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:


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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:

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