Dying People Can Hear You

Dying People Can Hear You

When you visit somebody you care about on their deathbed, don’t be fooled by what you see. The person lying there may look totally incoherent, but they can probably hear everything going on in that room.

Photo by Tim Samoff.

What It Feels Like To Die

Death comes for us all here on Earth at a rate of nearly 7000 people every hour. Yet, despite its inevitability, most of us know very little about the experience. This is what happens to your body and mind as you slip away -- and it's not as frightening as you might think.

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There’s a lot going on when someone’s body is in the process of shutting down. They don’t want to eat or drink, they’re tired, they can’t speak, they can’t see, and so on. But there’s one sense that tends to stick around longer than the others: Hearing. A Lifehacker reader and retired nurse reached out to me after I wrote a piece on what death feels like to remind me why it’s important people know that:

When a person is dying the hearing is always there. So, be careful what you say and make your words count when a person is dying. There should be no idle conversations about the person whom is dying in the same room. Take the conversation outside — way outside — so they cannot hear you or anyone else. Always use kind endearing words, and tell the person you love them.

So, as weird as it might seem, try to treat them as if they were awake. Talk to them normally, keep the scary, morbid, depressing talk to a minimum (even if you’re talking to someone else), and be mindful of what you put on the TV. The last thing someone wants to hear before they slip into the great beyond is The Big Bang Theory.


  • And do know that after they die, they can still hear you, and feel your love for them.

    No, I’m not a religious zealot, there’s a ton of evidence for life after death.

    • there’s a ton of evidence for life after death.

      No there isnt. There is no scientifc evidence what so ever. Anecdotal evidence is not factual evidence.

      Once the brain ceases to function, Nothing happens. Without a functioning brain, You cannot process external stimuli. Stop peddling pseudoscientific crap.

      • I used to think that, back when I was a card carrying Mensan chess playing, skeptical computer geek, gazing with disbelief at religious hypocrisy. And I still am, mostly.

        But somehow during my reading, I came across things like Past Life Regression, Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, Shared Death Experiences, etc. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t dismiss the evidence. I read widely, looking for refutals, but couldn’t find any.

        So I’ve changed my mind.

        If I find new evidence that allows me to dismiss the above, I’ll happily go back to being a skeptic.

        Until then, I will ALWAYS follow where the evidence leads. Here, as in all matters.

        • All those experiences are a result of chemical reactions in the brain. In those traumatic times, Peoples brains are flooded with chemicals causing hallucinations resulting in those experiences. Thats the evidence right there. People who go through near death experiences experience a lot of mental and physical trauma which messes with their head resulting in a false sense of reailty. They cant process what actually happened, So they use their religous background to explain it.

          Also, Just because you cannot disprove something. Does not make it true.

          Here are some great articles on the matter:




          You arent seeing an afterlife, Your brain is messing with you by releasing various chemicals resulting in hallucinations.

          • Yo, death is a hard thing for most of us, and really difficult to come to terms with. Let people deal with the concept in their own way. If that way involves believing in an afterlife, just let them. There’s no need to spread further despair around something that already makes people sad.

          • No, I hate people who think peddling psedoscientific crap to make people feel better, It makes you scummy frankly. People need to accept this is the only life they have and they should live it to the fullest.

  • What about athiests who have NDEs? Or those who believe they’re going to hell, and have heavenly NDEs? Or the opposite?

    You still haven’t explained Shared Death Experiences.

    I’ve read all those arguments you mention. Sure, they’re good points, which is why NDEs aren’t proof. They’re good indicators that may or may not be legit.

    Explain SDEs to me and you have my ear!

    • What about athiests who have NDEs? Or those who believe they’re going to hell, and have heavenly NDEs? Or the opposite?

      Irrelevant, As i explained above.

      You still haven’t explained Shared Death Experiences.

      Because they are explained by the same evidence i mentioned above

      I’ve read all those arguments you mention. Sure, they’re good points, which is why NDEs aren’t proof. They’re good indicators that may or may not be legit.

      They arent “Points”, They are factual medical science. You are ignoring factual proven science and believing the unproven words of some loons who were high on chemicals their brains produced. People who have NDE’s or SDE’s are no different to drug addicts who claim they have seen another dimension

      You and the loons you believe have NO scientifically proven evidence whatsoever proving your claims.

  • There are none so blind as those who won’t see. You obviously haven’t looked into SDEs, otherwise you wouldn’t have claimed to have disproven it already.

    Enough. I have better things to do with my time.

    • Ed, you are free to believe whatever you so choose. That is your right. But when you use words like “evidence” when clearly you don’t have any it makes you sound like a crackpot.

      Chemicals in the brain creating a sense of foreboding, elation or any other worldly or non worldly sensation during times such as NDE is something that can be observed and measured in a scientific sense.

      What you are saying cannot.

  • So how do you explain SDEs? Again, neither of you are willing to answer my question.

    And you’re not willing to even do a little research.

    So I’ll make it easy for you:





    Just so that you don’t ignore those as well, I’ll spell it out for you in simple words.

    You dismiss NDEs,, saying they are just brain chemical tricks because somebody is close to death. So how do you dismiss SDEs where several other people who are in the same room, AND NOT CLOSE TO DEATH THEMSELVES, witness similar phenomena?

    Do you have open minds, or are you totally unwilling to address evidence?

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