A simple search on google will populate a plethora of posts regarding “what really happens when you die,” but less talked about perhaps, is what people say right before they die.
CNN recently spoke to a Hospice chaplain about her experiences speaking to people right before they pass, and her interactions with the dying are, in a sense, quite surprising.
When Kerry Egan was a divinity school student, she began talking to sick patients at a cancer hospital. Through those interactions, Egan gained first-hand knowledge about what people want to talk about in their final moments on this earth.
Egan recalls a discussion with her professor regarding her visits with sick patients. As a student chaplain, her professor asked her if she spoke about religion or led the dying in prayer. To her professor’s surprise, Egan admitted that in those final moments, she rarely spoke about God or religion.
Her professor seemed perplexed by this realization, so-much-so that he would go on to lecture about it in front of the whole class.
Years later, Egan is now a hospice chaplain. If you ask her the same question, her response remains intact. In a patient’s final moments, god and religion rarely come up. Rather, the patients want to discuss their families and the people in their life that they loved, or loss of love.
Throughout the years, Egan has spoken to many frail and dying individuals about love. In fact, love is the one thing most people on their death bed want to talk about, and they often tell Egan about the love they received and the way they loved. Sometimes, they speak of the love they never revealed or the love they wished they could have expressed or received.
No matter their feelings on love at the time, it’s a subject that is frequently discussed. And while many people hold on to their beliefs throughout their lives, whether religious or spiritual based, in the end those beliefs are best spoken through the story of love — because we live our lives through our families and the people we hold near and dear to our hearts.
Too often, in our busy lives, we become too absorbed or distracted by work, hobbies, stress or life in general, that we don’t place enough emphasis on showing the people we care about how much we love them each and every day. But in reality, in the end, love is the only thing that matters.
Perhaps, Egan described love best in her interview with CNN. During the interview she said, “We don’t learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it. It’s not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques. It’s discovered through these actions of love. If God is love, and we believe that to be true, then we learn about God when we learn about love. The first, and usually the last, classroom of love is the family.”
QCWriter is a journalist who is fueled by espresso and motivated by determination. She specializes in pop culture, country music, and news content.