Death is a slippery slope for most of us. Many of us are quite secure in our faith and spirituality that when our time comes to leave this dimension. I think that spiritual security does as much for the living as it does for the dearly departed. Still, death is such an unknown that we, as humans, can't help but reflect on it from time to time.

Even those of us that are most secure in where the next path leads wouldn't mind hearing from someone who has been there before. The problem with that postulate is this, very few people ever recover from death.

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Death is such a prevailing thought in our culture many of us plan for it years in advance. We plan our final services, we contemplate what we'd like to have printed on our gravestone, we even think about what our last words might be.

But despite all of our planning, often the last words that are spoken by someone who is "joining that innumerable caravan, which moves to that mysterious realm, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death" are nothing they have planned at all.

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Julie McFadden is a nurse at a hospice center. Hospice care involves "end of life care" for those that are terminally ill or facing a life-ending condition. Hospices provide a degree of kindness, comfort, and respect that we all deserve not only at the end of our days but throughout our time on the planet.

Julie, who is on TikTok as @hospicenursejulie uses that social media platform to discuss and educate people on hospice care and end of life care in general. One of the questions she was asked was about people's final words.

McFadden suggested through her TikTok page that in the final minutes of life a majority of people simply speak out and say " I Love You" or they call out to their Mother or Father, who have quite often proceeded them in death. The saddest part of these final words is that quite often the people who should and need to hear them are not there to listen.

So, maybe this holiday season, when you're gathered with family and friends and you contemplate who may or may not be making an appearance around your holiday table next year take a minute and let them know how you feel. It never hurts to say I love you one more time and maybe, just maybe, they'll still be around for next year's holiday season and you can say it again.

But as for me, I will lean on the comforting words of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, "I'm not scared of dying and I don't really care. If it's peace you find in dying, well, then let the time be near"

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