One Last Opportunity

Posted on March 17, 2012 by


Working in nursing homes, I noticed that it wasn’t uncommon for people to have a swift burst of energy just before dying.  Terminal men and women who were lethargic or unresponsive suddenly wanted to sit up, get up, or even try to walk around.  Close friends and family members were elated, only to come in the next day and find that their loved one had declined and died shortly afterwards.

It reminded me of a light bulb at the end of its life – how it gets a blast of intense light just before fizzling out.  One scientific explanation of the death of a light bulb states:

When the tungsten in the light bulb filament reaches the point where it cannot handle the current anymore, because too much of it has vaporized off, it momentarily has a higher amount of current go through it, just before it separates (burns out). From many hours of giving a steady glow, it dies in a last burst of energy flowing through it – more energy than it can handle.

When someone who was dying experienced this I always had an urge to tell their loved ones not to miss saying something important – maybe one last goodbye while they were lucid and alert.