Hospice nurse Captures What No One was Supposed to See A hospice nurse has become a TikTok star, sharing stories of her work in end of life care, including visitations from pets and dead relatives to her views on the afterlife. Penny Smith, 59, from Washington, regularly uploads of her experience to TikTok, where she has 4320 followers.
The clips have left social media users stunned, racking up millions of views as the nurse gives an inside view into death and what dying patients say to her being around death so much. Penny has been through many unusual experiences that it’s let her into believing in the afterlife. Penny, who didn’t believe in the afterlife until she became a hospice nurse, now uses her job to help her cope with her dad’s death.
Part of the hospice nurse job is encountering many unique and tragic patients. Penny notes that the most profound thing is when a dying person tells you they’re being visited by someone who has died. She added that this happens when a patient is completely lucid and clearly able to state who they’re seeing. Seeing people visioning, spirits, or whatever entity it is they see has affirmed a belief in me that there is something more Penny shared in her viral TikTok. Many times, patients share with Penny how they’ve seen dead loved ones in their own room.
Penny described a time where a patient saw his wife in the ceiling corner of the room, telling her she was coming to get him. But not today. Tomorrow. Many dying people also share their regrets and final thoughts with the hospice nurse. Penny notes the most common thing she hears from patients as a hospice nurse are people wishing they had worked less, spent more time with family.
She went on to describe an unforgettable experience when a man told her he regretted doing chemo for his lung cancer. The man died the same afternoon he shared this with Penny. Many dying people also share their regret and vital thoughts with the hospice nurse. Penny notes the most common thing she hears from patients as a hospice nurse are people wishing they had worked less and spent more time with family. She then went on to describe an unforgettable experience when a man told her he regretted doing chemo for his lung cancer.
The man died the same afternoon he shared this with Penny. Unfortunately, the job also comes with some very difficult situations, including family tensions. She said there’s nothing worse than having a patient who hasn’t put their wishes in writing or designated someone to speak on their behalf. The hospice nurse shared time when a person is designated as a decision maker and they weaponize it by withholding visitation rights. She described the time a young patient’s wife wouldn’t allow his mother to visit anymore, saying it was heartbreaking.
The hospice nurse also claims she’s had family members with old pain medication. Despite some of the negative experiences, Penny loves her job and has also had many positive moments with her patients, she said. My favorite was finally managing my 42 year old lung cancer patients pain, to the point where her young daughters and I could give a bed bath and dress her in her favorite T shirt and leopard print panties, adding that it was a special and meaningful experience. In one of her most popular videos, which has racked up 7.8 million views and over 331,000 likes, she reveals her beliefs while someone is dying. In the clip, she reenacts someone holding up their arms while they’re slipping away, before implying that this could mean a spirit is hugging them.
Users took the comment to share their unusual experiences after someone close to them passed away. The night before my dad passed away, he asked me if I’m pregnant. A week later, I took a test and it confirmed that I’m pregnant. It’s amazing, one viewer commented. Another person added, Heaven is real.
This life is just a trial. Be kind to others, followed by a thumbs up emoji. In a second clip, which has over 4.7 million views and 262,000 likes, she shares another belief about a different spirit welcoming someone into the afterlife. In the video, she reenacts someone stroking the air above their chest as they peacefully pass away while in bed. Shortly after, she shows a cat’s spirit on the screen being caressed by their owner.
In another clip, which has racked up 1.3 million views and 520 likes, Penny reveals why we don’t want to eat near the end. In the video, she explains that while we love food, it acts as fuel for our body, which we don’t need upon dying, as our bodies are shutting down. As a result, our body sends the message that we don’t need to eat, leading to a loss of appetite. The nurse believes that TV shows and movies can often make death look glamorous with peaceful expressions and eyes shut, when in reality people are unprepared for how a dying person physically looks, she said. Usually people’s eyes are open or partially open.
Sometimes eye color can appear to change, the jaw drops down with mouth agape, and the skin can become waxy, appearing gray or yellow. Most of the time, the dying process can be frightening to see happen to your person, although this is normal understanding that helps remove the fear. Don’t be afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. People usually know that they’re dying. We live in our bodies.
We know when they’re changing. Educating people on what it’s really like to die. What the phases you are most likely to see. The abnormal things that are normal in death and dying. And just broaching that topic makes people feel better.
Says Julie McFadden hospital nurse Julie McFadden has been working as a nurse in hospice care for five years and more than ten as an ICU nurse. And have been thinking about how to share some of what she now knew about death and dying with the world. Like a lot of people, she’d found that because of our cultural reluctance to talk about death or accept it, families weren’t well prepared for the decline of their loved ones. I’ve seen people who are accepting and do come to the reality that I’m going to die. Who knows when, but I am, and it’s so much easier, and they enjoy those last few months, weeks, days.
Acceptance is the answer. Julie considered creating a podcast or a blog, but on a family visit, she discovered TikTok thanks to a tween niece and decided that was a quick and easy platform to get her message across. She added instagram too. She’s found a whole community of death duels and hospice nurses she’s connected with on the platforms, all with a common goal of opening conversations about death in just a few weeks.
McFadden quickly gained more than tens of thousands of followers and many times as likes her most popular topics include why patients should not receive intravenous fluids at life’s end, how hearing is the last sense to leave us, and how most see people they’ve lost in dreams and visions shortly before they die.
She says her experience as a hospice nurse made her personally less fearful of death. If you just let nature take its course, it’s really peaceful and natural, and that’s why I don’t fear death anymore, because I see those things. McFadden says she loves her hospice care work now because as an ICU nurse, she saw so much suffering. The end result was the same, which was they die, but it was way more drawn out. For the most part.
Doctors and nurses, including myself, were not good at having open conversations about what was really happening. No one wanted to broach the topic of, hey, is this person really going to make it out of here? And if they do, what’s their quality of life going to look like? There’s a time and place for the ICU. We helped a lot of people, but I think people would choose going home if they knew the end result was death.
Either way. McFadden says working as a hospice nurse has given her new appreciation of the human body’s capacity to take care of us and death, to watch the body take care of this person and allow them to naturally, peacefully pass. Just seeing that time and time again, it was just, wow, it feels magical that we even biologically and chemically have a body that can do that for us. To me, it’s just like, wow. McFadden says families can start conversations about death by just having one person willing to start, by sharing their own wishes for the end.
It’s inevitable. We’re all going to die. I think it’s insane, but we’re all like, EW, no one wants to talk about it. I’ve just seen time and again that the families and patients that are willing to talk about it willing to go there but they have a better experience with the death. The death that’s inevitable.
Seeing a dead relative or Pet penny notes that right before dying, a patient will claim to see their dead relative or pet near them, putting their arms into the air. The hospice nurse described how patients will usually put their arms up as if they’re waiting for a spirit to come get them right before death. Sharing their Regrets penny says almost all patients share their regrets in life, such as working too much or not spending enough time with family. Not eating. The nurse adds that when someone is close to death, they stop eating because they don’t believe they need to fuel their body any longer.
Speaking to the sun in November last year, Julie explained what she enjoys the most about her job. The best part about my job is educating patients and families about death and dying, as well as supporting them emotionally and physically. Also, helping them to understand what to expect is another part of my job as a hospice nurse. There’s something most people say before they die, and it’s usually I love you, or they call out their mum or dad who have usually already died. That they have not fruitfully spent their life is the regret that they have for many of their last days of life interviews I had with many.
This regret they can get over only if they have helped deserving but economically non affluent people to come up in life or contributed to better environmental enhancement. Not doing and living up to their goals and dreams. They regret not letting the people they truly love know what they really felt about them or experience with them. This lesson should try to strive for non regret. Enjoy and love life as it comes.