36 Workers In The Medical Field Share The Most Haunting Last Words They’ve Heard Patients Say

If you’re lucky enough to be by a loved one’s side during their last moments on Earth, it can be extremely special to hear what they have to say. It might not make sense and it may sound strange, but at least you’re there to hear their voice one last time.

For some medical professionals, however, hearing last words is just a part of the job. But every now and then, a patient will say something that really sticks with them. People in the medical field have recently been sharing the most haunting last words that they’ve heard from patients on Reddit, so you’ll find some of their most powerful responses below. Enjoy reading through, and be sure to upvote the last words that you certainly would have remembered as well.

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“It’s not my fault, right?” – A patient (a very long time ago) about 2-3 minutes before he died from complications of AIDS (pneumonia).

I told him it was absolutely not his fault. I still think about this at LEAST once a week.

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I was visiting my grandpa and had to leave town and go back to medical school, and I told him I loved him and would see him later. He told me he loved me too, but no I wouldnt. He was right, he died a week later of pneumonia.

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In my grandma’s last days we went to visit her. She had exactly one lucid day, and she asked “Is everybody here to see me?” I said yes and she said “Why? Am I dying?” I held back tears and told her “We just love you very much.”

Even typing it now I’m crying

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84 year old woman with advanced dementia. She was very combative at night: scratching, biting, pulling out her IV and oxygen. I was her nurse for a week or so before she died. One of the last nights, the clouds parted, and she had a moment of clarity. She looked up at me from her bed and said: “This is hell. I am in hell right now.”

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My dad came by my house and just poured the love I needed to hear my entire life. We hugged and I’ll never forget him telling me how proud he was of me. This was very out of character but it was validation for me. He died 5 days later from a massive heart attack in my arms.

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My mother’s final words as she died of lung cancer:
“I want a cigarette”

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“Please help me! I don’t want to die!”

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“Don’t tie that. I’m not going to make it”. I was trying to check his manual BP cause automated was detecting nothing. he passed away minutes later.

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“I need help”

She was beyond help. It was tragic.

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“Well, I guess we all can’t live forever”, followed by a smile and a shrug. He was a geriatric rockstar– rolled around in his wheelchair with that chill surfer vibe, and always had something positive to say, even when battling stage 4 cancer.

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“No, I’ll call her tomorrow.”

Spoken (gasped) by a VERY young first wave COVID patient when asked if he’d like the doctors to call his wife to let her know he was being intubated. 3 years on I still always wonder what I would say to my loved ones if I knew it could be the last time.

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I am a medical worker, but the one that stays with me is actually when my aunt was dying. I think I was about 14, and she was my favourite aunt. I held her hand and asked her to wait until her birthday so that I could wish her happy birthday (a silly request looking back), and the last thing she said to me was, “ok.” She lasted until the morning of her birthday, I wished her happy birthday, and she passed away with a smile.

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I worked at a hospital unit that had hospice care on my floor. An older lady was admitted, she wasn’t doing well, but was very friendly and everyone that took care of her adored her. Her husband doted on her, only went home occasionally to shower and came right back. He never wanted to leave her side. One night she insisted he go home and get some rest, in a bed, and come back in the morning. She took a turn that night and there was no way he was getting back before she passed but she was lucid. We called her husband so they could talk, they said how much they loved one another he said he would miss her terribly, she said she was so grateful for the life they lived together. I tried not to listen too much because it felt private but they both wanted some staff in the room so she wouldn’t be alone. There was reminiscing and crying, when she couldn’t talk anymore he just talked to her and told her stories about their life together until she passed.

We were all used to death on my unit, and no one left that room dry eyed. Most of our patients were heavily sedated from pain if they were admitted for hospice so it was an unusual death for us and this woman and her husband were special. Kind, caring, very in love, not something you see all the time.

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This isn’t haunting – and unfortunately I wasn’t even there – but I want to mention it because it was my Grandad and I love him so much and I have never been able to tell this little story about his perfect ending.

He was in an old folks home at this point – he was nearing the end but he wasn’t in a horribly bad way. He was 91 and was killing it up until 90, really.

He loved his pipe, and one day he went out to the balcony with a nurse for a pipe. He turned to the nurse and said “I’m tired”, fell back into the chair (not dramatically – just kinda sat in to the chair very casually) and he died.

I miss him so much. We were very close and to this day it breaks my heart that I wasn’t with him when this happened – but my God did he know how to go. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful life.

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“I didnt think this would be so scary” from a patient during the peak of covid. Working as charge with no resource, computer issues, under staffed, and every patient was an isolation room. I was unable to give his morphine in a timely manner and he had just been put on comfort care. That is why he said that, and I will never forget it. I feel so guilty.

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My “ancient but healthy” patient (her words) asked me to hug her before surgery, cause she was going to die today. I provided support and education, hugged her and sent her off for a routine short and easy procedure, with anesthesia she’s had before with no issues. She had a bad reaction and passed. So “I’m going to die today” with no indication would be my answer. That’s not the only time I heard a patient say that and be right, but it was the only unexpected one.

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A patient was admitted to our unit and had an acute change in mental and respiratory status within minutes. She couldn’t get comfortable and was thrashing around in bed, trying to take off her oxygen. She screamed, “I have to poop!” so we got her on a bedpan. She kept screaming that she had to poop, then she coded and we couldn’t get her back.

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I held the hand of my best friend who had metastasized breast cancer. When I kissed her cheek goodbye she had tears in her eyes and wouldn’t let go of my hand. I said “I’ll see you tomorrow, don’t be sad!” And while still clenching my hand she said through her tears “I love you, don’t you ever forget it.” She closed her eyes right then and there and passed away after her 9 year battle with cancer.

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When I worked at a nursing home there was a couple who was pretty poor off. The wife had dementia and ignored everyone, but read magazines all day. The husband was frequently distressed, agitated about being trapped in his wheelchair, ranting about how son’s wedding, talking about the news. The husband died first. The next time I saw the wife she spoke to me. She said that her husband is preparing their new home for her and she’s going to see him soon. She died that week.

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I’m not a medical worker but my mom has been a hospice nurse for 35 years. When my Meemaw was dying it was real hard. My whole life every time I saw her she would have a gift for me for whatever the next gift giving occasion upcoming was, no matter how far in advance it might be purchased from the Dollar Store because she was on a fixed income. She would give me the gift and tell me to open it because and say “Well, I’m so old I’m likely to die before the holiday comes again.” This goes on my whole life until I’m 26. Then she actually gets sick in her 90s. The last time I saw her she looks terrified. The last thing she ever said was “I’m not ready. I’m terrified to die.”

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My first day in the ICU, I was taking care of an older lady with sepsis. She was very confused and for the most part incoherent, but when I was assisting her at one point in the night she started muttering and wailing to herself. I leaned in closer to hear since I thought she was saying something to me and she just kept repeating “I’m dying, I’m going to die.”

Sure enough, later that night she ended up coding and passed away. I did postmortem care that same day for her family to see her in peace.

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I did the Santa job at a elder care facility…. this younger guy lived there… I asked how he was doing… He replied ” Santa, I won’t see you next year.” I thought he meant that he was moving somewhere else. He again told me “Santa, I won’t see you next year” … not knowing how to reply, I said “well, I’ll still look for you” … the next year I didn’t see him, so I asked about him… I was told that he had passed away

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Peds icu Hiv positive kid. Must be 3 years old. Got infection from mum. Bad shape. But was a delight to play with. He had a transformer toy. Routine rounds , we used to play with him. I broke a small part. Promised him to get a new one next day. He passed away at night. I Am haunted by that promise

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I had this one patient when I started my first hospital job as an RN. It was in a rural hospital and I worked night shift so generally quiet although we would get slammed some nights too.

This was one of the quiet nights and I had this patient that was an elderly guy, in his 80s or 90s. I actually don’t remember what he was sick with, probably just failure to thrive. He was bone thin, like completely emaciated due to no appetite.

The three things I remember about him was one, he was an engineer in his working life and was downright fascinated by the IV catheter I had to use to put an IV in him. They are springloaded so that once the needle is inserted and in position, you press a button and the needle retracts just leaving the plastic catheter. He asked me to show him the mechanism a few times.

The second is at one point he said he was “weak as a kitten”. I never heard anyone say that before but I just think about it and laugh. Seemed like an old timey thing to say.

Last thing he said was “Ever seen a man die?” and I said no, he said “Well, you’re gonna see one tonight.” I laughed at that too, even though it was very morbid. I assured him I wasn’t going to see a man die that night, and I didn’t. But I don’t think he lasted more than a week after that.

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I had a patient come into the burn center after intentionally lighting themselves on fire with gasoline. The paramedics were not able to give the patient any pain medication or secure their airway because they were too burned, but unfortunately for this gentleman, he was very much still awake and alert. The fear in his eyes as we started to surgically obtain IV access was haunting. He couldn’t speak, per se, but he looked me right in my eyes and mouthed clear as day, “I made a mistake.” We then got them pain medication and sedation before he passed away about 30 mins later. That was 12 years ago and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

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Lost one of my best friends to cancer. Finally got to see her in person for the first time since pre-pandemic, when I left I said “I love you, I’ll see you soon”, and she just said “I love you too”.

Gone a week or two later, before I could see her again. I wish I’d stopped at “I love you”.

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Not words but just pure terror and not being able to talk from pain. I’ve been a caregiver for 1 month. On my 2nd day without training i was left alone with 10 residents. One of them who was on hospice (and I knew nothing about any of them due to no training) fell off his bed. When he fell, his catheter ripped out of his penis. And from the blow he expelled his bowels and hit his head. The man was a ticking time bomb, but i knew nothing. He was basically dead when he hit the floor, he just hadn’t realized it. I ran into the room and cleaned him and held him until EMT arrived. All he could do was cry and moan. He shook and looked around as if to say “why does my life end this way” his eyes said it all. I comforted him in his last moments and held him like a mom would, EMTs took him away and then he drowned in his own fluids in the hospital. RIP R. I knew you for a few hours but you taught me so much about empathy, care giving and actually caring.

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My dad was in the hospital, dying, and before I went inside to clock in at work, I called him. We didn’t have a good relationship, but I told him that I was just calling to tell him that I loved him. I was about to hang up, when he said, “Wait! Talk to me a minute.” I did. He asked how I was doing, how my car was running, if my tires were aired up. He asked about his dogs at home and I reassured him that I had been taking very good care of them. He said he was feeling terrible, and I told him not to worry about getting out of the hospital, or about coming home, or getting better, because it was all about to be over, and all he needed to do now was rest. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me. He died two days later. I’ll never forget him saying that, “talk to me a minute.”


My grandma died 6 months ago. She had been in good health (despite nearing 90), but in January things rapidly deteriorated after dementia set in. In March we were all called to go see her, as the doctors didn’t expect her to live through the night. Everyone gathered by her bed (at this point she hadn’t woken up in two days). Suddenly she opens her eyes, sits up and go “why are you all sitting here? Did you think I was going to die? Go home.” She lived another three months after that.

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My grandmother fell, and my grandfather couldn’t get her up again and had to get a neighbour to help. He called my mum and said that it had reached the point for both their safety that he was going to have to put her in a nursing home. She had progressing dementia but was mostly lucid. Her physical health was declining too, and they were both in their early 80s. She heard my grandfather say this and said that she wasn’t going. She was going to die in her own home. That was just after lunchtime. We were sitting having dinner at my parents’ house when my grandfather called again. She’d sat down in her recliner for a nap as she did many afternoons and when he went to check on her she’d already died. She told him she’d die in her own home, and she did exactly that only about two hours after the conversation. My grandmother was one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever known and did exactly what she said she’d do.

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I was an emergency room nurse and I have PTSD from healthcare. What bothers me isn’t the last words of the patients who died. There’s this look in their eyes when people know there’s no hope and they’re dying and they realize it. It’s like this panic. It happens a lot in trauma patients. The worst part is when they’ve got that look in their eyes and then they lock their eyes on yours. It’s like they’re still staring into my soul.

But the sounds that the family members that they leave behind make that bother me more. Forget words. They make these sounds. Worse than wails or shrieks or gutteral cries. It’s emotion coming out of vocal cords through an opening. It’s what I’m trying really hard not to hear when I lay down and go to sleep.

It’s been working for the most part but I can’t work in healthcare anymore. I can’t walk into a hospital to get treatment myself. Oh I’ve got a psychiatrist and I get therapy, but I should have done so beforehand. But you’re just too cool and too tough and nobody can tell you anything when you’re young and think that you already know everything, you know?


I had a woman scared out of her mind of dying. She was on her death bed. Last thing she said was “I don´´t want to die” in the most heartbreaking tone of voice.


911 dispatcher here. I was once screening a call where a couple got stabbed. The male was surprisingly calm, but his partner in the background was very panicked. I could tell she thought she was going to die. She kept saying, “look at me.”

I don’t know what happened to her, but I won’t forget that one.

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I was in the room when my grandpa died. He had been unresponsive the last few days but right before he passed, my grandma grasped his hand and said “oh what is 50 years together on earth when we will have eternity together?”, and then his eyes ever so slightly opened right to “look” at her before he passed. Truly a movie moment.

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For me, it wasn’t the patient’s last words, but the last words that I had with her husband which still haunt me.

She was a woman in her late 20s who had just delivered a child and she was brought into the E.R of our hospital. I was the intern there that day with a senior. She was brought with post partum haemorrhage. I was still new to the department and I didn’t know her diagnosis (I was just working under the guidance of my senior). When she came in my senior told me to go with her husband to arrange blood so that the blood could be arranged swiftly and it didn’t take time for us to come back with the blood.

He kept asking me, “Is she going to be alright?”. And I kept saying yes.

Tbh I really thought she was going to be okay. When we came back with the blood she had flatlined. CPR was being performed.

I left her husband there. I could not face him. I wish she lived.

I kept seeing the husband’s face at random places for a few months. It haunted me for a long time.

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I was completing my internship at an elderly home for individuals with dementia. One day, one of the residents experienced lower saturation (low oxygen) and had a fever. He wasn’t feeling well, and given the ongoing pandemic, we decided to call an ambulance just to ensure his safety. When the ambulance arrived, they conducted a brief examination and determined that he needed to be taken to the hospital. We packed some of his clothes, and they placed him in the ambulance. Before leaving, he expressed gratitude, saying, “Thank you guys for your care. I don’t think I will see you again. It has been enough for me.”

We were taken aback by the unexpected statement and didn’t know how to respond. Unfortunately, he passed away three days later.

It still amazes me how he had a premonition about his impending death.

Image credits: Chicken_breast01

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