While caring for dying patients, these doctors and nurses bore witness to last words that stuck with them well after the workday. They couldn’t get them out of their heads, so the medical professionals shared the haunting messages on Reddit. Whether spoken in a state of delirium, fear, or peace, these thoughts that patients shared in their penultimate moments are something these medical professionals will never forget.
“The body is in the woods next to the oak tree.” One surgeon said that, while a patient was on his deathbed, he repeated this phrase for hours. The police were called to investigate but found nothing. A true deathbed confession?
“Am I dead? I’m in hell.” A lab tech was taking blood from a coding patient when he suddenly locked eyes with her and said these haunting words. He died within a few hours. Hopefully for his sake, he ended up somewhere more north of Hell.
“They have no eyes.” These last words are pure nightmare fuel spoken by one Reddit user’s grandfather in his final moments. It’s probably best not to try and picture what he was talking about if you plan on sleeping tonight.
“Fire! Fire! There’s fire everywhere!” One hospital worker had an encounter with a patient who said,”You know where I’m going when I die. And it ain’t up.” When the nurse asked if she wanted to see the priest, she said, “It’s too late for that.”
“I see a bright light…Horses…No eyes…NOOO!” An ER physician overheard this while a patient died of renal failure. After he finished yelling, he abruptly stopped and calmly said “I understand,” and died. Medical school doesn’t prepare you for this.
“He’s in all black, and he’s got a top hat on. And his eyes are red.” A CNA said one old lady wanted to wear all white because of “the man in black” as she stared into the corner of the room.
“The spiders are eating papa.” In Pakistan, a school bus crash killed a dozen students. As one child was put on a stretcher, he screamed something in his native tongue. When the translator told doctors what he said, they wished they didn’t know.
“Bill’s here, love, I’ve got to go.” While one RN was chatting with her renal failure patient and helping her get ready for bed, she said these words and looked over her shoulder before dying suddenly. Based on her file, Bill was her late husband.
“Don’t be sad.” After smoking her whole life and getting lung cancer, this woman lost the ability to speak. In her final moments, she summoned up the voice to say these words to her family before finally succumbing to her disease.
“You look like an angel.” A nurse at an assisted living facility saw her patient declining significantly. Their daily chats stopped, and he became unresponsive. One day, he looked at her and said those words just before dying.
“Get home safe, little one.” This particular patient always said this to his nurse at the end of the evening. This time something seemed off when he wished her well. The next morning she found out he had passed.
“Why is this happening to me?” There’s nothing worse than when someone dies unexpectedly. While he was talking with his doctor, this patient suddenly started to bleed out of his mouth. His last words reflect his haunting surprise about his death.
“Bob, Bob, here I come. Oh, honey I’ve missed you so much!” Not all last words are scary. These are fairly comforting. The woman who said them lost her husband twenty years prior and couldn’t wait to be reunited.
“Something’s going to happen.” Hospital chaplains are usually privy to some intense final moments. In one case, a patient discussed the ten oranges on her table with the priest and said those innocuous words. She died the next day.
“I’m going to see you again, brother.” Some relationships transcend logic. These words were said by a man whose brother died just six hours before. His family had yet to tell him about the death, yet he somehow already knew.
“The Devil has been in my room all night, but don’t worry, God is with you.” While coding from a seizure, this patient yelled about the devil being with him for his final moments.
“Are you going to bury me today?” As he went in and out of consciousness, one man described people climbing on the walls and peering at him from under the bed. His final words ended up coming true to the horror of his family.
“I have faced death many times before.” His nurse offered him necessary insulin as he ate breakfast, and he haughtily declined, citing his ability to cheat death. Thirty minutes later he died by choking on his eggs.
“It’s about damn time you got here! I’ve been waiting!” After a few days of being unresponsive, one grandfather was resolute to leave this world when he said his last words. At least he didn’t mention anything about spiders or eyes.
“Why are they here?” Seeing people in the room that aren’t really there seems to be a common theme for final words. The woman who said this was resistant to dying but was suddenly peaceful at the very end. A rather brilliant man shared that same reaction in his last moments…
Many malicious rumors have been spread about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ final words. It’s a total fabrication, for instance, that he left behind a “deathbed essay” stating that “non-stop pursuit of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being just like me.” In truth, as his sister Mona stated in a eulogy that was published in The New York Times in October 2011, Jobs’ last words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
The last words of former U.S. president John Adams were recorded in a journal by his son. The younger Adams wrote, “About one afternoon [1:00 p.m.], he said, ‘Thomas Jefferson survives,’ but the last word was indistinctly and imperfectly uttered. He spoke no more.” This was a reference to Adams and Jefferson being the only remaining original American revolutionaries still alive at the time. Alas, Adams turned out to be incorrect: Jefferson and Adams both passed away on July 4, 1826. This also happened to be exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence came into being.
Kurt Cobain tragically took his own life in April 1994. And in the Nirvana frontman’s suicide note, he concluded, “I don’t have the passion anymore. And so, remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” That last part, incidentally, is a line from the Neil Young song “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” Yet Cobain also left a message for his wife and daughter, saying, “Please keep going, Courtney, for Frances. For her life, which will be so much happier without me. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!”
Murderer James French’s supposed last words are well known. Apparently, just before being executed via electric chair in 1966, French called out to gathered reporters, “How’s this for your headline? ‘French Fries.’” Yet while French did make that joke to a journalist in the days leading up to his death, they weren’t the convict’s actual final words. In fact, when asked by a prison warden if he had anything to say before his death, French answered, “Everything’s already been said.”
Music legend Bob Marley discovered a malignant melanoma on his toe in 1977, and before long the cancer spread to the rest of his body. The reggae star then tried to fly home to Jamaica, but it turned out that he was too ill to travel. Instead, Marley passed away at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami on May 11, 1981, at the age of 36. His then 12-year-old son, Ziggy, heard his last statement: “Money can’t buy life.”
There’s an urban legend surrounding James Dean’s car crash death. Yes, the story goes that his Porsche Spyder, which was nicknamed “Little Bastard,” was actually cursed. But whether riding in a cursed car or not, Dean definitely met his end in that vehicle when it smashed into a Ford Coupe on September 30, 1955. And according to passenger Rolf Wütherich, Dean’s last words were fairly mundane. Just before the crash, the star apparently said of the Coupe’s driver, “That guy’s gotta stop. He’ll see us.”
While Franklin Delano Roosevelt remains the longest serving president of the United States – taking office between 1932 and 1945 – he suffered from a number of serious health problems. The former president had high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, for example, in a time when both of those ailments could not be effectively treated. However, it was a brain haemorrhage that ultimately killed Roosevelt in April 1945 – not long after he had announced, “I have a terrific headache.”
Godfather of Soul James Brown died of heart failure on Christmas Day in 2006. His manager, Charles Bobbit, was with him at the time, and Bobbit later informed the media of Brown’s last words: “I’m going away tonight.” The musical legend was seemingly correct, too. After all, according to Bobbit, Brown subsequently gave three sighs and then died as a result of congestive heart failure.
For a long time, the last words to be attributed to Humphrey Bogart were, “I should have never switched from scotch to martinis.” It seems, however, that the screen icon almost certainly didn’t make that wisecrack in his final moments. Instead, while dying of throat cancer, Bogart reportedly told his wife, Lauren Bacall, “Goodbye, kid. Hurry back.” This came just before she left to pick up their children from school.
In March 2003 British singer Adam Faith died of a heart attack at the North Staffordshire Hospital in England. Apparently, though, the star didn’t think much of what the facility’s TV had to offer. As has been reported, Faith’s last words were said to have been, “Channel 5 is all s**t, isn’t it? Christ, the crap they put on there. It’s a waste of space.”
After Michael Jackson died of drug intoxication in 2009, Dr. Conrad Murray went on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Yet before his eventual conviction in 2011, Murray revealed in a documentary Jackson’s last words. Reportedly, Jackson had said, “Let me have some milk.” The “milk” in question had been propofol – a general anesthetic that was ruled to have caused the star’s death.
Along with young actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, Vic Morrow died after a preventable accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. He and the children had been filming a scene with a helicopter when the aircraft plunged to the ground – killing all three of the stars. And according to fellow actor Dick Peabody, Morrow’s last words had been, “I’ve got to be crazy to do this shot. I should’ve asked for a double.” It later transpired that many corners had been cut and many laws disobeyed with regards to on-set safety.
Joe DiMaggio had a complex relationship with Marilyn Monroe – to whom he had briefly been married. He allegedly abused her, in fact, and when Monroe filed for divorce – just nine months after the wedding – it was on the grounds of “mental cruelty.” Yet DiMaggio remained devoted to Monroe even after she died in 1962. For instance, he sent roses to her grave thrice weekly for nigh on two decades. And if the baseball star’s lawyer, Morris Engelberg, is to be believed, DiMaggio’s touching last words were, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
Stage and screen actor John Barrymore has had some fantastic last words attributed to him. According to popular lore, he said not long before his passing, “Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.” However, biographer and friend Gene Fowler has claimed otherwise. Instead, it seems that Barrymore’s actual last words were to his brother, with the silent film star apparently saying, “You heard me, Mike.”
Chicago’s lead singer, Terry Kath, died due to misadventure in 1978. In fact, the 33-year-old was at a party when he pulled out the pistol that he carried around with him and began playing with it. When a friend asked Kath to put the gun away, however, the star answered, “Don’t worry. It’s not loaded, see?” Then Kath put the weapon to his head, pulled the trigger and killed himself.
Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley battled drug addiction for much of his life. Eventually, though, the fight became too much, and Farley died of an overdose at the age of 33 on December 18, 1997. Before Farley passed away, however, he seemingly paid for the services of a call girl. And she subsequently reported his last known words as, “Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.” It was a very sad ending for a very funny man.
Montgomery Clift starred in the 1961 movie The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable – a fact he was reminded of in his final moments. Just before Clift died of a heart attack in July 1966, you see, nurse Lorenzo James asked him if he wanted to watch John Huston’s drama. Clift declared, “Absolutely not!” – and those turned out to be his last words.
Just before he was fatally shot, President Kennedy was talking to first lady of Texas Nellie Connally as they rode through Dealey Plaza. And when Connally said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,” Kennedy replied, “No, you certainly can’t.” Then, moments later, she saw him die from an assassin’s bullet – and American history was changed forever.
In April 1984 Marvin Gaye was tragically murdered by his own father. After a heated argument between son and dad, in fact, the Motown legend told his mother, “I’m going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me, and I’m never coming back.” Then, moments later, Gaye received a fatal bullet to the heart. The next day, the soul singer would have turned 45.
Practically everyone knows that Elvis was found dead on the floor of his bathroom. Before that, however, Presley had told his girlfriend Ginger Alden, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.” And when Alden replied, “Don’t fall asleep in there,” he answered, “Okay, I won’t.” But while these were mundane final words, Elvis certainly hadn’t led a mundane life.
Richard Feynman was a famous theoretical physicist and a quite brilliant man – so it’s reasonable to assume that he had some profound thoughts on the nature of life and death. Yet when Feynman passed away of kidney failure in February 1988 at the age of just 69, he concluded, “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
Famed comedian Bob Hope must have known that the end was coming for him, as he lived to be an impressive 100 years old. And the star’s grandson later reported that when Hope’s wife, Dolores, asked him on his deathbed where he would like to be buried, Hope had a characteristically witty response: “Surprise me.” In the end, in fact, Hope got an entire purpose-built memorial garden at L.A.’s San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
The most famous quote associated with Marie Antoinette is “Let them eat cake” – even though there’s no evidence that she actually ever said it. Yet her final words before her execution are recorded in history as being “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès” – which translates to “Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose” – after standing on her executioner’s foot.