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The Dying Experience


This information comes from a booklet called Gone From My Sight, the Dying Experience; this is only the introduction and the main points.  The booklet itself goes into more detail, if you would like a copy of the entire booklet you can get a copy from Solomon Valley Hospice.





Each person approaches death in their own way, bringing to this last experience their own uniqueness.  What is listed here is simply a guideline, a road map.  Like any map there are many roads arriving at the same destination, many ways to enter the same city.


Use this guideline while remembering there is nothing concrete here; all is very, very flexible.  Any one of the signs in this booklet may be present; all may be present; none may be present. For some, it will take months to separate from their physical body, for others only minutes.


Death comes in its own time; in its own way.


Death is as unique as the individual who is experiencing it.


If the following signs were to be put on a time table, a very flexible time table, we could say these changes begin one to three months before death occurs.  The actual dying process often begins within the two weeks prior to death.  There is a shift that occurs within a person which takes them from a mental processing of death to a true comprehension and belief in their own mortality.  Unfortunately, this understanding is not always shared with others.



Summary of Guidelines


One to Three Months

·   Withdraw from the world & people

·   Decreased food intake

·   Increase in sleep

·   Going inside of self

·   Less communication


One to Two Weeks

·   Disorientation

-   Agitation

-   Talking with the unseen

-   Confusion

-   Picking at clothes

·   Physical

-   Decreased blood pressure

-   Pulse increase or decrease

-   Color changes, pale, bluish

-   Increased perspiration

-   Respiration irregularities

-   Congestion

-   Sleeping but responding

-   Complaints of body tired & heavy

-   Not eating, taking little fluids

-   Body temperature hot/cold

Days or Hours

·   Intensification of one to two weeks signs

·   Surge of energy

·   Decrease in blood pressure

·   Eyes glassy, tearing, half open

·   Irregular breathing, stop/start

·   Restlessness or no activity

·   Purplish knees, feet, hands, blotchy

·   Pulse weak and hard to find

·   Decreased urine output

·   May web on stool or bed



·   “Fish out of water” breathing

·   Cannot be awakened


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