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Categories: Supernatural

Your Senses Shut Down In A Specific Order When You’re On Your Death Bed

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There's a lot of mystery and mysticism around the concept of death. This isn't really surprising, given that it's a major aspect of life. It's something we spend years, even decades, preparing for, something our whole lives lead up to, of course, it's looked at with a mix of awe and fear when we don't understand everything surrounding it.

What we do know is a lot of the biological processes that come before, during, and after death, the way our body reacts to the experience of dying. This includes our senses and the ways in which they become lost as we die.

Our Final Days

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It's not uncommon for people to think that death is one swift moment. A snap of the fingers, then it's over, your brain and body calling it quits. Little do most people know that there really is a process behind it, steps that your body must go through before it shuts down completely.

One aspect of that process is the senses, as they all fade away very differently. Not only that, but they do it in a specific order, leaving you with one final sense before it all disappears.

A palliative-care specialist at Stanford University named James Hallenbeck wrote in his book Palliative Care Perspectives about the way and order in which dying patients will lose their senses amidst the end of their lives.

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Hunger And Thirst

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First up is hunger and thirst, the sense that Hallenbeck claims the majority of dying people lose first. You see this often in older and sick patients, the frequent turning away of food and insistence that they aren't hungry.

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Hallenbeck says this is because a dying body doesn't require the same vitamins or nutrients that a healthy body does. It also doesn't need any supply of energy, such as food or drink, as it's already shutting down; it doesn't have the intent to keep going.

A dying body will also generally have a harder time digesting food anyway, so it's easier to sever the hunger tie altogether at that point.

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Speech

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Next up is speech. Hallenbeck notes that patients' speech will begin to slow, degrade, or even seem nonsensical as their brains begin to slow down.

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It also becomes very tiresome to talk at all, requiring a lot of physical energy and brain power, so patients will often stop communicating entirely, especially when they spend more time sleeping or unconscious while in the final days of life.

This also extends to breathing, which, like speaking, will become slow and shallow the more energy it takes to do.

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Vision

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Then there's vision. Whether you've dealt with poor vision your whole life or maintained a perfect 20/20 track record, your sight will eventually start to fade. It'll grow darker until you can only see what's nearby, straining to see even familiar items.

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Muscle tone will also decrease, meaning a patient's eyes will be closed or half-lidded more often as it becomes harder to keep them open. Losing one's sight can also mean being unable to track what's happening around them, experiencing hallucinations and a glassy or glazed look in their eyes.

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Touch

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This sense often goes very close to the actual moment of passing, still able to feel the touch of their loved ones until they go comatose, but not entirely. At this point, they've likely lost the ability to feel pain, their body now accepting that it's time to go.

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As it is one of the last senses, and the one that can't become easily scrambled by the brain, Hallenbeck says it's likely the last thing dying people experience is any hold, touch, hug, or otherwise their loved ones give in those final moments.

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Hearing

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Though, technically, hearing is the actual last sense that fades away at a patient's death. Before they fully die, they'll enter a comatose state in which they're no longer able to interact or respond to the world as it's happening around them. It's here that their brain is processing things much differently than it usually does.

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However, through it all, they can still hear, as proven by a 2020 study in Scientific Reports. Neuroscientists at the University of British Columbia used EEG indices to measure the activity in the brains of dying patients. When comparing this activity to that of healthy participants, they found that it was strikingly similar, especially when it came to how they responded to audio stimuli.

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At The End Of Life

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Thinking about dying in any respect is never easy, but knowing these things and having a better understanding of what happens can help alleviate some of the mystery and help people feel less nervous about the experience.

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Demystifying and understanding the realities of death prevent us from living in complete fear. It will always remain a scary thing, but even a scary thing you know can be more comforting than a scary thing you don't.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He's a strong believer in using one's beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer. He can't wait to share his insights with an audience who wants to foster change and betterment within themselves. Outside of writing, Dan enjoys reading tarot cards, playing video games, all things horror, coffee, and his cat!

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

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