Do the lucky ones get a sign before their loved ones leave? 186



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Last week my husband and I went to visit my aunt who lives in a nursing home. She is suffering from severe dementia – so severe she can no longer talk, walk around or do anything of independence. She relies on the staff to wash, feed and dress her, move her when she needs to be moved and look after her. As a family we visit regularly, my mother (her sister) is nearly there every day brightening up her room with flowers, talking to her and keeping her updated on all of the news.

Bess is 93 now and we love her so dearly, but it is heartbreaking to watch a woman, single all her life, lose her independence and vibrancy. While my husband and I were there he shared a moment with her. It both amazes and scares me, and it has had me thinking.

Poor Bess, who can no longer pronounce words properly, let alone string a sentence together, looked my husband in the eye while he held her hand and said quite clearly, “I’ve had a good life. I’m ready to fly away”.

He was shocked. He couldn’t believe what he had just heard, so much so that he actually asked her if that is what she had said. She nodded and gazed at him with her kind eyes. Just writing about it gives me goosebumps and it has me wondering, do the lucky people get a warning when their loved ones are going to pass away?

Is this her way of saying she is ready and preparing us for what is to come? When she is so frail and so trapped in her small body I wonder if we are to accept these words as a sign that her days are numbered and that is something she is trying to help us come to terms with – or is that being overly superstitious and finding meaning in something that matters very little?

I’m not normally someone that looks for signs. I don’t believe in deeper meanings and to be frank I don’t even know quite how I feel about death. But I can’t help but feel this is her trying to help us understand and be at peace with what may come.

I have heard of other stories where people have given warning in their own way before they passed away. A dear friend’s Aunt was also in a nursing home and after a nasty fall she held Tori’s hand and said, “I don’t think I’ll be here sweetie, but I’m happy about that”. The next morning Tori woke to the news that her Aunt has passed away peacefully in her sleep.


So my big question today is, do the lucky ones get signs? Do our loved ones give us a warning when they are ready to let go? Has anything like this happened to you? Or should I stop dwelling on it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below… 

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  1. Yes, I firmly believe they do get a sign & most people will mention it at some stage after their loved one has died.

  2. In my experience elderly people reach the end of their road and they know it.
    My 91 year old mother, a week before she died, held my hand, looked into my eyes and said … I don’t know what I would have done without you.
    I really don’t know….
    She was not a verbally demonstrative person and I knew instantly that was her way of saying …
    I love you and thank you.
    Those were the last words that she said to me before curling up full of morphine waiting to die.
    Very memorable and comforting for me.

    5 REPLY
    • Why is it that some can’t say those words to those who love them most? My sister couldn’t, it was so sad. She told me that ( Julie ), she knew. I said to her we need to hear those words from you. We are losing you and it’s painful. Bu no, she couldn’t say them. Her beautiful daughter has 3 darling girls & I’m sure she tells them daily. God bless them all

    • It was the era that they came from I suspect Diane. Her mother was the same. Never ever vocal with endearments.

  3. I had no warning when my dad died, I was only 9 years old and I just adored him. I was his only child and I was born on Father Day, he always called me his best gift. He dropped me at an Aunts so I could play with my cousins, and was due to pick me up in the afternoon, he never arrived. He had a massive heart attack at 38 years old, due to war injuries he suffered in WW2. I still miss him every day.

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    • Lost my dad at age 5. Don’t remember much about him alas. I treasure an old recording of his voice, asking what was I playing with. My life would have been so different if he had lived.

    • So sorry Julie and your right , your life would have been different and so would have mine xoxo sweetie

    • Libbi when I read the article I felt a bit robbed. I lost my dad to a sever stroke, he was 52. My brothers and I sat with him for 2 weeks hoping he would wake up and we never got any sign. I’d have given anything to have that sign or have some special moment.
      So I have empathise with you.

    • my daughter died 6 years ago…and in hind sight there were signs… all around….. her last words to her then 3 year old son….ÿou are on your own now ….take care… he got up and walked away to the door without looking back once… I followed to support him as I was open to and aware of the bigger picture…. she died tragically within the week… oh there are always little signs, little conversations, little nuances just have to be open to seeing , feeling and intuiting them <3

  4. Christmas 1999 we were notified that my wife’s mother had been hospitalised and she was very seriously ill , we made immediate arrangements to fly home to he Philippines , mamma could NOT speak English and it always upset me because I was never able to really communicate with her or she with me , but we did have a great relationship .
    By the time we were finally able to purchase tickets and head home mamma was in a deep coma , 24 hours later we arrived in Manila , still leaving us an 8 hours bus trip.
    Later we were able to workout that as we landed on Philippine soil , mamma opened her eyes and said in clean English “Ian and Nini are coming ” the last words she ever said !!!

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  5. My mother in law passed away recently at age 92…my husband visited her every other day 1 hour and a half drive away..I however not so regularly ,she was at the stage where she slept through his visits and rarely spoke and hardly recognised anyone …the day before she passed away I had a distinct feeling I should go to see her husband said no don’t come it’s a long way and she won’t even know you are there however I said no and went with him …my husband said brightly to her “look who’s come to see you to day Mum…she looked at my and called me by her departed sisters name..we all sat for a while as she slept and as we were leaving she opened her eyes looked straight into my eyes and said “goodbye Carol” closed her eyes again and continued to sleep . She passed away early the next morning..yes I do believe she knew.

  6. How lucky for those who do get a sign from someone who knows their time is up and how sad for those who never get to say goodbye.

    3 REPLY
    • we never got to see my daughter but yesterday her child (9) and I went and saw his teacher aide who passed recently and will be both attending her funeral today… all about the conversations alongside….

    • How sad you lost your daughter Marion. To lose a child must be the worst pain imaginable. Take care.

  7. My mother was in hospital extremely ill, I was woken approximately 5 am by something brushing against my face , a few minutes later the phone rang and it was the hospital to say my mother had passed away. I truely believe she came to say goodbye.

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  8. When my daughter passed I was about 300 miles from her , it was a stormy night and I was going to get in the car to drive too her. I felt an emoromour weight pushing me , stoppimng me from driving too her , I know it was her way of saying , mum dont drive in this weather , let me go , 12yrs later when I am writing this I am crying

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  9. Dad was in hospital suffering from lung cancer. I had arranged with him to go to see him a bit later the next morning. While standing at the kitchen window doing the washing up, I started thinking “What am I doing here? I should be with Dad”. Just at that minute the phone rang and it was Mum ringing from the hospital, asking us to come straight away! We lost Dad before I got there. So yes I believe they do send a sign!

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