There is a distinct odor to imminent death.  I know that smell.  I have seen patients come in to the hospital extremely ill, with such problems as sepsis, pneumonia, pancreatitis, etc and the really sick ones are usually unconscious.  When you walk in the room, there is a smell -- I don't know quite how to explain it.  But I call it the smell of death.  It is definitely a sickening smell... not quite like urine or stool... just something different. 
 
I've seen a few patients come to the hospital with that odor.. and they would usually die within days.  Sometimes, in the ED, I can walk past a room and know that patient will not live long.  I wonder if others have noticed this...
 
Tonight was really tough.  Saw a 94 year old patient come in the  UTI and ended up having a massive MI while admitted and a Code Blue was called.  CPR was done for over 20 minutes... he was moved to the ICU and I know he will never wake up. 


Comments

  • sweetiedoc said Apr 13, 2007...
    The patient above died the next day...
  • momsrock said Apr 14, 2007...
    My mother has been a nurse for 20 years and has always said the same thing.... there is a smell and she just knows they will not make it.
  • KathQuiet said Jan 8, 2008...
    I do know the smell.  If you're attentive, which I guess I just naturally am, you smell it long, long before death really comes.  My father died very recently and the odor in his room at the care center was pungent, nearly putrid, permeating and heavy.  The thing is, I smelled death a good six or more months ago, very faintly, before any of us knew he had multiple myeloma, before he opted out of treatment.  The smell became stronger and stronger, being all but overbearing the last night of his life.  It was enmeshed in my clothes, hair and skin.  Two days after wearing the clothes, when I went to launder them, the smell was still unmistakably distinct. 
  • KathQuiet said Jan 31, 2008...
    Yes, the odor of imminent death is far different from the odor of dead and decaying flesh. The operator of the home where my father died said she once smelled a strong scent of roses around a dying woman and that it lingered for many days afterward.  It seems sort of morbid to write so freely about it, but it's fascinating, to me anyway.  I also like the early warning aspect of it.  I've caught a tiny whiff around my mother - different from Dad's - shortly after my father's funeral.  I'm guessing about 18 months.  Her condition has become fragile, but she is to rally yet, I believe.  Yet I know to shower her with love and attention while I still have the chance.  
  • piepie said Apr 27, 2008...
    my husband died of cll about three weeks befor he die he had this really bad smell not from the skin but it seemed like it was comming from in side of him and when he breathed you could smell it
  • KathQuiet said Apr 27, 2008...
    Oh piepie, I am truly sad for your loss.  While the death of loved ones is a fact of life very few escape, it is not easy to bear, especially when our loved one suffers in the process.  The finality is only slightly relieved by the knowledge that peace replaced suffering.  The odor you write of is indeed that of impending death.  The woman at the private care home discussed it at length with me, noting that it is different-but-same between people.  Terminal cancer, I am convinced, has its own unique odor, common between both humans and animals.  It's a distinct inside-out odor.  However, the upside is that if we recognize it, the death odor gives us an early warning that it's time to gather close and feed the soul of the dying with good things.  Words of love, remembrances of the good things they did, stories of pleasant times together, knowledge that their soul is worthy.  Take care, piepie. 
  • Carley2ca said May 21, 2008...
    I'm glad I found this forum. I have been searching for explanations on the smell of death as well. I noticed that when my father was close to death there was an odour about him. It was just a sweet rather heavy odour, not unpleasant. I kept asking my sister but she didn't smell it. He was just about 97 and was dying, basically, of old age, there was no illness. When we went recently to visit a friend who was dying and, again, I noticed an odour. She did have cancer and was jaundiced, she died about 5 days later.
  • KathQuiet said May 21, 2008...
    Did you notice the difference between the cancered dying person's odor and the non? I think some people are more receptive to it. I knew Dad had cancer a year or more before it was diagnosed, but he wouldn't hear of it and chose to let it be anyway when the myeloma was diagnosed.
  • Carley2ca said May 24, 2008...
    This does seem like a morbid topic doesn't it! I do find it very interesting though. Yes, I found the two odours similar but slightly different, just sweet, not unpleasant. My husband's uncle passed away yesterday and when we saw him last Monday, I did not notice an odour, mind you we were only there for a very few moments. Our experience with our father's death was very poignant and special. We were lucky that he had lived for longer than most people live so we didn't have that horrible grief that comes with untimely death. We basically moved into the hospital with him and were with him 24/7. Even though we did not have time to get him into the hospice the hospice workers gave us some invaluable books to explain the process. The booklet was called Journey's End. When we finally got it (after my sister had a 3am meltdown) it answered so many questions. We realized that what we had been witnessing were all signs of the death process and it made it so much easier. Call me crazy but I think when I am done raising my children and am retired I would like to work in a hospice and help families through the process.
  • Anangel said Jul 17, 2008...
    I believe the smell is like a ( sweet,plastic/rubber,menthol) I smell this smell before any animal that im caring for dies, so i keep the animal very close, my sons friend (18y/old) smelt like this before he was rushed into hospital he now has diabeties, (He nearly died) the smell seemed to clear until the other day, the smell seems to get worse when he speaks to me, i am so worried for him, as i believe it starts when the body starts to shut down, can anybody relate to this?
  • KathQuiet said Jul 20, 2008...
    Yes, I can.  Interesting that diabetes is the subject.  My older son developed diabetes just before his fourth birthday.  I had a clue something was wrong when his first taste of cotton candy made him violently ill.  It took a few more weeks of progressive symptoms before I had the awful realization that it might be diabetes, based on a public-information campaign on a paper grocery bag.  A Kaiser nurse was very callous about the situation when I called, but the pediatrician took immediate action as soon as he saw the message.    Now, for your friend's son:  18 months is a very young age and makes keeping control very difficult because he can't communicate as well the way his body feels.  Adults and older children must be very alert and watch for the symptoms relentlessly, one of which is the sweet odor you mentioned, which could be ketones, a byproduct of inefficient sugar metabolism (too little insulin) or of the body turning to its own internal stores (first glycogen stored in the liver, then other organs' cells), which can be a result of rebounding from too much insulin or not enough food.  How is the baby's control?  I hope they're doing finger-poke tests every two hours and urine dip tests twice daily, and charting the results so the doctor can analyze trends and adjust dosage. He needs to snack often to maintain a level blood glucose at a very active age, otherwise he is likely to have an insulin reaction, which can range from being ketonic, to seizures and coma.    I don't believe the baby is dying, but understand your fear. I was convinced my son was short of this world when he was newly diagnosed and also worried that they'd missed pancreatic cancer.  Luckily, Kaiser provided us the best of treatment through the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, which included people on call 24 hours a day to calm fears, answer questions and assist with home-treatment difficulties.    Diabetes is very controllable these days; my son is now 25 and lives normally with routine self treatment. He has had seizures and survived them because I knew what to do, thanks to the BDC, and because a caring friend knew what to do, thanks to listening to my son talk about his illness.    Hang in there and love that baby.  He will be okay with lots of help from grown ups who make his illness a priority in their lives. 
  • Nickea said Aug 22, 2008...
    My friend babysits two two year old twins and says the one smells like death. This woman used to be an EMT (worked on Ambulances) and like many people in the health care proffesion who work with terminally ill people, she used to smell death when she worked there too. She also is in touch with things most people aren't, like spirits and premonitions and such. The father of the two year old also smells it, as he mentioned he had tried to wipe her up, but she still smelled, would my friend maybe give the girl a bath for him.. .. she did, and the smell improved, but was far from gone. The other twin, smells fine and they don't appear to have hygiene issues.. .. .. Also, my friend has a ghost in her house that she calls the "lady in the hall" and her 4 year old has seen it too. My friend doesn't talk about it to her son, the boy just brought it up on his own that she was in the hall. Also AGAIN, a picture miraculously fell off my friends hall wall one day and landed on this twin that smells like death. She wasn't seriously injured, but could the ghost, the picture and this death smell be related??? If this two year old smells like death, is she going to die??!! My friend says it's to the point where she can barely hold the kid, but of course, isn't jumping at the thought of suggesting the parents have her checked out because the kid smells like death.. .. Is there any other well known reason why a kid might smell like death??? Or is this little girl going to die?? Any thoughts, feel free to email me nicole_keating@hotmail.com I would love some feedback to share with her!
  • rchmondgrl said Aug 26, 2008...
    I just experienced the death of my father on 8/15/08...at the hospice was myself, his wife (not my mom), and my 2 brothers...his wife and I both smelled a very pungent smell as he got closer to death...even our clothes smelled of it but my brothers never noticed it which is very odd to me...it was such a unique smell, nothing i've ever experienced before but I knew from the smell that death was not far and it proved to be true sadly.
  • dmhca said Aug 26, 2008...
    I posted as anonymous back on Aug. 7th.  Well, my father passed on Aug. 7th, within a few hours of my post.  I think it is related to the body dying inside and the toxins from the battle coming out through the lungs.  I am not sure of this, but that's my guess.I miss my Dad deeply.  I am glad I was there for him at the end, but also wish I didn't have to be the one who noticed the smell, or the one who found him gone.  I was able to whisper prayers and "I love you" and "it's ok to go, if it's time" into his ear.  He seemed to be more at ease with that.  I hope so.  We need to beat this cancer epidemic.  We need that really bad.DMH
  • gypsy0318 said Aug 27, 2008...
    i visited my mother last night, she is 97 and in a nursing home right now for rehabilitation because she fell. while i was close to her i smelled a sweet smell and because they were doing a very good job of keeping her clean i realized that it was the smell of death. i feel very sad today.
  • beachy said Aug 27, 2008...
    rchmondgrl and dmhca, I am so sorry for your loss. I have traveled the road you are on now. I was the anonymous poster on May 30, 2008. I remember all too well listening to my father breathing in the next room, fearing that any minute I would hear it stop. In just a few short months it will be the one year anniversary of his death. This post has nothing to do with the topic really, but I wanted to let you know that while you will always feel the "void" that comes with losing a parent, time will allow you to think of your father and smile (or laugh) instead of cry. I hope you are able to begin the healing process very soon. :)
  • dmhca said Oct 7, 2008...
    anonymous,I am sorry to hear about your loss.  You may have read my posts, so you know I went through a similar time.  I am still going through it, as my Mom is now battling cancer.Like you, I have not been able to get rid of that smell.  Not totally, anyway.  And I think I smell it with my Mom, even though she is doing well.  I know it's now a mental thing.  I can only wish you good luck and stay busy with other things.  I like to train a lot, that keeps me thinking about other things.  Eating well is good too.  Stay away from junk foods.  Detox a little.  It helped me a bit, although not completely. Sincerely,DMH
  • ptshiel said Nov 12, 2008...
    hi my mom is 77 and recently I have noticed a strong and sweet pungent ammonia smell and kind of lingers... it smells bad when she speaks to me she has diabetes,high blood pressure, heart problems also has pacemaker how do you no if thats the smell of death
  • KathQuiet said Nov 12, 2008...
    Sometimes the smell is a tease, a warning, almost; or so I've observed.  Dad had it a good 18 months before he died, but briefly. and its disappearance for a long while lulled us all.  What you describe with your mom could be the death smell...but it could also be the ketone odor of poorly controlled diabetes, which can be very bad, as you know.  It's one of the worst ways for someone to go.  What I suggest is enjoying as much time with your mother as you feel inclined, getting her to repeat family stories, letting her know you love her and that her memory will live on.  Let her return to childishness in some things, if that is what she wants.  The last meal Dad was able to consume was a strawberry milkshake...
  • datkinson said Nov 17, 2008...
    I think I have smelled death coming all of my life. I realized what it was about 15 years ago, I am 44 yrs old. Before someone I love dies, usually about a week before, I get a smell in my bed and around my bed. It's not something I can describe. It always freaks me out. I always tell one person and never anyone that lives in my house. I need to have my experience validated. Last week, for 2 full days, I had the smell in my room, I called my sister immediately and told her about it. My brother died 5 days later. I call it the curse, my friends tell me it's a gift. How do I know the difference? Why did God give me this ability and how and I suppose to know what He wants me to do with it? I have been right so many times that no one thinks I am crazy. I am an emotional wreck by the time the death occurs. Can anyone offer me some advise? Please help.
  • racc00n said Dec 6, 2008...
    I grew up with a lot of animals, and I recognized the smell of death before I even hit puberty. I also recognized that smell before my grandma was admitted to the hospital; in the hospital, the smell of bleach was so strong I couldn't smell that "pungent, sweet smell."  But I swear I smelt it and felt guilty and disgusted about it before my grandma was admitted.  She died within a few hours. Then nothing died around me for a while.  I left my family when I was 16.  I got a small rodent for companionship; but then I went away for Christmas and left my pet with plenty of food and water for two weeks.  Unfortunatelly; it chewed through the water bottle and got very very dehydrated by the time I got back.  It was breathing weakly and quickly, and I can smell that strong, pungent, sweet smell off her -- she died within a few hours.  As I was a teenager by that time, there is no mistaking it.  I was taken aback; shocked.  It's the same smell that I get from my own menstral blood mixed with lightly purfumed pads. I'm now an adult, and I've worked in a very busy emergency animal clinic for  3 years.  On top of death, I have discovered that I can smell ketone, which many vets in my clinic can smell.  Sometimes, before we even order bloodtest, I can just tell that an animal has been diabetic and is suffering from ketone acidosis.
  • slade4422 said Dec 6, 2008...
    My Fiancee has this death smell. She has had it come and go for over a year now. Sometimes when she sweats,sometimes her breathe, and all over. This really worries me. Sometimes it's so strong it's hard to be near her.Can someone please give me some insight.
  • dmhca said Dec 7, 2008...
    There seem to be two different "smells of death" being discussed here. One is ethereal and one is physical. What I experienced with my Dad was a smell from the body actually passing. When the body is so gone inside, it builds up toxins and releases them through the breath and pores. It's not a sign that death may be coming some day... It's the body actually shutting down. It's very disturbing because you definitely know what's coming. The other smell is something I am not familiar with. Smelling a bad smell from a seemingly healthy person and then having them die in an accident or something is not what I experienced.. Not to discount what the other people are saying, it's just two different things. So, I think it's best to clarify.. What I was looking for here, was people who had smelled this physical smell... To make sure I was not imagining it. I have since found other caregivers who have had the same experience, especially with cancer patients. Good luck... and peace be in your heart.
  • datkinson said Dec 7, 2008...
    I agree with anangel on July 17th. The smell I smell is sweet, rubber, plastic. I do not smell menthol. I only have the smell in and around my bed and never in the presence of the person that is going to pass. I posted my first comment on here about this matter on Nov 17th. As I stated, my 47 year old brother died on Nov 9th, 5 days after I smelled the smell in my bed. I knew someone was going to die but did not know who, I never know who it is going to be. My brother died from a narcotic overdose. He was not suffering from a terminal illness. I had not seen him in about 6 weeks. I know the physical smell that some of you describe. I had a cat that had a terrible odor to her one morning and my husband took her to the vet for me, her kidneys had shut down and I think the smell was all the toxins building in her system. We had her put to sleep the same day. The smell in my bed is very different. It always scares the heck out of me and all I can do is just wait on the phone call telling me who passed. Can anyone offer me some insight about this?
  • slade4422 said Dec 8, 2008...
    Well when I know someone is going to pass There is something I can feel as well. This is not what I meant. My fiancee off and on for the past year gives off what I call corps smell even though she is a very clean person. The smell comes from her sweat and her breathe and sometimes it's so potent that it comes even though she has just brushed her teethe and bathed. This is a physical smell. She does not smell it but I assume this is because it is coming from her.I have been pagan most my life and believe me, I do not speak of the ethereal .
  • dmhca said Dec 30, 2008...
    What I smelled with my dad was not really urine smell. Very Very pungent, disturbing. You would know, it's not like a normal bodily odor. I know what you are going through, though. I went through it with my Dad. You should take heart in knowing you are not alone. It is not easy, but you get through it in time. The main thing is that your loved one not suffer. My Dad suffered for a few weeks. We did what we could. But, we always second guess ourselves after. I am still not over it. Wondering if I did things right. If I could have helped him more? Lots of questions and doubts. Try not to fall into that trap. But, if you do, know you are not alone and others are going through the same thing. We had to be very hands on in my Dad's medical care. So it was really tough, emotionally. May God bless you and your Grandmother.
  • dmhca said Jan 5, 2009...
    Yes, for some reason, no one other than myself could smell it. Just before the end, a helper started to smell it also.  My sisters, Mom and wife all missed out on it, lucky them.For some reason, some people don't pick up on it.
  • Canala said Jan 11, 2009...
    I'm not glad to have the ability to smell death. Yet it has come to me many times. I have wondered is it a gift or a curse? I feel like the Ghost Whisperer. How or should I tell loved ones of the dying? It's more than the nursing home smell it's deeper darker and hits you in a second. You just know death is coming. TES
  • suzyq said Jan 18, 2009...
    Hi! I'm glad to have found this post. I've been somewhat psychic all my life. Lots of supernatural experiences. I have been able to smell my dead mother-in-law for a few years. First I thought something was burning. I'd look all over the house and yard for a fire. No fire. Then I realized it smelled like cigarettes. My mother-in-law was a BIG SMOKER! I always hated the smell. But now, whenever I smell that cigarette smell (we don't smoke or allow it in our house), I tell my husband," I smell your mother". He can smell it too, even though he is not psychic. I even smelled my beloved dead dog. I smelled a "wet dog" smell a lot after he died. I had been dreaming about the dog, and seeing glimpses of black (the dog was black) out of the corner of my eye for a while. My husband and neighbor both smelled the cigarette smell and the wet dog smell one day at the same time I did. But now something more disturbing has happenned. My husband is extremely ill. Last evening, I smelled a rotting flesh kind of smell. I looked all over the house for a dead mouse or something. I didn't find anything. My husband and grandson both smelled the same smell when I did. It scares me that it might mean my husband's iminent death. I've known for a long time that he won't be around long. Everyone who knows him and his Dr.'s indicate that they think he doesn't have long. I know it will happen, but it really scares me. Why do I have to be so cursed with all this supernatural stuff? Thanks for letting me vent.
  • tinkerbell said Jan 24, 2009...
    glad i foung this site. my sister died last  november from cancer  and yes i do remember getting a weird smell in her room a few hours (or less) before she passed. my mother had said those words, thats the smell of death, it was a very strange smell nothing like i smelt before, at the time i thought it smelt like a pampon mixed with a very wet babys nappy, no offence guys. never want to experience that again watching someone literally die before your eyes (long story) life is so cruel  
  • KathQuiet said Jan 24, 2009...
    tinkerbell, I sure understand the pain of watching of someone die before your eyes. Dad was such a strong man, so vibrant and active until the cancer took hold, then he withered away to a husk of himself, seeing things from the past actively as if they were happening just then. It broke my heart, but I went along with them to make him happy. I found the smelling of his death a blessing, because it warned me to make some of his last moments special as I could. Not only did I go "back in the ship's galley" with him, I also got to sing to him and to tell him he was a good father who was appreciated and would not be forgotten.
  • datkinson said Feb 2, 2009...
    Canala You can tell who it will be? I don't ever get that knowledge. I think my ability is a curse but people close to me want me to see it as a gift. I am not sure they would think it's a gift if they could smell it themselves.
  • Anangel said Feb 18, 2009...
    Sadly i am having to let you know the smell that i spoke about on the 17th july 2008, has become true my dear friend has died only yesterday, 2 weeks before his 19th birthday..It breaks my heart to have known this was going to happen,
  • Anangel said Feb 18, 2009...
  • Sandy said Feb 18, 2009...
    I posted the post above anonymously and decided to join the site.I wanted to add something...The smell, to me, is nothing like that of a dead animal. Unfortunately, I have smelled dead animals before. The smell of death on a person is totally different, to me, and it creeps me out. Especially when the person is still living.
  • datkinson said Feb 18, 2009...
    I know when I go to bed at night, I usually pray that I don't wake up with THE smell in my bed in the morning. I don't like knowing. I am rarely wrong when I give advise or when I tell how a real life story is going to end, I wonder what I know that others don't. It makes me uneasy but those around me know that when I say it, it's going to go down just the way I said it was. It's like universal knowledge of some kind. Why me???
  • datkinson said Feb 18, 2009...
    I am so sorry "anangel" for you loss and for what you have experienced since July 17th.
  • npyx said Feb 23, 2009...
    i'm sorry for your losses people. no offense, but get a grip already. the people you talk about are sick people. they are probably getting lots of treatment, using lots of medicine, they're spending hours in certain places like hospitals. why do you act like you're having some kind of mystical experience on this "death smell" garbage? if you want to feel special, try to make them feel better while your loved ones are showing signs of defeat.
  • npyx said Feb 24, 2009...
    i see you're so hospitable. well the thing is, you don't want to understand. you want it to put things in a mysterious character. you are not searching for answers. all you say is how it's extraordinary, how special. that's all i mean. sorry if you are offended.
  • gypsy0318 said Mar 5, 2009...
    your father is waiting for everyone to be there. this will make him and everyone feel better. my mother passed away four months after i smelled the smell. she passed after she had seen almost everyone from our family, which totals 50 for immediate family. she mostly waited for her sister who is 95 and lives in another state. she died one hour after she was visited by her sister. i was there with my daughter, granddaughter, and great grandson. we were five generations together at her end. she smiled just before she passed. i miss her very much.
  • momglynis said Mar 5, 2009...
    Im so confused about 15 years ago my grandma passed away I remember going to hug her and wipe her face and literally had to leave the room the smell was so bad I went outside and got sick. I didnt know what that was till just recently. Im really scared because my dad has been sick for a while now is not breathing well a lot of fluid in the lungs been in hospital for a few weeks and this last Monday I smelled that smell again. I have never said anything to anyone because I didnt know what it was. Yesterday while sitting with my dad my brother said he needs to be washed he has a smell. I finally asked do you know what that is and remember it with grandma? He said he thought thats what it was, but didnt think anyone else noticed it. When I smelled that with grandma it was very strong and she passed that night. With my dad its not overly strong I guess Im just wondering how long once you sence that smell, when does death follow. I know noone can tell when it will happen but I wish I knew. The Doctor had said he only had about 2 weeks left in him and he has hung on for almost 4. I dont know if thats bad or good. This may sound crazy but I think he is waiting for everyone to be here I came from outta state and my other brother will be here soon and we told him that he was comming can he be waiting for him? My dad is in such pain and breathing very shallow. Im so confused.
  • radomamm said Mar 6, 2009...
    I just lost my beloved mother a month ago. On the night she passed, I smelled distinct sweet smell and could not figure out what it was. The smell got stronger as she got closer to her death. Now I know what it was. I was in denial of her immenent death. I did not want her to go, but yet I could not bear her suffer. She was 89 years old and lived a full life. We were very lucky to have her this long. She died peacefully of late stage congested heart failure. If I had known what that smell was, I would have told my mom a million more times how much I love her and appreciated her. I miss her terribly. For those who still have their mothers, show and tell them how much you love them and appreciate them as no one kknows when they are taken away from you. ..................I LOVE AND MISS YOU MAMA..........................................
  • KathQuiet said Mar 6, 2009...
    Anangel, I am so sorry for your loss. I've been out of the post a bit; coming back and reading yours just broke my heart. You did have time to love, love, love your friend, though, please, right? 19! My God.
  • KathQuiet said Mar 6, 2009...
    I hope npyx and his anger are gone.  The truth is that not everyone smells the odor of dying.  It's also not the same amongst people.  The woman who runs the care home where my father died tells of a patient she'd had years previous, a devout and very goodhearted person, whose smell of death was very floral.  Dad's was quite pungently not floral, not quite fetid, but overpowering. 
  • rchmondgrl said Mar 15, 2009...
    npyx i don't understand why you are here...i am here a second time...my dad died 8/15/08 and now my mom is in final stages of parkinson's...i'm not looking for mystical answers...just something i wanted clarification on...wasn't that experienced in losing a parent or being at the bedside of someone dying...wondering why i could smell it but my brother's could not...not trying to be rude to you and please do not be rude to me, things are hard for me right now and no, i do not smell that smell around my mom...perhaps not everyone goes thru that...i was actually relieved today to see her and not smell that
  • -clt- said Mar 17, 2009...
    I am so sorry 2 hear of all the passings since my last post (-clt-). I have smelled the smell of death for as long as a month b4 a person died and as little as an hour b4 they passed. I know that those who had the smell longer, and it becomes stronger over time, tended 2 be hanging on 4 a reason. Usually waiting 4 family or 2 finally find peace with the inevitable. When I worked at a nursing home, one of my patients smelled that way 4 a month b4 she died. Her room was right across from the nurses station. At first u could only smell it in her room but after a few weeks that's all you could smell once you entered that wing. She didn't want 2 die until she had her entire family with her. During her last few days she refused 2 sleep because she knew it was coming. She would close her eyes and doze off but never fully relax. I would sit by her side as often as I could and tell her to relax and that it was ok to go. She finally passed on her 100th birthday. Her entire family came 2 see her. They were crammed in her room and flooded the hallway. They brought balloons and flowers. After she saw each one of them, she closed her eyes 4 the last time. In all my years I cannot recall ever seeing anyone as relaxed and at peace as she was when she finally closed her eyes. I hope that when I die I am as at peace as Elsie was. -clt-
  • buddahlina3 said May 2, 2009...
    I can smell death. The smell is very putrid. But i have no idea why i can only smell it and know one else can. I have told only very few of my cvlose freinds and some think im crazy, i thought for a while i was going crazy because i am only 16 its hard for me understand what is going on. But now after this forum, i understand now
  • -clt- said May 2, 2009...
    Several weeks ago while watching CNN Headline News I saw a report on how scientists were training dogs to smell cancer in patients. The demonstration showed how the dogs detected the correct smell every time they were instructed to do so. I looked into it further and found that a dog's sense of smell is hundreds of times stronger than that of a human's. I believe it's completely possible, or more likely probable, that those of us who can smell death have a stronger sense of smell than those who cannot smell death. For example, my husband calls me the human barometer because I can smell rain, my absolute favorite smell, hours before it rains without seeing a weather report. As an aside, I am also legally blind and do not believe that other senses get stronger after losing one. Instead I think we rely on them more than before. Now, back to my hypothesis, what does everyone else think? After all, science has found super tasters, maybe we are all just super smellers?!?
  • grievinggrannync2md said May 4, 2009...
    I am so happy that their are other people out there who have noticed that smell. Back in January my grandmother passed away from acute leukemia and while she was in the hospital that smell was present. My mom told me that weeks before she was hospitalized she complained of her breath being bad and she kept washing her mouth out. While she was in the hospital the smell was faint for a day or so and then on the night before her death it was so thick that you could smell it outside the hospital room. I will never forget that smell as long as I live, it remained in my skin and clothing for what seemed like weeks. Sometimes when I am asleep I swear that I can smell her and her breathing in the room with me, just as she was in the hospital. That was the first time I had ever seen someone transition before and I must say that it is a sweet but draining experience.
  • loolipop said May 19, 2009...
    I could smell an unusal smell when i was sat with my dying dad,he had pancreas cancer he was 67yrs,the smell i can only say was not pungent but made me feel a bit nauseous it was a bit like used teabags!! Then i was talking to someone i know who has liver cancer and is waiting for chemo and i could smell the same smell,what is this smell?
  • one_wired_kitty said May 21, 2009...
    I worked as a nurses aid ... I know of said smell ... said smell would linger around my residents before they would go. Very sad.
  • Sjpowell said Jun 10, 2009...
    I have smelled a peculiar odor for about 3 months. No one else smells it. I smell it at home, work riding in vehicles and standing outdoors. I first attributed it to a new chemical for ac filters, but no one else can smell it. It has an undertone of bleach , pepper and a mixture of floral. Sometimes it is very strong and lingers around me. Other times it is faint. I discarted all artificial fragrances in my house and checked my ac/heating filters. I have a heart disease maybe it is me and I am dying. However, my mother has the same heart disease and last night she opened her bedroom door snd the scent was overpowering. I asked my medical Dr. and he said he soesn't smell me (and he has a sensetive nose). I have tried to remember what embalming fluid smells like. Maybe someone is trying to contact me. I smell it now.
  • Gaillynn said Jun 12, 2009...
    I'm so glad to have read some of these posts. I think some people don't smell this. And maybe some smell it as rancid and others sickly sweet. I smell it as sickly sweet. After being next to a woman who had a heart attack in a 7 11, I smelled this smell, sweet and sickly. It lingered on me and in my car. To be honest I'm not sure it ever left the car. That was my first major experience with it and from that point I can smell it on people who are ill, cats who are ill, and in the homes of people who are dying or who have died. Again, to me it's sickly sweet. Faint. But lingering and impossible to get rid of. It does seem to indicate death or at least a very serious illness. Interesting, some people don't smell it. It has to be something breaking down in the body. It's not a decaying smell. That's a smell of death that comes from being dead and decaying. What I'm talking about is a smell that comes from the alive and dying, and which lingers where they have been. Bed, shoes, bathroom, clothes. There is a slightly mystical aspect to this though, even though I do feel it's a physical by product to a bodily breakdown. Once you get really familiar with the smell, you can sometimes smell it way in advance to the person getting ill. It's in a very small trace that you get just a whif of. And sometimes it comes to mind when you think of someone. That's a bit mystical? Unless we are picking up something subconsciously first. I don't know. It's very distinct though. And once you do identify this smell, you'll recognize it from that point out. Quite often sadly so. My dad just died of cancer, and I could just kick myself for ignoring that smell on him. He had the smell all right. And so did his condo. Very much so. He was diagnosed on the 9th, and passed on the 26th. It was a fast decline.
  • Trevorz said Jun 13, 2009...
    I work in a nursing home and there are moments when staff say to each other 'can you smell death?' Some people are closed off emotionally from others and they don't seem to notice it. The odour is unmistakeable, and I got used to it when my grandad died 20 years ago. Some members of my family still say 'I smelled Grandad again yesterday - he was visiting us'. I smell these 'visitors' in the nursing home as the spirit seems to linger in a confused way as they are so intoxicated with pharmaceuticals at the time of death. To me, the scent is of a flower-festooned body on an Indian cremation pyre. So, what we are smelling is probably the soul or some astral entity partially materialising in the physical. After all, the living have this same spirit inside us, but it is comfortable and has no need to leave the body and cause an aroma. Before death people see their deceased loved ones in the room. I know that this happens. The deceased will visit family members after death. This whole phenomena of life and death is so special that we shouldn't label it as unpleasant. We need to open our hearts to the reality of human existence and accept all phenomena as natural.
  • maxman2 said Jul 9, 2009...
    Right before my mother dies of lung cancer I could smell something like wet newspapers. That is the only way I can describe it. Anyone else?
  • ima said Aug 8, 2009...
    I experienced the smell when our mom passed away this spring. What I observed was definitely not from her breathing, it was from her skin. Definitely not a bad odor at all, just different. My sister and I sat on each side of her bed and held her hand almost constantly for about 4 days before she passed. The odor was faint but definite on my hands after I held hers. My sister did not notice it at all, even after I mentioned it to her. I tend to think it's an odor caused when the body is shutting down. She hadn't been able to eat for a while but did not have I.V.'s etc. There was also kind of a waxy feeling to my hands after I held hers for a long time. Sort of like a lanolin coating on my hands and her skin definitely had that waxy feel. And the odor was on my hands from holding hers. I would say those who said they smelled a foul odor or an ammonia type smell or something from the breath definitely did not experience the same thing I did.
  • Junelle said Aug 14, 2009...
    My mom was in a nursing home and declining . I first smelled this odor I cant place it . It is not pleasent I smells rather ashey. It was in my bedroom i thought it was a mildew smell because i was having a problem with a leak in my ceiling from my apt. Then I smelled it in my car and when i visited my mom two weeks before she died i encountered that strange odor again. Then after she died it continued and stopped. I recently took a trip to california and i smelled it in my motel room in the car i rented and the plane coming back to az. The onlly thing i can think of is that it is my moms presence. They say the death smell can stay a year.
  • Trevorz said Aug 21, 2009...
    I posted a while ago, and I am grateful for info gleaned from posts since. Furthermore, I've found some useful ways of removing 'that smell' for us who work with the dying. I use an American-made 'Seventh generation' laundry product, and add my own tea-tree oil drops to the warm or hot wash. Then I use vinegar instead of softener (same result incidentally) and then dry in the air, not in a dryer. I've also found that for some reason using scented products seems to attract further scent (as a man I generally avoid scents). Like attracts like is an ancient maxim worth remembering. Keep your body and clothes as pure of artificial scents as possible, and wash with pure soap or sorbolene-based products. Eat a plain, macrobiotic diet with brown rice, root veg etc. and minimal meat, and you will find that the mind can tolerate disturbances where it once would not. Blessed be!
  • gljenkins0124 said Aug 21, 2009...
    Thanks for the laundry tip, because the scent I smell does linger in clothing and bedding, even after it's been washed several times. It's such a strange chemical this scent. I'll try your suggestion, as I kept some of my dad's coats and sweaters but can't get that scent out of them.
  • yoopermary said Sep 6, 2009...
    My mother-in-law spent three years here in my house after her debilitating stroke before she died. Nurses and aides were here daily. One of them was a young fullblooded Ojibwe woman and she stopped by after Gladys died. She advised burning cedar to drive off lingering spirits. I kinda don't believe in spirits but what the hey, it seemed like it couldn't hurt. I burned cedar boughs and afterwards the air in the room seemed clean and cheerful.
  • missmac28630 said Sep 8, 2009...
    My husband and I rented this house and in one of the bedrooms it smelled like an old man with body odor. It was renovated, as my husband done the work in lieu of rent. He took out the floorboards, replaced them with new ones, and we completely done the ceiling and walls. We had new carpet installed. Still, that odor lingered. One my hubby's friends use to work at the funeral home and I asked him what it was. He said, "Someone's died in here" and sure enough I found out that the old man that lived there previously had cancer and died in there. That was a very creepy smell, though. It was like a sweet body odor- the smell you smell in rest homes or terminal wings of hospitals.
  • Trevorz said Sep 8, 2009...
    Sometimes burning frankincense resin can help. In ancient days it used to be burned to remove the stench of humanity (including death) and to purify the air of lingering spirits at funerals and battle sites. As is often the case, a perfectly good pagan custom is hijacked by the mainstream religions and turned into something of their own, as is the case here - we find frankinsence burned in RC and Anglican rites - possibly for the same purposes, especially at funerals. I heat a tablespoon on the stove-top and add a small crystal of the resin, and walk the smoke through the house - good for when moving house. Do it to remove your own remnants of scent when you move out, and clear the air of a new home before moving anything in. Similar in spirit to the venerable Ojibwe woman's advice above.
  • sassy_n_u_2009 said Sep 26, 2009...
    My Mother passed away back in 1998 of lung cancer, I do remember a odor that I was not sure of, it was strange to me. Just two days ago my sister dies of the same lung cancer. When I walked into the house and set beside her I could smell a odor like strong urine, was thinking that it was the bag hooked to her. No one else said anything about the smell so I thought it was just me. My daughter reminded me about the odor when my mom was dying..All I know is you have a strong need to leave the house and get fresh air, that is the way I felt about Mom and my sister, like I needed to get fresh air.......It is so confusing to me, I do not want to look like I know when death will arrive, because I don't, all I know is that I didn't like the smell I was smelling and had to leave the house, it was over powering to me and I needed fresh air......My prayers go out to all of you that have gone through this and the ones that still have to endure............
  • christa30 said Oct 2, 2009...
    Thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only one that could smell death. My family makes fun of me because I can smell it before an living thing passes and always could since I could remember, I am so glad I am not the only one. I call the smell bittersweet and the smell makes me sick. I really hate the smell. To the lady that can smell rain, I can to before it rains and I do love that smell also:)
  • ladybug67 said Oct 28, 2009...
    My mom is still living and had her appendix rupture in June and had to have surgery. She is completely healed according to her doctor. The healing process took two months and she is getting ready to have a hip replacement done. I smell a strong smell of ammonia and something else when her door is open to her room it penetrates throughout the house (It smells horrible) I am afraid it smells like death to me and I say this because it smells like a nursing home. She is very sensitive to anything you say to her so I have to be careful with my words. Is there anything I can do and should I be worried? ladybug67
  • Trevorz said Oct 28, 2009...
    Just to ease your fears a little - most, if not nearly all elderly folk in homes and hospitals have an altered thermostat (whatever the technical term is!) and they have windows shut and heating on high for extended periods even in the heat. They still feel cold despite this. There is a horrible feeling of staleness in the air of their rooms because of this, and it may account for one of the nasty smells? Fresh air is helpful, though it is near impossible to convince a frail 90y/old that her room is stifling her.
  • mystical_rains said Nov 5, 2009...
    I know the smell of death in hospital rooms as people who are elderly's body processes begin to cease and their kidneys make less urine. I have noticed that it takes on a brownish color before a person who has a catheter passes on. I have noticed it in different ways over the years in people who are dying. I cannot describe it and yet I cannot ever forget it. It smells of like something beginning to decompose with a perspiration (not like B.O. stench) like tinge to it. I am not sure if it makes sense because it is as though there is something that is common in it among the people I have watched slip away but there is a personal kind of element to it as well. Almost as though if the person is close to you, you notice more of the physical characteristics of pallor, breathing and what I would even call a death rattle in the last breaths they take before expiring. The smell is unmistakably the same but with a different nuance that I would call unique to that person somehow. I also have noticed when my husband and I have gone to the mausoleum where my mother-in-law cremated remains are kept in a niche, that there is a distinctive smell there. Other people tell me that it's mildew but I know it to be the sickening, nauseating smell of decay. They say that you cannot smell the decomposition that takes place because of the marble slabs but I know what I am smelling is death. Come on, there are caskets slid into a space and the 'marble slab' has not been put into place yet. I know that smell! I don't mean to get gross but once when I was with my daddy when I was a kid, we went raccoon hunting at night and came to a field of cows. We were near a creek that ran through the field we were in and suddenly he said to me "You smell that'? I told him that I could and it was the worst smell I had ever smelled in my life and I was about 10. He told me that we were down wind of a cow that had passed on and we were smelling it. I smelled that in the mausoleum later in life and every once in a while when I have been with people who are dying. It's a bit unnerving to smell that odor and know what is coming next.
  • tskfrc58 said Nov 5, 2009...
    Twice in my life have i noticed that smell...and i would describe it as yes, both sweet and unpleasant at the same time, sort of like wet, mildewed and week-old grass from under a lawnmower that hasnt been cleaned properly.   The first time  i didnt really understand what it was i was smelling, as it was in the presence of my grandfather back in 1995. I was stationed down in north carolina with the US Marines and had come home on leave around june. I had lived with my grandfather for several years before joining the marines, and never did i notice anything near to what that smell was. My grandfather was actually on the mend from a pretty bad car accident over the winter that messed him up a good bit...fractured ankle, collapsed lung and several broken ribs. He was pretty mobile by that time, and actually told me he was feeling better than he had in years (long time asbestos and emphesema from welding 30 years at Electric Boat in Groton, CT).    I ended up going back down to NC at the end of 2 weeks, and shortly after i returned...another two weeks...my mother called me to tell me my grandfather was dying....apparently the doctors had missed something in his colon from a previous colonoscopy...and he had terminal stage cancer of the colon and liver. The marines refused emergency leave for me, so i was not there when he died. from what my family tells me he was jaundiced, but died peacefully.   The second time, and the reason i came searching for something to reinforce my sanity, was earlier tonight. My wife and i care for her father, who is 79, a diabetic, and has been recently ill...we arent sure if its a stomach bug, the swine flu, or what...but he hasnt been out of bed more than a few minutes in the apst two days. Tonight he fell trying to make it to the bathroom and has been nauseas and vomiting. he refuses to go to the ER, but we got him to agree to go to his doctor 1st thing in the morning.   i myself and running a fever, bronchitis, and likely was exposed to the swine flu yesterday morning as i work in a public location where one person who actually has h1n1 was in our waiting room all of eight feet from where i was working. The fever came on in the last few hours, and im off to bed here shortly, but that smell was entirely unnerving....and no it wasnt soiled clothing, he had a urine container handy for just such situations....but that sweet-rotten smell was heavy in the air in his bedroom, and its scaring the hell out of me. -Justin in WV
  • tskfrc58 said Nov 5, 2009...
    Yes..i mstill awake...and did a little digging around on the topic of "Fetor Hepaticus" that someone posted further up....guess it has something to do with liver failure and the way the body excretes the stuff the liver is no longer removing. It makes sense to me now with my grandfather's liver shutting down with his cancer...and im hoping to hell that thats not what my wife's father has, but that smell jogged my memory of my experience 14 years ago...and im still worried about it.
  • Tryingtounderstand said Nov 7, 2009...
    I too can smell death. I have for years now. As I get older it seems to get more defined. Never knew why. I can be any where not just in a hospital. I also can sense death with people that are close to me somehow. Not sure whats up with that. But every time I sense or smell it, it happens. With the smells when I walk close to some one or within their smell area I can tell who it will be. But with the sense, if its someone close I can't always tell. If the sense is strong I know it will be really close within my little group of friends or family. If its not strong it is usually someone that extends outside of that group, like your friend's uncle died who I knew but real well, etc. It's very strange, never done much research on it before. I just lost my Dad and buried him yesterday. And I sensed he was going to die when he went into the hospital and I wasn't at the hospital yet. And as soon as I entered the room I could smell it. I knew what was going to happen and seen what was happening and tried to get the doctors to listen to what I was telling them. They were giving him to much strong medicine for his age of 79 which was shutting his kidneys down. He went to the hospital for a broken ankel. To say the least he died. And I knew when I first walked into his room he wasn't coming back. I don't know it this ability is a curse of a blessing. Maybe some day I will find the answer and learn how to use it as a blessing. NC
  • Trevorz said Nov 18, 2009...
    Hello, It's unlikely you are smelling yourself. My theory is that it is the Soul when it leaves the body temporarily (or one part of it) that we perceive. It starts to explore the new world it is about to be born into. Our body is the womb for giving birth to the soul into the next life. I believe that the soul likes to depart and return when it feels that the current 'host' is about to deteriorate unto death. If you knew your home was about to be demolished wouldn't you go searching for somewhere else to live? And perhaps for sentimental reasons you would go back to the site and think 'that's where I used to live'. You are always you whether or not you inhabit the same body-host, and once you realize that you are ALWAYS you forever, and that you can't just fall out of the Universe, things seem to look up for us as a life-form - and not even with the help of religion! We can live our own ancient lives without being told what to do, and soon everything seems wonderful and serene, and fear vanishes. Embrace the death process wherever you see it, and always reassure the dying.  It's not as seriously miserable when you look at it from my perspective!
  • Nisey said Dec 18, 2009...
    I have smelled that disgusting smell with those in hospice or the hospital. But to walk into my own bedroom (where my 50 year old husband was sleeping) a few nights ago and smell it FREAKED me out. I told my sister. But I don't know how to tell my husband. He will just think I am nuts. I think his liver is shutting down. I wonder if it is too late for him to see a doctor. Maybe we are not too late. But then again my cat is acting wierd tonight. Oh dear God. WHat am I going to do?
  • brian4167 said Jan 11, 2010...
    My grandmother was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer a year ago. Within the past month she has really gotten bad: can't eat, no energy, and very weak. Yesterday, my mom asked my if I smelled the smell. I was like what are you talking about. I didn't smell anything. She thought it was urine. I returned to the house and I, too, smelled the urine-like smell. I thought maybe my puppy had an accident, but no. I checked everything and the smell is lingering... it's not in the carpet or in the furniture... it's in the air. My mom and sister-in-law (both worked in nursing homes) said this is what happens when people are close to death. People think we may be crazy, but until you experience it, you won't understand. To everyone out here dealing with a family member's battle with cancer, my heart goes out to you. No one can know the pain and devastation that cancer causes. May God bless all of you and I pray that he showers you with his mercy and grace.
  • beepa927 said Feb 1, 2010...
    I wake up in the middle of the night and I have this oder in my nose then a complete feeling that I am dieing. Does anybody know what this is??????????????????????
  • kasj said Feb 19, 2010...
    I just had surgery about three weeks ago on my abdomen. Since then it was discovered I have some problems. Mostly I am feeling symptomatic and there is no explanation for a lot of it. I am constantly sick to where I won't even eat some days and I barely drink anything-sleep a lot and I feel so tired and worn out. I am taking prescription supplements on top of antibiotics on top of all my other medications. I have been sick for awhile but nothing terminal. I am having dreams constantly that I am dying and because I am sleeping a lot it happens a lot. I am getting nowhere with the doctors and I noticed after my last post op checkup I had a very bizarre smell but it doesn't appear to be an infectious smell and my surgery site looks great. I have been bleeding and bruising very very easily and we found this out before I was taken back for surgery. I am going crazy out of my mind wanting to feel better, no one is helping and I have my 11 year old daughter I need to be taking care of. I have been having migraines daily to top all that off. I just wonder if the dreams I am having and the smell I smell is some sort of warning to say hey your body is on shut down fix me now! None of my doctors have mentioned the smell so maybe I am going crazy and my husband has said he smells nothing around me when I ask him if he smells anything. It follows me though and isn't attributed to any one room or place or person. Anyway-thanks for creating this post/thread. Very interesting to read.
  • beepa927 said Mar 8, 2010...
    most of you people are not talking about the same as me. i am the only one that smells it. it wakes me up in the middle of the night or early in the morning. my wife does not smell it just me . i'll explain the smell like this. i have smelled dead bodys before but this smell isn't anywhere like that. it's the type of smell that affects me only with a feeling of coming dread or death or that my body is starting to shut down. it could last from seconds to hours.
  • Astonsdaughter said Apr 1, 2010...
    I'm am glad I found this forum. I was wondering the same thing if there is a smell just before someone dies. My father was in a palliative home due to a rare sickness. I smelled an odour comming from him when I was assisting him to the commode. I asked him if he had a bowel movement, but he didn't have one. Then I asked the nurse if he had a bed bath and he did. My father died the next day. It is really hard to describe that smell. It is a distinct unpleasant pungent smell.
  • dee123 said May 8, 2010...
    ok people ive read all this thread. Yes i imagine the smell of death is real but you can also have an illness and have this smell. i have had the smell since 2001 ,now i have cirhosis and pancreatitis. ,i take vit c vit e,vit d, milk thistle ,oh and selenium. i also take physilium husk with good gut bacteria in the physillium ,with flax seeds drink this once a day , take the vits which are antoxidants, dont have lots of salt use sea salt ,the odour will diminish if not go, and hey ,my docs gave me 2 years to live ,my pancease is so bad i take enzymes ,panrex, a condition called portal hypertension can cause this smell also so get checked out a millions have cirhosis of liver and dont know it ,just from going to kfc and mac donalds,and junk food,ive no doubt its the smell of organ failure but you can fight it by expelling toxins ,good luck people
  • cheesecake2u said May 15, 2010...
    my husband, 56, is ill. he has diabetes and hep c/cirrohsis of the liver. we believe this is all from his stint in vietnam. we don't know how much time he has left. for 2 days/nights now i have smelt an odor in our bedroom. i have heard of the smell of death and wanted to see what anyone had to say about it. i believe that is what i am smelling. my son does not smell it. that is all i can say right now
  • Neece said May 27, 2010...
    This is new to me...my father is terminally ill with Cancer. He breaths through a tube in his throat. There is a distinct terrible odor that comes from the tube. It's really strong and foul. It's all over the house. The only place I can breath a little eaiser is in my room. However, my father asked me to start keepting my bedroom door open and to open my window but if I open my window, the sun shines through very early. Its hard enough to get any sleep because I have to constantly check on him to make sure he's breathing. He has to take medicine in the middle of the night so its really hard to get any rest. I'm not complaining... Can any one give me any ideas on how to mask this smell so that I'm not nauseous all the time. Any advice is appreciated!
  • LISETTE said Jun 5, 2010...
    I HAD A DREAM THAT MY INSIDE CHEEKS WERE PEELING OFF IN THICK LAYERS & TRY SPEEDING IT, IT FELT BAD KNOWING THAT I SMELL LIKE DEAD I ALSO DREAM THAT MY BABY DIED FROZEN BUT COULD STILL SMELL DEAD ALL LONG MY DREAM...COULD IT MEAN ANYTHING?? ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME!..IM SCARED TO KNOW THAT IM GOING TO DIE SOON OR GET REALLY SICK I HAVE TWO LIL KIDS THAT I ADORED & MY MAN I DONT WANT TO LIVE LIFE SOON!...I ALWAYS HAD PROBLEMS WITH SINUS & MY THROAT HAS BEEN HURTING FOR THE LONGEST COULD IT BE THAT?? I WILL APPRICIATE YOUR TIME & HONESTLY THANKS!!!
  • LISETTE said Jun 5, 2010...
    I HAD A DREAM THAT MY INSIDE CHEEKS WERE PEELING OFF IN THICK LAYERS & TRY SPEEDING IT, IT FELT BAD KNOWING THAT I SMELL LIKE DEAD I ALSO DREAM THAT MY BABY DIED FROZEN BUT COULD STILL SMELL DEAD ALL LONG MY DREAM...COULD IT MEAN ANYTHING?? ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME!..IM SCARED TO KNOW THAT IM GOING TO DIE SOON OR GET REALLY SICK I HAVE TWO LIL KIDS THAT I ADORED & MY MAN I DONT WANT TO LIVE LIFE SOON!...I ALWAYS HAD PROBLEMS WITH SINUS & MY THROAT HAS BEEN HURTING FOR THE LONGEST COULD IT BE THAT?? I WILL APPRICIATE YOUR TIME & HONESTLY THANKS!!!
  • beepa927 said Jun 6, 2010...
    I just read an article this week. A woman wrote to a drs. column with the same symptons as you and me. He wouldn't say for sure but he told this woman to have her thyroid checked. But also I have found out it could be some kind of siezure we suffer so I am still having them and still nobody ,except you, that has commented.
  • aerdnaxela said Jun 8, 2010...
    I just left my grandmothers house tonight, she is 96 years old and had a mild stroke and is unresponsive mostly. I went to see her a couple of days ago and she looked .. well... not well, but tonight I went again to try to comfort her and the odor in the house was incredibly strong. I did not mention it to her caregiver or to my cousins who were also there. I drove home with the odor and didnt know what to make of it. Then it dawned on me.... I was starting to prepare dinner and it was coming out of my pores as well. I had given her many kisses on the lips, and I am wondering if she was giving me a last kiss goodbye and I will never forget this smell and taste. I can't describe it kind of like amonia but not. But also not totally offensive, i just cant explain how I feel about it. I took a shower, changed my clothing but I can still taste it. hmmmm My father, who had not been there in a week got a phone call from me, begging him to go tomorrow. Wondering if she was just waiting for his visit. Either way. MOM MOM, I will always treasure you and please be comfortable.
  • aerdnaxela said Jun 8, 2010...
    I just left my grandmothers house tonight, she is 96 years old and had a mild stroke and is unresponsive mostly. I went to see her a couple of days ago and she looked .. well... not well, but tonight I went again to try to comfort her and the odor in the house was incredibly strong. I did not mention it to her caregiver or to my cousins who were also there. I drove home with the odor and didnt know what to make of it. Then it dawned on me.... I was starting to prepare dinner and it was coming out of my pores as well. I had given her many kisses on the lips, and I am wondering if she was giving me a last kiss goodbye and I will never forget this smell and taste. I can't describe it kind of like amonia but not. But also not totally offensive, i just cant explain how I feel about it. I took a shower, changed my clothing but I can still taste it. hmmmm My father, who had not been there in a week got a phone call from me, begging him to go tomorrow. Wondering if she was just waiting for his visit. Either way. MOM MOM, I will always treasure you and please be comfortable.
  • TessaTee said Jun 11, 2010...
    I have lost my mother, my father, my grandmother and my grandfather. I was there for all of them. I smelled the smell you all speak of with every single one of them. I finally asked the doctor when my father was dying. 'What is that awful smell? I have smelled it every time I have been around a terminal family member."  I was told is caused by renal failure and it is very commonly called the smell of death. Apparently all terminal patients get it. All terminal  patients eventually suffer a shut down of the renal system.I dread ever smelling that smell outside a hospital room.
  • Annann said Jun 19, 2010...
    I have experienced several times the phonomenon described by most of the persons writing in this forum. The smell emanated from persons who were either very old or very ill (with cancer) or both. A mid-aged friend displayed the specific smell for the critical period of her illness but it disappeared after she has been treated with strong antibiotics. I therefore conclude it has been produced by a secondary infection permitted by her low immune system and that the antibiotics took care of it. Unfortunately I can attest that this kind of infection is highly contagious: I got it twice from the mere vicinity of elderly and sick persons (who were and still are, however, in quite acceptable general condition). I also remarked it around a young person taking current care of an elderly ailing patient and she does not show any signs of illness or uneasiness herself. Seems to me the infection and smell associated with it can be only get ridden of by massive intake of antibiotics and is apt to reappear. Such infection is probably common to the critically ill, unrecognized by most and therefore untreated and associated as a consequence with impendant death. Should like to recieve your comments, thank you. Ann
  • beepa927 said Jul 19, 2010...
    All of your comments are good ones ' but none of them have answered my question. I am the only one having the smell. I myself and only myself smell. and it is in my own nose and mouth that can smell it. nobody around me is dying I think it is ME not anyone else. S o please comment on that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • deathsmeller said Jul 19, 2010...
    hi, i dont know why this is my case but i have noted that whenever im in the presence of someone who is on the brink of passing on or dead already. i get this incent smell - it freaks me out. my great grand passed away yesterday at the age of 92 and i was there in the room with other relatives and this smell kemp bugging me. its not a stank or anything like that. just wanted to know if other have the same thing happen to them regarding the smell.
  • deathsmeller said Jul 19, 2010...
    hi, i dont know why this is my case but i have noted that whenever im in the presence of someone who is on the brink of passing on or dead already. i get this incent smell - it freaks me out. my great grand passed away yesterday at the age of 92 and i was there in the room with other relatives and this smell kemp bugging me. its not a stank or anything like that. just wanted to know if other have the same thing happen to them regarding the smell.
  • sissi_va said Sep 28, 2010...
    I just ran across this today. For as long as I can remember I have smelt a certain smell on people. It smells somewhat like formaldehyde or a funeral home. I'm not sure if it is the smell of death, cancer, or what but sometimes it gags me it is so strong. I've never had the guts to walk up to someone and ask them if they have an illness. But I have a 14 yr old daughter who I just recently discovered can smell it also. We were in a restuarant eating and both of us lost our appetite from the smell. Any ideas?
  • snowgalsc said Sep 30, 2010...
    snowgalsc - 09/30/2010 My husband was diagnosed with 3 giant malignant brain tumors that were stage 4 meaning he was terminal. After the brain biopsy, he suffered a stroke and a huge blood clot in the brain causing complete paralysis on his right side. He's in the hospital receiving chemo and radiation and steroids hoping to shrink the tumors a little to ease his severe headaches. He is swollen so bad. Today when I entered his room and came close to him, I smelled an awful, pungent odor all around his body and from his breath. He held my hand for a few minutes and let go. The scent was almost as strong on my arm and hands as was on him. I went to the sink and scrubbed them with soap several times and the scent still lingered. I know that this is the scent of death because I have smelled this on 2 other relatives years ago within a day or so of their death. I believe the toxins in his body are overcoming him and his organs can no longer handle it all. And it might also be the Lord's way of getting us prepared for his passing. Please pray for our family that we'll be strong in our time of grief.
  • picklefishpaste said Oct 10, 2010...
    I think that my mom is emanating the smell of death but I'm really unsure. She's been battling cancer for the past 4 years and has taken a turn for the worst. Her behavior has changed (but I can't tell if it's from the medication or the cancer), her memory... Just about everything. I noticed almost two weeks ago when I took her to the grocery store that she had this strange smell. I wanted to say it sort of smelled like urine, but not really. It wasn't a smell I could pin-point. I thought maybe it could have been because she hadn't bathed or something like that. But over-all, it didn't smell like body odor. I got to the point today where I had to see if it's the so-called "death smell." And a lot of people are saying it smells similar to imonia. I thinks that's the closest explanation to it I could think of. My cousin told me that she smells exactly the same way our grandmother did before she passed away. Of course this is all heart-wrenching. I don't even know what this means. That was two weeks ago when I first smelled it. It was strong when you were right next to her, but the farther you got, the less you could smell. What does this mean? How much time does this smell present itself before a person passes away? I plan on taking her to her doctors appointment in about a week and a half for her next chemo treatment. I live an hour and a half away from her, and I've been trying to convince her to get some sort of hospice care or go into a facility so she can get 24 hour service. But she is not too keen on that idea. My biggest fear is her passing away alone in her home without anybody close by to check on her. Another thing that was mentioned in this forum is that there are "signs" that a person is close to death other than just the unusual smell. What signs are those? Thanks for posting this forum. It has been the most helpful I have found.
  • Giz said Oct 24, 2010...
    My father died Oct 7, 2010, two and a half weeks ago. The night before he died my sister and I stayed all night with my father. At one point I left the room and came back to find that the room had a very strange odor. At the time I did not mention it to my sister for fear of being rude. I think it is common for patients who are dying to have mouth care issues and that is what I thought the smell was from. I was surprised that the smell had filled the room. He died that morning at 10 am. The following day, I had to stop at my mother's home because I had left my cell phone there and my mother said that it was beeping. So, around 9pm I stopped to get my phone and as soon as I came into the house my mother, brother his wife and two children where there watching TV, I smelled the same thing I had smelled in the hospice room where my Dad had died. I had been in and out of my mother's house quite a few times after my father died and never smelled that smell and not since that night.  I was really freaked out and went back to my sister's house where I was staying and talked to her about the experience. She said she had never smelled anything that night in the hospice room. I still think about that looking for an answer, which I guess is why I landed here. I will say that the morning my father died I was not there, having been there 27 hours straight watching him die, I had to leave for a while and it was then that he passed. My Mother, brother, sister-in law and their two kids  were there when he died. Anyone care to comment? I would love to hear someone's impression on this. 
  • LPG said Nov 3, 2010...
    hi just wanted to add my experience to the people who say they still smell "the smell" of death or carry it with them.  i was with my 96 year old grandmother on her deathbed and was talking to her everyday, caring for her and my face was always very close to her face when we spoke... i would kiss her and talk to her to comfort her and let her know that i was with her and that it was alright to go.... whenever i would get in close proximity to her those last 2 days she was alive, i would smell an odor that to me was emminating out of her mouth.... and to describe it as someone else did it was a very ammonia like, acidic like odor that wasnt disgusting but just strange and i just summized it had something to do with her body's chemistry and that her body was shutting down...  and that all the chemicals in her body were altering...so the smell was a result of all of that.... that smell stayed lodged in my nose for 2 weeks after she was gone and nothing i could do would make it disappear... i would wash the inside of my nostrils out with soap and water... but it would not leave me.... still to this day (1 year later)  i smell this odor every so often.... and a friend of mine put it to me in such a comforting and wonderful way that just made me smile.... she said to me "when you smell that odor that you smelled when your grandmother was dying, what youre now smelling is your grandmother's spirit around you... so now everytime you experience smelling that odor... it simply means your grandmother is around you, with you, or hovering in your presence."  That made me feel so great and i believe it because very often since her death i will smell that odor (her spirit) at random when im not even thinking of her at all... It is very bizarre... But i have resigned myself to the fact that now when the smell enters my consciousness  so randomly and out of the blue and without having even thought of her, that it is my grandmother and her spirit telling me " Im around" :)
  • Mamacita68 said Nov 24, 2010...
    Ive been sick these past few months. prior to going into the hospital I was having dizzy spells and smelling ammonia. I went into kidney failure while i was there. I was told that I had a pulmonary nodule behind my heart. As of now I go from having that ammonia smell to a bleach smell in my nose. The past couple of days Ive been having a sickening sweet smell in my nose. What is that all about?
  • jadelexi said Jan 16, 2011...
    my grampa died in november last year. On the day that he died there was the most unusual scent in his room I can only describe this as not quite urine, not quite feaces but very very sweet smelling. The scent was not offending at all. After the undertakers took him away me and my partner began to strip the bed linen etc and when the bed linen was taken away to be discarded the scent in the room was still evident for weeks. A few days after his I took the clothes I was wearing on day he died to the linen bin and the scent was strong from my clothing. It only seems to be myself , my uncle and my partner that could smell this scent. Very odd but I would know this scent again in a minute.
  • picarddm66 said Feb 2, 2011...
    I am taking care of my mother in law, she has terminal lung cancer. Several years ago my broher in law was in the hospital dying and his bowels started to move with the worst smell I have ever smelled. Now I'm noticing that her (mother in law) bowel movements have the same terrible odor. Is that common in people who are close to death?
  • spjcbjp said Jun 3, 2011...
    For those of you who have lost loved one, my sincere condolences. I too have lost friends and family, but I wasn't physically close to them, so I obviously didn't detect an odor. I do want to share with you something similiar. My husband came toward me one day when I came home from work to give me my daily hug and kiss. But, today, the odor surrounding him took my breath. As his face came closer to mine in order to kiss me, I could smell the most sickening, "deadly" odor and it gagged me. He was offended. I tried to explain, but he is fistidious about cleanliness, and I had never, ever detected an odor from him, even after mowing the lawn! I was flabbegasted, couldn't figure this out at all! A couple of days later, he wasn't feeling well, nothing serious, just didn't feel well....He went to bed earlier than me that particular night...very unusual, so I thought he must really feel bad...about an hour later, he got up and asked me to take him to the hospital...said he was cramping bad enough he couldn't take it anymore...mind you, he had not said a word about any pain in the days leading up to this... Long story short....the doctors gave him a 25% chance at best, of making it thru the night. It was his pancreas. He did live, but I will never forget that odor eminating from his mouth..hard to explain...worse than anything rotten...So I do believe there is a smell of death, and should you notice it in someone you love...get them checked out..

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