Ep. 401 End-of-Life Visions and Other Experiences with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn about “non-ordinary” end-of-life experiences like deathbed visions and why they are a gift to patients and their loved ones.

This week I’m welcoming back my recurring guest Barbara Karnes RN, hospice nurse and international speaker and educator. She is also the author of the “little blue hospice book” Gone from My Sight and the recent book for caregivers, By Your Side. Barbara and I discuss common phenomena that occur during the last days of life that can be upsetting to families if they don’t understand what’s happening. As usual we share lots of stories and experiences along with our own approach to handling these situations. Learn more about Barbara’s work at her website:


Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The frequency of unexplained phenomena at the end of life
  • What it’s like when a patient experiences a deathbed vision
  • The symbolic language that patients may use prior to death
  • What is terminal lucidity and how to help loved ones understand what is happening
  • How to respond to patients and caregivers when deathbed phenomena occur
  • Why it’s important to validate and normalize these experiences
  • Why we should avoid interjecting our own beliefs and interpretations about these events
  • How to help loved ones find the gift in these experiences rather than be afraid of them

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes. Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my latest patron Stefanie Elkins! Your contributions make all the difference.

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 95 Deathbed Dreams & Visions: Review of Research with Chris Kerr MD

Learn how a fascinating research project with hospice patients is uncovering the mysteries of deathbed experiences.


christopherKerrITIn this episode I will share an interview with hospice physician Chris Kerr MD who is conducting a research project on the dreams and visions of his patients as they near death. You’ll hear the results of his ongoing project and how this work is helping to inform medical professionals about the end-of-life experiences of their patients.


This podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series are supported in part through generous donations to my page at Patreon.com/eolu! This week I would like to thank Cathy Duke for her donation, along with all of the other patrons who have offered their support over the past year.

Patreonbecome2xAND all patrons will now be able to take part in a monthly “hangout” called Hospice Happy Hour as a thank-you gift for donating to the cause. When you become a patron you will receive email instructions for taking part in the call. Go to Patreon.com/eolu if you would like to make a donation (just $1 or $2 per month!)

In this interview hospice physician Dr. Christopher Kerr will share his research on deathbed visions and dreams of patients at the end of life. He will enlighten us about the potential for healing that resides in these experiences and why we should encourage patients to talk about them. We’ll discuss:

  • how he conducts his research project,
  • the nature of the dreams experienced by his patients
  • what he has learned from this work.

Christopher W. Kerr, MD is a practicing Internist in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Kerr graduated from Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in 1989 and has been in practice for 27 years. He currently practices at Hospice Buffalo and is affiliated with Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Erie County Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute.

He recently entered the public forum with his extraordinary 2015 TED talk, and is frequently interviewed in the media about his work with the dreams and visions of the dying.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of EOLU! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.                         BE Ready.                          Love Your Life.