" and was called "Chink" – an incredibly racist slur referring to people of Chinese descent – even though I'm not Chinese.
Being called Bruce Lee was a common occurrence throughout grade school, and because of the context under which I was being ridiculed, I loathed being associated with the martial arts legend and cultural icon.
But I should have embraced it because he was the epitome of a bad@ss.
The guy who inspired the Tekken character, Marshall Law, was a physical marvel – one who was capable of doing one-handed, two-fingered pushups and playing ping pong with nunchucks. He was also a cha-cha champion.
When it came to teaching, he was one of the pioneers in establishing inclusivity in martial arts and taught students from all walks of life.
Believe it or not, nowadays I am ashamed to admit I was once a fan of Game of Thrones. Has there ever been any show that slipped as quickly from pop culture relevance as that one? Don't get me started on that final season... I have no desire to sit through the whole damn thing again now that I know how it ends.
It turns out I'm not the only person with shame––or love for a good guilty pleasure, for that matter. We heard all about them after Redditor metals02 asked the online community,
"What's something that you're ashamed to admit you like?"
"Depending on who is asking, Magic the Gathering. It seems like when talking to other people in my demographic I am only supposed to talk about investing and whisky but I want to talk about a child's trading card game."
This was pretty popular growing up. It wasn't my thing, but I admired the level of expertise the other kids developed. Watching them play was like seeing people speak a different language.
"I read at least..."
"Fanfiction. I read at least half an hour's worth a day but often more. I can crush a 100k word fic in a day, easy. It's replaced books for me, which makes it awkward when I say I love to read and can't name a whole lot of books. It's just comforting - I know what I'm getting into and it's usually worth my time to me. It's so disappointing buying a book based on a tiny blurb and then not getting into it. The embarrassment comes mostly from the fact that most people assume it's just all erotica. While I don't mind reading sex scenes, I tend to skim them sometimes, and I'm way more into the build-up and the plot. It's not something I'm getting off to at all."
High school me read some for the hell of it. Some of my friends, though? They were obsessed. They'd read fanfiction on the computers during school hours.
"I've been judged..."
"I'm a guy that loves Sailor Moon. I've been judged and labeled weird by other women for liking it so I keep it to myself in real life."
Own it! Live your Tuxedo Mask fantasy!
"I'm not thrilled..."
"I'm not thrilled to tell people how much I like Barry Manilow. But it reminds me of being young, happy and with my mom."
"There is a negative stigma..."
"I love the band Fall Out Boy.
They were my muse in 2007.
But every time I mention them, even to fans of pop-punk music, I feel like I need to apologize for liking Fall Out Boy. There is a negative stigma about the band that is super undeserved."
They're definitely one of those bands with a high nostalgia factor. They've definitely grown on more people after the fact.
"A cold cut-up hot dog as a snack. At work I eat it out of a Ziploc bag from inside my lunch bag so no one sees."
I find this revolting, but thank you for living up to the theme of this article. I can see why you're ashamed. Well done.
"The Twilight Saga. The story is cringe, sure, but the soundtrack is so good. The books were what I binge-read during summer vacation in high school. They just put up the movies on Netflix, and you bet your butt I watched them like I was a teenager again."
What's wrong with letting people like what they like, right? Enjoy it! You're not harming anyone. Critics can be so melodramatic.
"As a kid..."
As a kid, I was bullied for liking it. To this day (even though it's more acceptable now), no one besides my significant other knows I watch it."
"I like having..."
"I like having a lack of freedom. I like decisions being made for me. I like having fewer options."
"Fills the void..."
Fills the void that Vine left behind and there is actually some interesting and funny content once you get past the cringe and dances."
I am still not over the person who eats a cold hot dog. Still not entirely convinced that they've actually tasted the damn thing. If they had, they wouldn't have admitted to this! The nausea is real!
Have some guilty pleasures of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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We really take just about everything for granted. Life is full of miracles, and we as humans can only seem to ever notice the big ones, but really it's the small ones that count the most.
There are so many tiny gifts that many of us have that a certain number of us would be kill to have.
A lot of that truth came into perspective during this pandemic. Just look how many people are now food dependent.
Ask yourself, what little thing do I have that may be a privilege to another and a luxury to many and it may not even have that much monetary value?
Redditor u/vianneyal wanted everyone to take a good hard look at just how good some of us have it, by asking:
What is something people don't realize is a privilege?
Paper. Pens. A computer and a job that consists of using all three. It may not sound like much, buy it's far less stressful than retail. I often overlook that fact. I try not to though. God bless customer service people.
Foodbinge grocery shopping GIFGiphy
"Buying groceries without having to carefully consider prices."
"Hot showers.... Holy crap, I was homeless for a year and a half, and there was a time I blew $50 on a motel room specifically to take a hot shower. I remember pulling off my cold wet socks and just collapsing into the hot water, sobbing. Felt like all my problems went away immediately."
"Having your own room/space. A lot of people and specially families around the world has to share living spaces. There was a thread on Reddit recently where a family couldn't give their teenage daughter a room of her own cause their house only had two rooms and they were poor."
"Everyone said the parent was a butthole cause the teen had a right to it and they should move to a bigger house/outside their area to amend that. Crap was freaking insane."
"Just having dependable, safe hot and cold running water on demand."
"This. I just got quite the rude awakening 30 minutes ago when my landlord texted asking me to severely limit my already very limited water use because the well that supplies our water is almost dry. I live in rural Canada where there's a drought and while I knew it was bad, my privileged self never thought we might actually run out of water before it rains next. Jokes on me I guess."
Money Issuessleeping beauty parody GIFGiphy
"Being able to quit a job without fear of losing financial stability."
And here we are all trying to be Kardashians. When tons of people just want stability regarding food and jobs. I don't know what is more sad, that fact or that we live in a world where facts like that exist.
Shhhh....secret smell GIFGiphy
"Being able to enjoy total silence. (Freaking tinnitus)"
For real. Mine started when I was 18 and I then realised how much I took everything being completely quiet for granted before that. I wish I could get it back."
"Having your parents to fall back onto for help or advice during adulthood. I've been estranged since I've been 16, life ain't easy navigating the world alone."
"I hear ya. I was emancipated when I was a teen. I am grateful for the mentors and chosen family who supported me through to this point (I'm almost 30) but I wish that I had the solid nurture, example, and support that I truly needed growing up. I probably wouldn't have needed to spend so much money on therapy after high school."
"Sewers. A literal city of tunnels you never see, draining and moving water in and out of your town/city, completely hidden from view. It's a freakin' luxury and you'd be surprised how much of the world doesn't have that while the rest of the world never even thinks about it."
"Decent mental health. While some people seem to breeze through their life goals, a lot of people suffer in ways that prevent them or slow them down. It's a privilege to have most of your emotional needs met and have the stability needed to focus on developing your artistry/skills."
Knowledge is PowerHappy School GIFGiphy
"Going to school."
The basics of life and survival shouldn't be considered luxuries. We really have a lot of society fixing ahead of us. Be grateful for every meal, and good slumber.
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When we go to sleep, we slip into one of the most vulnerable positions we can possibly embody. And we do that every single day.
So it's hardly surprising that, at least a few times throughout our lives--maybe more than a few--we find ourselves snatched from slumber, and left sitting started and defenseless against a threat we can barely make out in those first few seconds.
But for all the vagueness of those first few sensations, we sure do remember those horrible awakenings rather vividly.
And recently, some folks on the internet shared their most memorable experiences.
Redditor ScoopySnacks829 asked:
"What's the worst thing you woke up to?"
Many Redditors encountered animals in the dead of night. The creepy crawling hands and mouths were enough to make their skin crawl.
"My grandmother had a filthy house and made me and my brother sleep on the floor whenever we were over."
"Once I woke up with a rat tangled in my waist length hair. I was 8"
"Another time I woke up to see a giant roach crawl. Out of my brother's mouth as he was sleeping. (I never told him as I figured he would rather live in blissful ignorance.) I was 9."
"To this day have a fear of Rats, roaches, and sleeping on floors."
"A dog's paw in my mouth and getting stepped on the balls at the same time" -- Lower_Environment774
Only Thin Nylon Between You and It
"The sound of a bear outside my tent. Got my heart racing." -- SingLikeTinaTurner
"Oh fu** okay, so I once was woken up by a bear paw to the head. It was just fu**ing around with our tarp but I'm tall so the top of my head stuck out just a tad. It felt like being brained with a sandbag."
"It was a black bear and ran off when we made a bunch of noise, but I'll never forget the few moments of sheer terror, head reeling and seeing that bear paw slide next to my face." -- Cthulhu_sneeze
"Blood all over the bed that I was in. Then I saw the flyscreen had been torn open. Then I heard a crunching noise. And then I saw the cat with the remains of a magpie."
Others shared the times they encountered a personal tragedy immediately upon waking up in the morning.
"woke up to the news one of my best friends family had been murdered in an arson attack and that he had tried to save them and had 3rd degree burns over 70% of his body..."
"I woke up to my dad telling me my mom had a brain tumor."
"It was during a sleepover with my best friend at the time. I knew they were going to get her an MRI because she had been having really bad chronic headaches, but none of us expected brain cancer."
"When they removed the tumor two weeks later they removed a baseball and a half sized mass of tumor from her right frontal lobe. She's alive and well now 15 years later, thank god, but that was an awful time for everyone in our family."
The Worst Reason to Get Up and Go
"My uncle calling me in the middle of the night to tell me my mom was in the hospital, and that I should fly out as soon as possible if I wanted to be able to say goodbye."
Finally, some people discussed the times they felt threatened by other human beings that clearly did not have their best interests at heart.
Just What Did They Want
"Someone jiggling the handle on my door, trying to get in to my apartment. Scary as fu**. I don't know if he was drunk and thought it was a different apartment, or if he was just going door to door, seeing if any were unlocked."
"My ex-girlfriend pointing an unloaded gun (I thought it was loaded) at me. She pulled the trigger and she wanted to scare me, she thought I was cheating on her with a friend of mine (a female)."
It Gets Worse and Worse
"When I was like 16, the landlord and a couple of other men (LEOs of some sort, presumably, but I didn't get a good look at them) came in to physically evict my mother and I from the duplex we lived in at the time, something I had no idea was in at all."
"Like, we apparently went through the entire eviction process without me getting even a slight sniff of it. I slept naked even back then, so basically, I was awakened by two or three strange men coming into my bedroom."
"I threw on a cream-colored dress and got the fu** out of there, having no other option obviously, and went to my mother's workplace in a panic...where one of her coworkers gently pointed out that I had started my period, which was obvious from a distance, apparently."
Here's hoping this list won't give you trouble falling to sleep tonight.
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