Have you ever seen someone DIE?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 06, 2008 1:20 PM GMT
    Have you ever seen someone die in real life? I mean die as you watched, not dead already. I've seen plenty of dead people before.

    I haven't and I hope I will never ever. Even that time when those terrorist beheading videos were spreading around on the net, I couldn't bear to watch it. It's like... I dunno. One moment someone was alive and the next... meh. I wouldn't ever touch a snuff film or footages with real people dying in them. (Even the WTC towers footages were horrific to me)

    Several people I know have. One is a female friend of mine, it happened when we were still in freshmen college. She was riding on a jeepney (a public transportation vehicle unique to the Philippines similar to a bus) and they stopped to unload some passengers beside a dump truck. The... umm... what do you call it? The back of the dump truck was raised and the driver was underneath it fixing something. Then as she and several other passengers watched the back suddenly plunged down. Probably the hydraulics failed or something, but yeah, it literally squished the driver underneath it. Several people tried to extricate him but it was too late.

    My brother in law also has. He was driving on a very busy eight lane highway along one of the coastal cities here when he saw a Jeepney slow down in front of his car. A passenger jumped out, and ignoring the thousands of signs that are posted along the freeways here ("crossing the road kills - use the overpass"), he blithely walked towards the roadside two lanes away. He barely got five steps or something when a car slammed into him. Yech. I can only imagine what it was like.

    My other classmates, most of them already working/interning as nurses, medical technicians, and doctors-to-be in hospitals see people die a lot. They've become a bit jaded about it. One more reason to thank my parents for not forcing me to pursue a medical career. LOL. One recounted her first incident where she was watching a Manny Pacquiao boxing match with an elderly patient and were joking about it. Minutes after the match ended, she was preparing to do her rounds (or whatever you call it when they check their patients) when the man suddenly had a cardiac arrest. She says she was sobbing all throughout the resuscitation attempts. It was her 'first death', as they call it, after all.

    Have you ever had experiences like these? How has it affected you? No nightmares, 'misplaced guilt', stuff?
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Mar 06, 2008 2:55 PM GMT
    I have not had the experience of seeing a human die, in-person.

    I have seen it via video, specifically the execution of the Ceau┼čescus following the Romanian coup d'etat. I believe we also saw death-on-tape during my class on comparative genocide. I have not watched any terrorism execution videos.

    To see death is, for me, disturbing and it highlights how quickly and easily a life can end. It also makes me aware of my own physical vulnerability.
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    Mar 06, 2008 3:21 PM GMT
    I saw my Mom pass away a few years ago. She had been very ill for about a week leading up to it.

    I stayed up with her all night on what I thought might be her last night. She was heavily drugged, but also a little agitated as she had breast cancer as well as some cancer that had spread to her spine.

    When she finally passed away the next day, my four sisters and I were all around her. My brother and his wife were out with my Dad, who strangely enough, didn't want to be anywhere near her on her final day. I guess we all have our different ways of dealing with this passage.

    One thing that made this transition so much easier for all of us was the amazing Pallative Care department at DePaul Medical Center in Maryland Heights, MO (Saint Louis). A counselor met with our family several times and explained what might happen to my Mom as she passed away, what to look for, and how we could help her emotionally, even though she was heavily sedated (i.e., the right things to say and do).

    When my Mom finally passed away, there was no big drama, no big last breath. We just noticed that her breaths were coming farther and farther apart. It was honestly hard to tell when she took her last breath. But suddenly, we all had the same realization -- she was gone.

    At that point, we had all been crying so much over the past few days that a lot more crying seemed pointless. In fact, my Mom had been so ill, it was almost a relief that she wasn't suffering anymore.

    There are a few things I remember so clearly about her passing and then shortly afterwards.

    One was that as sson as we all realized she was gone, we really felt like she had left the room. Her body was still there, but her presence was no longer there. There were only five people in the room, not six.

    Another was that I volunteered to go out and tell the nurses that she had passed away. It was just so odd to leave that room and see the rest of the world going on, phones ringing, people typing, even people laughing down the hall.

    Stranger still was leaving the hospital an hour or so later. I was sorely in need of a Diet Pepsi (okay, my third 24oz Diet Pepsi, I had been up all night) so we stopped at a Walgreen's on the way back to my parents' house (now instantly renamed "my Dad's house").

    It was so jarring to see normal life continuing on an even bigger scale. Kids getting out of school. An old lady like my Mom holding up the line looking in her purse for coupons. A teenage clerk with really bad B.O.

    One more thing ... as we drove back to my Dad's, I was also suddenly aware that my Mom knew everything about me, everything I had ever done. All the times I had fibbed to her as a child and all the other questionable things I had done.

    I knew she'd be waiting for me somewhere when I passed away ... waiting for answers icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 06, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    Yeah, I used to work in the ER. I've watched people die from gunshots wounds, stabbing, and car accidents. It was always very surreal to me because I usually allowed myself a moment to take in what just happened. It's easy to let the significance of it slip away when you and the people around you are trying to save them.

    I really can't describe what it feels like to watch the life fade out of someone. It's the strangest shift that occurs...almost imperceptible in some ways and still so tangible in other ways.

    I always found myself thinking more about the people this person was leaving behind. I was always very sad for them. I know the pain they're going to be going through. I don't know what if anything lies ahead for the person that just died so I really never felt anything more than regret for them and an odd curiosity. They finally knew the answer to life's big question, and I wondered what was that answer.

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    Mar 06, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    Yes.

    If you have never held a close friend or loved one in your arms as they were dying, and you could do nothing, count yourself fortunate.

    If you have never had to kill someone face to face, and felt the life draining out of them, count yourself as extremely blessed.

    The nightmares do not go away; and the counseling is very expensive, and so far worthless.
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    Mar 06, 2008 3:48 PM GMT


    OOF, Bwg77, I hope I could be fortunate enough to see a hunk like you right before I take my final breath. Uuuuugh, death never sounded so good.

  • Mar 06, 2008 3:51 PM GMT
    When i was young my cousin and me were playing i our pool. He asked me to go out farther with him, i refused. The next things were just flashes since we were so young. I saw him at th bottom of the pool, my aunt jumped in to the bottom. The next flash was him on a table, he threw up, and then my memory is cut. Its about the time I developed a weird thing, when I eat I start gagging and sometimes I throw up, I cant control it but it just happens.....such is life.
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    Mar 06, 2008 4:20 PM GMT
    ITJock saidYes.

    If you have never held a close friend or loved one in your arms as they were dying, and you could do nothing, count yourself fortunate.

    If you have never had to kill someone face to face, and felt the life draining out of them, count yourself as extremely blessed.

    The nightmares do not go away; and the counseling is very expensive, and so far worthless.


    Wow Itjock...sorry you had to go through such trauma. Does it make life all the more sacred for you?

    Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14
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    Mar 06, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    I have been lucky enough not to witness someone dying myself, but this past year 3 of my friends lost their fathers. I can't say I know how they felt or are feeling now but the expressions on their faces hurt me enough.
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    Mar 06, 2008 4:33 PM GMT
    When I was six years old I supposedly saw three people die in a head-on collision with a bus. I don't remember it (only the aftermath) but it must be true because when they tried to get me on a bus later in the trip I went into hysterics and had to be dragged on. My older sister whom I was close to managed to calm me down.

    I did see one of our family's German Shephard dogs get put to sleep. Kind of gruesome, especially the "death rattle" they give (central nervous system?).

    I was not with my Dad when he died, my brother (an ER doctor) suggested it is not usually a very pretty or peaceful event. I did see him earlier in the day when he was in a coma, at that time his breath was becomining more and more laboured.
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    Mar 06, 2008 4:45 PM GMT
    I was with my mother when they "turned off the machines", as they say. She had been brain dead (from lack of oxygen during a cardiac event) for a week. I remember the smell of the room, the look on everyone's faces, and the look on hers. The nurses turned off the infernal beeping of the heart monitor, which made it seems less like a movie, I guess. I remember it took 8 minutes from the moment the respirator was turned off until she took her last breath. There was a brief struggle as she tried to inhale and couldn't. I remember thinking "SHE'S TRYING TO BREATH! PLUG HER BACK IN! PLUG HER BACK IN!!!!!", but I kept that to myself.

    It was the worst 8 minutes of my life thus far.
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    Mar 06, 2008 4:53 PM GMT
    My Beloved Mother but she is always with me still!
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    Mar 06, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    I was with my father when he died. He had lung cancer. My grandfather and all of my uncles had died of cancer and they went quietly and peacefully as they each slipped into comas. However, my father had lung cancer, which inhibits breathing and kept him fighting for every breath, so he couldn't slip into a coma like that. He had breathing spasms and he had one final spasm and that sent him into cardiac arrest. It was a panicky moment of my brother, mother and I trying to help him, all of us screaming and crying and trying to save him (he was at home, not a hospice or hospital) and then he died in our arms. It was the most shattering moment of my life and it has pretty much steeled my resolve to deal with anything, so I guess there was some benefit to the shattering nature of the moment.
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    Mar 06, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    I was with my ex-wife when she died in the hospital. My children, her girlfriend, and I all knew it was coming, so we stayed with her that final awful night until the end came at 4 a.m.
  • phunkie

    Posts: 325

    Mar 06, 2008 5:18 PM GMT
    bwg77I really can't describe what it feels like to watch the life fade out of someone. It's the strangest shift that occurs...so imperceptible in some ways and still so tangible in other ways.


    Exactly.

    I've seen my cousin die right in front of me. It was something very different, he used to get ill before but that was different. I knew instantly what happened to him, even though he lasted another day. We had just brought him home from the hospital, made him comfy in the bed when he shook his head and muttered "Oh" and he started gasping for air.

    Before that, I saw an old man die at the hospital ER beside my cousin's bed. He was staring right at me when he died. That creeped me out and I couldn't sleep for two days.
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    Mar 06, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    Yep.

    Usually, a last gasp, and the chest comes up, and then it's all over.
  • in773guy

    Posts: 89

    Mar 06, 2008 5:59 PM GMT
    Saw my Grandmother pass a few year ago...very peaceful and surreal experience.
    One of my best friends is about to pass, obviously I have know idea if I will be there at the moment....I am kinda hoping not...It's tough enough to see him this way as it is......
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    Mar 06, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    My aunt passed a few months ago of breast cancer, she died peacefully and out of pain, finally. My own brushes with death on too many occasions. And before that- Iraq. Too much to describe.
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    Mar 06, 2008 7:00 PM GMT
    Yeah....i've seen people die...the first one kinda sticks with you but after a while you realize that its one of those things that comes with the Medical field....the one thing that still bothers me is seeing a child pass away...its one of the reasons why i don't want to go into pediatrics...i dont have the heart to watch a child suffer...that and the fact the EVERY examination on a child/baby is extra difficult because they're so small and refuse to stay put in one place. The wild screaming at the sight of the white coat and steth doesn't help much either.
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    Mar 06, 2008 8:00 PM GMT
    Yea, I've seen a few people die. First time was when I lived in Washington.. me and my friend were driving home from school.. he was driving.. well some old lady ran a stop sign, and we T-boned her.. she died before the ambulance got there.. it was terrible. Second time was when I lived at the beach, bike week '05, I saw 2 motorcycle accidents, neither were wearing helmets.. they both died at the scene, both went flying through the air and one was nearly decapitated. Then, last year, this is the toughest I had to see, we had to take my granny off life support... was the hardest thing watching her go..

    How did it affect me? It's hard to say, it's a weird thing to see death. It really makes you open your eyes to life, and how precious it is. Nightmares.. oh yes. Guilt, there was nothing I could do for the bikers.. the old lady.. I felt it was our fault, but I know it wasn't. And I really really hate that we had to take my granny off life support, had it been my decision, I don't think I would have been able to take her off. But I know she was suffering, and she's in a better place now.
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    Mar 06, 2008 8:03 PM GMT
    lilmaninsc saidYea, I've seen a few people die. First time was when I lived in Washington.. me and my friend were driving home from school.. he was driving.. well some old lady ran a stop sign, and we T-boned her.. she died before the ambulance got there.. it was terrible.


    Does that mean he was charged with a felony or misdemeanor?
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    Mar 06, 2008 8:08 PM GMT
    He didn't get charged with anything, there were witnesses and it really wasn't his fault.. not to say it didn't feel like it, but like I said.. nothing we could do.. I just wish she didn't run the stop sign.. I still see her in my dreams sometimes.. it wasn't a pretty sight.icon_sad.gif
  • fitone

    Posts: 276

    Mar 06, 2008 8:37 PM GMT
    i held my father in my arms when he died. he had cancer, and was obviously suffering at the end. the only thing i knew to do was to get in been with him and hold him. i didn't realize at the time he took his last breath. got up to clean his face, and realized he had just passed. i am really glad i was there doing what i could for him.
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    Mar 06, 2008 8:41 PM GMT
    I'm an intern in the ER at the hospital where I live. After a while you kind of become numb. It was funny watching doctors and nurses trying to save a persons life one minute and talking about who's leading in the election polls the next.
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    Mar 06, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    I have seen two people die and more dead bodies than I can count. I did work as an EMT basic and saw some dead people. I also did doctor shadowing and saw an elderly lady die of gangrene. I have spent endless hours in the operating room and have seen a variety of surgeries too! I even spent some time in the morgue and watched autopsies. It was all really gory and intriguing.