A Hospice Nurse Breaks Taboos by Openly Talking About Death

By Rachel Puryear

One of the most difficult subjects for people to talk about is death, despite its absolute universality. People are often afraid for their own deaths, as well as the deaths of loved ones. Indeed, the unknown nature of death and dying, as well as the lack of conclusive evidence of an afterlife or continued consciousness, is frightening to most people.

What if you could receive some insight into death and dying from people who witness it all the time, however? There is a hospice nurse who shares her own experience with the world, to give us all a glimpse into this mysterious, and final, spiritual event in this life.

One hand holding another over a bed, with special lighting effects. By Sharon McCutcheon.

Julie McFadden shares her extensive observations about death and dying on TikTok. Through her work as a hospice nurse, she has taken care of many people during their final days before they cross over to the other side.

Common phenomenon that McFadden shares that she has observed frequently in people near the end of their lives includes the following:

  • “The Rally”: People having sudden bursts of energy, lucidity, and good spirits which last for a little while, but occur shortly before people die. Sort of a one last good round before they go. My grandmother had this – on her last day, she enjoyed a fun and active day of shopping and socializing with loved ones; then came home later that day, laid down on the couch for a nap, and never woke up.
  • Reporting seeing predeceased loved ones: A short time before people die – sometimes hours, or sometimes days or a few weeks – they may report seeing their loved ones who have already passed away, and they may say that these dead loved ones are coming to get them. They dying person usually takes comfort in this. Medical scientists indicate that activity occurring in the brain when a person nears death explains this phenomenon naturally; while many spiritual people believe that these occurrences are a sign that an afterlife exists, consciousness survives physical death, and that we join our loved ones in the afterlife. I don’t think these two viewpoints need to be mutually exclusive, and one can overlap both these camps.

Much gratitude to Nurse McFadden for shedding more light on this mysterious, often-scary (although it doesn’t need to be), and incredibly important topic. I hope insight from those who witness death all the time helps more people come to terms with it, and have less fear themselves around death and dying.


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to an open mind about what lies beyond, and striving for a life well lived in the meantime. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you do not do so already. xoxo

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