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The Dying lady who wanted to go shopping

Identifier

011151

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

From Opening Heaven’s Door – Patricia Pearson

Monique [a careworker in the West Island Palliative Care Residence] told me that most of the people she's cared for over the years have come to know, at a certain point, exactly when they will die. For the nurses, this certitude is uncanny. ….. Within roughly seventy-two hours of the end of their lives, many dying people in hospice settings begin to speak in metaphors of journey. They are not being euphemistic. They are far beyond the task of making everyone feel better.

They often haven't said a word in days, and then suddenly they say something focused on travel. They sincerely want to know where their train tickets or hiking shoes or tide charts are.

Monique offers me an example. "We had a patient who was agitated. It was a Friday evening. She keeps saying, 'I want to go shopping.' In life, she was a real shopper. I said, ''When do you want to go shopping? She said, 'Monday.' I said, 'Fine, let's go shopping Monday.' For me, she was telling me 'I'm going.' And actually, she died that Monday evening."

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities