Whether it is sweet moments of clarity, desperate whispers from a stranger’s mouth, or cranky declarations, the end often defies one's expectations. Keep reading to join these Redditors as they recall some of the most memorable and haunting last words.
"Hij kent mij niet meer, he?" Translation: "He doesn't know me any more, does he?"
Those were the last words my grandmother spoke to me when I took my Alzheimer’s stricken grandfather to visit her in the hospital the evening before she passed. They were married for almost 70 years. She was fully cognizant and she was right: he didn't know her anymore.
My grandfather was on a nebulizer, started coughing, and yelled, "Screw this! I quit". Then he laid down in bed, and passed a minute later. He was a salty retired welder and former WWII POW. I can only hope to drop the mic on my way out like that.
After a number of strokes and living in an assisted care facility, my dad's organs were starting to give up. He was adamant about not receiving any treatment and we respected that so we knew it would only be a matter of days. The last time I visited him before he slipped into a coma, I told him I loved him when I left - like I always did. He said: "I love you too, my girl".
At that stage he had barely been able to make himself understandable for months because the strokes had severely affected his speech. He was the best dad ever and although we knew how much he loved us, he was not one to say it often. Those few words gave me peace. And that's the best thing one can ask for when a loved one dies.
I was standing not far from the foot of my grandmother's bed as she lay there dying. I suddenly sneezed a couple of times, which broke the silence in the room. She slowly opened her eyes, rolled her head over to look at me and just stared.
Me: "Oh, didn't mean to wake you, Gran. I'm sorry".
She passed not long after.
I come from a family of semi-professional singers. At the end, my aunt was singing to my grandfather. He looked over at her and said, "Your vibrato sucks". She laughs about it now. He was such an icon.
My grandpa had Alzheimer’s. I don’t think he could speak for the last month of his life. Before he entirely lost his speech, though, I was visiting him in the nursing home when something amazing happened. He looked up at me with the most love and happiness I had ever seen on his face and said, "Irma?"
Irma was his first wife who took her own life before he ever met my grandmother. My grandmother was horribly abusive to him and never allowed anyone to talk about Irma, including my aunt who was Irma’s only daughter. It broke my heart that he didn’t know me, but I was thankful he had forgotten what happened to her. It’s fitting that was the last thing I ever heard him say.
My father passed after a long battle with cancer when I was 15. His last words to me were, "You will always be my favorite memory". The cancer was affecting his brain at that point, so it was one of the only lucid-ish things he said to me that day. I got it tattooed on me the day I turned 18.
"This has been a real wakeup call. I need to make changes in my life". He had a stroke the instant he finished that sentence.
A customer was complaining to me about his rental car's auto stop feature. Seconds later, disaster struck. The man started making a rattling sound and fell to the ground with a heart attack.
It felt like it took the medics forever to get there, and he didn’t make it. It bothered me for a while that I was part of what was most likely this man's last conversation, and it was so meaningless, and he was at the airport by himself. It was so sad.
I worked as a caregiver for elderly people. One lady was 92, had been married for 70 years to her husband who passed one week before. He told her he’d "wait by their tree with the roses for her", because she was scared to die.
When it came to be her turn, she woke up for the first time in days, opened her eyes and said, "I knew you’d be there waiting", and passed. Just shows that some people are made to be together. It made us all cry, though.
I was in the back of an ambulance doing CPR. I defibrillated the guy, he came around for a second, looked us straight in the eye and said calmly and clearly, "Could I please have another pillow?" Not one second later, he passed.
My father had been moved to hospice and I had been called to come because he was going to die soon. When my father saw me, he said, "I know why you're here". Then, things took a strange turn.
He looked at my sister and said, "Because she thinks I'm going to die". Then, he looked at me, "But I'm not gonna do it!" He never spoke again, slipped into a coma, and passed three days later. My Dad. What a stubborn fellow.
I was in the room when my friend passed from cancer. He'd been slipping in and out of consciousness and talking gibberish for hours. Then, all of a sudden, he sort of whimpered my name and said, "Don’t let fear control your life, ok buddy?" He passed a couple of hours later.
I actually carry that quote with me. I wrote it down the day he passed and put it in my wallet, so I look at it every day. His biggest fear was that he would be forgotten, so I make it a point to remember him and his words every day. He was a good soul. I miss him.
My best friend passed at 28 of a slow and painful bout with cancer. She was the nicest person I’ve ever known; everyone liked her. I'll never forget the last thing she said to me. She was nearing the end and she told me how lucky she was to have me as a friend.
Her last words were to say something nice to me. I was reminded then, and I’m reminded again, that I want to be more like her: selfless, kind, and more open with my emotions.
This happened to my mom. She was right beside my grandma (her mother-in-law) while she was in bed for the final minutes, along with other relatives. My grandma looked at my mom and asked her to help her go, so Mom told everyone to leave and they remained alone.
Eventually, my grandma told my mom: "I am happy I leave my son to you, and my grandson as well". She went as peacefully as you can.
She is ready to go so she takes off her oxygen. Her breathing becomes very labored. After breathing heavily for 20 minutes, she cracks open her eye and says, "Jesus Christ! How long is this going to take!?" We all laugh, including her, and she promptly passes.
I'm a paramedic and one time, I was transporting an old lady to the hospital who was pretty much at the end of her life. I was sitting on the bench seat in the back of the ambulance with her doing my report and she was having a full-blown conversation with herself. She had end stage Alzheimer's, I believe, so I didn't pay too much attention to what she was saying.
Eventually, I asked who she was talking to, and she said her mom. I asked her if she could see her mom—this lady was at least 80-90 years old, so I assumed her mom had passed long ago. The next words out of her mouth sent shivers down my spine.
She told me, "Yes, she's sitting right next to you". She ended up dying in the hospital that day and that statement always stuck with me and kind of gave me the creeps.
My grandmother lay dying in hospital about eight years ago, after 90 years of devout Catholicism. She never drank because she took the Pledge, said mass every day when she was too sick to attend, ostracized her favorite son because he had a child out of wedlock etc., etc. She only had a couple of hours left in her at this point.
Suddenly, she got very panicky and was shouting about how she knew there was no god, no god at all, it was all a lie and there was nothing after someone’s life ends. It was upsetting because she was upset, and most likely having delusions due to medication, etc., but my mom was shaken.
My mother is now an atheist after that revelation, so that was a fun way for Grandma to shake the foundation of everything she ever believed in.
My Grandpop's last words to me: "You're a pushy broad. You always were my favorite". God, I miss him.
My brother said to me, "I love you, bro, see you on the flipside!" He then went back to his truck—a big rig tractor—and I went home. Later that night, he did something that changed my life forever.
He proceeded to shoot himself. I found him the next morning when I realized he was still parked at the rest stop. He was still breathing when I found him and was kept alive by machines for three days afterward because he wanted his organs donated.
I love you bro, still waiting for the flipside.
My grandparents have three daughters. Everyone always said that my mom was my grandfather's secret favorite. He never agreed. I heard he was near the end on April 6th. I went to see him on April 8th. He was scary looking and the doctor kept saying he didn't understand why he wasn't gone yet.
On April 9th, everyone but my mom had the chance to come and say goodbye. She doesn't drive and my dad works 10 hours away. My grandpa kept saying her name—well, he couldn't eat or drink so it was more like a whisper. My mom came by on the 10th.
He looked at her, smiled, and whispered, "My Amy". Then, he closed his eyes and never opened them again.
This isn't my story but that of a hospice worker who spoke to my class. For those who don’t know, hospice is a method of end-of-life care that focuses on alleviating the emotional and physical pain of a dying person to ease their passing rather than combatting their imminent passing. One of her patients was a bed-bound woman in her 90s who was generally unresponsive but had flashes of recognition and engagement.
It’s hard to gauge the level to which unresponsive patients are detached from their surroundings, so they encourage family members to keep them company in hopes of soothing the patient. Now, this patient was from a U.S. state that prided itself on its state university and the university’s football team.
The woman’s family had attended this university for four or five generations. During her hospice care, however, her great-granddaughter was the first in their family to decide to go to a different school—the rival state’s university, in fact. Her family was supportive of her decision but often joked about her being the "rebel" or "Judas" or what-have-you.
One day, they were all sitting around the woman’s bedside, teasing the girl about her decision. Suddenly, the patient sat up, looked at her great-granddaughter, said, "Traitor", and passed.
When I was in hospital, the guy in the bed next to me just asked to stop taking his meds as he was ready to die. His last words were utterly tragic. Last thing I heard him say was, "There's no one waiting for me at home, so I'm going where they are". It wasn't really a shocking confession, just a lonely and heartbreaking one.
My great uncle actually confessed to having two illegitimate sons right before he kicked the bucket in front of his own children and grandchildren. The crazy thing was that none of his children knew about this life of his. Not even my great aunt knew about it because she would have made a huge fuss if she was alive at that time and knew.
What was crazier was that these two sons had already passed five and seven years ahead of him, respectively. He was 98 years old, and his "invisible" sons were 65 and 69 years old. The children found out that one of his invisible sons actually was a teacher at a school that his granddaughters attended when they were in high school.
Nevertheless, his children decided to reach out to the children of his invisible sons. They got connected and learned more stuff about my great uncle. The craziest thing was that I actually dated one of the granddaughters of one of the invisible sons (the one passed at the age of 69 years old). Talk about a few degrees of separation, aye!
My aunt watched her elderly mother fall down the stairs. Then, she made a shocking confession. Just before she passed, my grandmother revealed that she wasn't my aunt's biological mother. She told my aunt that her oldest sister was actually her mother.
The sister had gotten pregnant too young and the mom said it was hers. It was a common way of handling it back then. She revealed that secret with her very last breath.
My husband had a cardiac event that required an ambulance. As the ambulance was arriving, I asked him if the code to open his phone was XXXX. He said yes, then looked up at me and said, "I am so sorry". He had successful surgery, but had several strokes on the operating table and was taken off life support after seven days.
When I opened his phone, I found out he was having an affair. The same code to his phone also opened his laptop, where I found telephone recordings of him and his girlfriend, as well as screenshots of their chats. I don't know how interesting this is, but it was certainly devastating to me.
I was a medic and I worked in one hospital in Louisiana. I was assisting with a mature, dependent wife at the end of a long battle with both dementia and cancer. Her last words were, "Damned, my pie must be burning!"
My cousin and I got into a car accident, which ended in tragedy. Before all that, his friends got him to loot and vandalize so many things. They also got him locked up four different times. When we were in the hospital and he was about to die his last words were, "Welp, if I go to purgatory at least I’ll be with all my friends. I love you".
My uncle's last words were to my aunt. He said, "Don't let the bloody mortician take my gold teeth".
I have a good and a bad story for this thread. I'll start with the good. It's not exactly at the very end, but very close. My aunt had cancer. She knew she was going to die and she knew it would probably be in less than a week. She couldn't eat and drinking was hard. She wanted to be sedated heavily for the last few days because "this whole dying thing sucks and I've had more than enough".
Fair enough. A doctor was called up, a plan was made and carried out. The last thing my aunt said before going under for the rest of her life was, "Ah, I see the stars, they're sweet and run carefree. Gather them up...". And that's when she went under. She passed three days later. Nobody knows what she meant. But somehow, those last words fit her, so my uncle (her husband) got them tattooed on his chest, over his heart.
And now for the bad: My other uncle had been in a car accident. It was bad. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, he revealed a secret that nearly destroyed the family. He said, "Tell my wife that Wendy is my daughter and I love her". He passed a few minutes later because of internal bleeding.
Wendy was the neighbors' then five-year-old child. That caused a huge ruckus, I can tell you.
My mom told me about the passing of her father, my grandfather, and his last words to her. She said he was not doing well, and it was obvious he was nearing the end. He motioned her over to tell her something. She went over, leaned in close, expecting some declaration of his love for her or some deeply insightful.
He said, "The good family silverware is hidden in the ventilation system about 15 feet out from the furnace". She looked at him like he was crazy. He said, "What!! We travel a lot and that's where I hid it. That stuff is expensive!" He passed the next morning.
My grandpa's brother passed from Parkinson's a couple of years ago. He was in hospice and all his loved ones were there to comfort him before he passed. He was incoherent his last couple of days but just before he passed, he sat up, looked at an empty corner and said, "Mom, you came for me".
Then he laid back down and passed with a smile on his face. My great grandma was definitely someone who would come help her child transition to the next world, if there is one. She was a great lady.
I did some time as a palliative care nurse. One patient will stay with me forever—he was an older gentleman whose family could not/would not accept that he was dying. He had made his peace with his remaining time being limited and was vocal until his dying day about what he wanted.
As his system began to shut down, eating and digesting food became painful and a chore despite his family’s insistence that he eat. We respected his wishes and never forced him to do anything he wasn’t comfortable with. His family was understandably distressed by his progression and would fight him daily to live, eat, shower, talk.
The morning he passed was a peaceful one. He simply said, "I am ready", and as I and another nurse held his hands, he passed without fanfare or drama. It was such a humbling experience—even though his family had not accepted his demise, he had.
Both my granddads passed within 18 months of each other—my mother’s father before I studied in China for a year, and my father’s father when I arrived back. A few days before I left to study abroad in China for a year, I went to my grandparents’ home to visit my grandfather, who had been very sick for the past few months. Due to his illness, one person in the family usually stayed up all night to keep watch over him.
On the night I volunteered, he suddenly woke up and grabbed my hand and told me, "Son, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting better anytime soon. Before you go into your own life, I have three things to tell you before I’m not here anymore. You live by them: trustworthiness, honesty, and ALWAYS paddle your own canoe". He passed the morning I left for China.
My paternal grandfather was the meanest son of a gun you ever met. Not like a humorous grumpy old man, just mean as heck. Usually here, people say "but underneath that he had a heart of gold" in similar stories. Nope. Not him. He was a menace till the bitter end.
He was very close to the end, hardly conscious, and asked for water. My mom grabbed a cup and straw and tried to help him drink it, when a little dribbled out onto his chest. He grumbled, "God dammit. You can't bloody do anything right". Then, he passed back out. About 20 minutes later, he was gone. Those were his last words.
My great grandmother was close to the end of her life. Myself and my family were bawling about losing the matriarch of our family when out of nowhere she said, "Y’all better not waste tears on me. Life is sweet, death is short; you will be ok". She smiled and went to sleep.
When I was 24, a woman overdosed on booze, pills, and illicit substances at the hotel I managed. The last thing she ever said was to tell me to go screw myself. These exact words: "Go screw yourself, you little brat". That had no impact on me at all, but her extremely kind husband showing up two days later with her young kids who wanted to see where mommy passed destroyed me.
I'll never forget her 10-year-old asking if her mom said anything before she passed. I told them that the woman said she loved her family, she was sorry to leave them, and she'd always be with them. When the dad quietly told me later he knew I was lying and thanked me, I asked him if he wanted to know the truth. I'm super glad he said no.
My beloved gramma passed 19 years ago, when I was about 17. I got to speak to her on the phone in hospice, and she made one last desperate request: "Please stop using tobacco, your grandkids want to meet you". I took a last minute flight and got there in time to say goodbye.
My mother had called the airport and left a message at my gate: "She's being given her last rites, hurry". It was like a dramatic movie all the way to her, complete with bursting into the hospice, yelling, "Where's Irene [Last name]", hauling butt with a nurse to her room, sliding around a bloody corner like a cartoon character, and bam!
She's in bed, with a priest over her, eyes closed. I go, "GRAMMA, I'M HERE!" Her next words caught me by surprise. She says, "Have you smoked since you've been off the plane?" And then she passed. I mean, her oxygen monitor started beeping, the priest quietly slid out as nurses slid in, my aunts, uncle and mom came in as one shuffling unit with giant eyes, her monitors all got frantic and then...monotone.
I still smoke, though I've quit for a few intermittent years in between. It makes me feel so horribly guilty. I'm trying Grammy, it's so hard. June 9th is my official quit day and I've never tried before. So, here's to it.
I’ve happened upon a few catastrophic car accidents where people weren’t helping and were literally live streaming the dying people and aftermath. Once, there were nine people standing around for 10 minutes and no one called 9-1-1. I hate people.
In that time, I pulled over and walked up to an old lady who had been ejected from the car. The whole right side of her face was missing, like when Gus passed in Breaking Bad. I knelt down, and she said, "Please hold my hand, I don’t want to meet the devil on my own".
I grabbed her hand, and about 30 seconds later, she passed. I had to take a week off work and drank the whole time to try and deal with that memory.
I worked in a nursing home with a couple that were in separate rooms. He passed and the wife hadn’t been told yet. The family went into her room to let her know, though she was also very sick, and she sat up, pointed to the window and said, "[Husband’s name] is here for me".
She laid back down and passed within the hour. I’ve always thought that was an incredibly beautiful way to go.
Paramedic here. The last one I had was truly heartwrenching. It w as a 21-year-old female cyclist, and an SUV ran her over. She had massive pelvic trauma. She asked me in a very calm but sad voice, "I'm not gonna make it, no? Answer honest!" It was so straight and strange that I impulsively answered directly, "I'm not sure but it doesn't look good".
She again looked at me and simply said, "That is sad. I very much wanted to be a mum". She crashed a minute later and passed in the ER despite maximum efforts.
I don't know if notes left by someone who took their own life count. But my dad left me a letter when he took his own life. It said, among other things, "If you can forgive me for this, you can forgive anyone for anything". It took me a few years to forgive him. And I truly do.
And now I have a pathway to forgive anyone for anything. That pathway is how I don't let hate and vengeance build up in my heart, and I live a better life now than before he was gone. It was his parting gift to me.
"You have to let me go", she said. I was confused, and holding my sister’s hand. She was frail. I thought maybe I was holding her hand too tightly. "You mean, let go of your hand," I asked. "No, Baby. You have to let me go".
In the end, I sucked at letting go. She knew that already. When our cousin came and sent me to the cafeteria, my Hero passed. I don’t know if she just wasn’t going to die in front of her baby sister, or if I was preventing her from leaving.
My dad passed from a heart attack when I was 16. One day, he came from the office feeling uneasy and called me down to give him documents or medical insurance papers , I don't remember clearly. I took some time to get them since I was having trouble finding them. That turned out to be a big mistake.
He said to me, "You took too much time". He passed sometime that night while driving to the doctor to get himself checked out. He didn't think it was that serious at the time and didn't really mean it that way but those were the last words I heard from him, and it messed me up for good. It's been five years now and I still haven't gotten over it.
"Well, this is it, the next big adventure". Those were my Father’s last words to me the day before he passed. I was 17. Those words had a profound effect on the way I felt and have felt about people passing on since. At 17, I realized we were all going to die.
My father handled it with such grace, I actually wanted to go on this "next big adventure" with him. Now, at 35, I have never forgotten those last words. I am still waiting—although in no hurry—for that last big adventure.
This happened to my grandma. Her mom, my great grandma, was dying at age 97. She wasn't in any pain but was just very weak, in and out of consciousness, and barely talking. All of a sudden, she became really lucid and grabbed my grandma's hand and said, "Milly! Do you hear that?" "Hear what, Mom?"
She said, "People singing...I hear lots of people singing. It's so beautiful!" My grandma said, "I don't hear it, Mom, but you keep listening to them". My great grandma settled back down and passed a few minutes later. My grandma told that story a lot over the years.
She was sure the singing my great grandma heard were the angels welcoming her home. My grandma passed about 10 years ago. I hope she heard the same beautiful music.
"Tomorrow", said by my partner the night he passed in bed, in response to my asking if he wanted to go to the hospital. For a long time, I felt extreme guilt that I didn’t recognize how serious what we thought was just a bad flu. I know now that it wasn’t my fault but I think that conversation will always haunt me a bit.
An eight-year-old girl said, "Help my brother, I’m okay". Minutes later: "I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die". Seconds later, her breathing became agonal. We managed to secure an airway, drilled a needle into her bone for vascular access, placed a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of her partially amputated leg. But things only got worse.
We lost a pulse, started chest compression, defibrillated her twice, "darted" her chest, which is sticking a large IV needle in between her chest ribs to relieve pressure. When we arrived at the trauma center, she was flatlining. They tirelessly tried to get her back for an additional 28 minutes.
Half of her blood was on the floor of our ambulance and a decent amount on myself. There was blood on my face and hair from swiping my sweat. The eight-year-old girl had bravely pushed her brother out of the path of a car driven by a impaired driver. I responded to this call seven years ago this coming June, when I'd been a paramedic all of three months.
I can replay the events minute-by-minute, recall the smell of her blood, the concerned look and the sheer fear in her eyes. I'll never forget the last gasp for life, and feeling the blood covered little hands gripping my arms slowly fade.
"My son must be stuck in traffic; I can't wait to see him". This was from a man in a nursing home I worked at. I found out he passed within an hour of when he said that, as I was passing in the hall. This guy was in a car accident that resulted in him losing his wife and two kids and left him with permanent brain damage.
He spent the rest of his life believing that his wife and kids were out buying groceries and would be returning any minute. By policy, any of us that interacted with him had to lie and say, "Yeah, he just called, he'll be a few more minutes", because there's only so many times a person can hear that their family passed over a decade ago for what seems like the first time.
The humane thing to do here was to lie to his face because the truth would likely kill him.
My grandma suffered from dementia for many years before she passed. It got so bad that she didn’t remember who her family were, and would barricade herself in her home because she was scared of everyone. She even forgot she smoked and would find her packs months after forgetting where they were, and claim she was desperate for one.
She’d put them away after one and that would be her again for months. The only memories she had left at the end was that her sister used to be able to play the piano beautifully and her husband—her childhood sweetheart—was gone but she didn’t know where to (he’d passed some time earlier).
She spent her days waiting for him to come home from wherever he was. "My John will be home soon", she would say. Or someone would walk past the window and she’d double take and say, "Thought that was my John". It was heartbreaking watching her deteriorate until she got closer to the end, unaware of anything or anyone.
I went to say my goodbyes to her in the hospital and she held my hand and told me how much she loved me but how she was ready to go be with John now. In that moment, she remembered who I was, what was happening to her, and that her husband—my Grandad—had gone already.
She went in her sleep not long after that, and I’m forever thankful I managed to say goodbye and tell her how much I loved her, too. I’ve held onto that moment for so long, without really digesting it in any way, that writing this just tore my heart out. I miss them both so much but I know they’re finally together again somewhere.
It’s true what they say: money makes the world go round. In order to succeed in this life, you need to have a good grasp of key financial concepts. That’s where Moneymade comes in. Our mission is to provide you with the best financial advice and information to help you navigate this ever-changing world. Sometimes, generating wealth just requires common sense. Don’t max out your credit card if you can’t afford the interest payments. Don’t overspend on Christmas shopping. When ordering gifts on Amazon, make sure you factor in taxes and shipping costs. If you need a new car, consider a model that’s easy to repair instead of an expensive BMW or Mercedes. Sometimes you dream vacation to Hawaii or the Bahamas just isn’t in the budget, but there may be more affordable all-inclusive hotels if you know where to look.
Looking for a new home? Make sure you get a mortgage rate that works for you. That means understanding the difference between fixed and variable interest rates. Whether you’re looking to learn how to make money, save money, or invest your money, our well-researched and insightful content will set you on the path to financial success. Passionate about mortgage rates, real estate, investing, saving, or anything money-related? Looking to learn how to generate wealth? Improve your life today with Moneymade. If you have any feedback for the MoneyMade team, please reach out to [email protected]. Thanks for your help!
The Moneymade team
If you like humaverse you may also consider subscribing to these newsletters: