Have you ever received or delivered a death message?

Listening to the January 6 hearings, Secret Service agents guarding Pence can be heard giving their last messages to family. Anyone else ever received these messages, or given them?

I have received them twice, during my work in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was on the phone with people who thought they were going to die and received the words they wanted to convey to their loved ones. Both survived, thankfully.

I’ve also given that message once. All I could think to say was, “tell my wife it’s ok to move on.”

Anyone else?

To be clear you mean “last words” like “tell my partner I love them,” right? Not “I’m sorry, but your cousin-in-law is dead”?

Yes, people who think they are going to die asking you to convey their last thoughts to their loved ones. One time, I was in DC and received a call from a colleague in Kabul and we talked as terrorists tried to enter the room she was in.

A guy I worked with had a heart attack during roll call. The Sergeant was talking and all of a sudden this Dep calls out “gentlemen, I think I am about to make your day really fucking interesting” and he fell to his knees clutching his chest.

So, when he was on the gurney getting ready to be placed into the rescue squad he says to us “if I don’t make it tell the woman I love I have passed”. They get him in the back of the van and he calls out “tell my wife, too!”.

I’m not joking, that really happened. Had he vapor locked and assumed room temperature what should we have done with those last words?

He didn’t die. Had three bypasses. Funny thing is he had a recent stress test that said he was alright.

The current title of this thread is “Have you ever received or delivered a death message?”, and my brain interpreted “death message” as “death threat”.

That is clearly not the intention of the OP. I suggest changing the title to “Have you ever received or delivered a message from someone who thought they were about to die?”

Seriously, that makes me wonder whether your co-worker was already a bit confused by what was happening to him. So he first referred to his spouse as the “woman he loved”, then decided to say the same thing in different words a few minutes later to dispel any confusion about what he meant?

Or did (some of) you folks know about his side piece? if so, tough spot for you all to be in for sure.

On a lighter note …

One of my rules of thumb that I live by and advice I give to others:

Or it was a joke. Leave 'em laughing.

I’m surprised that Secret Service protocol doesn’t strictly forbid this. It seems extremely unprofessional to be texting personal messages when the person you’re supposed to be protecting is under grave threat.

I have, once, left an “If anything happens, I love you” message for my mother at home.

There was a guy going around robbing nearby Blockbusters at gunpoint. I walked home, left the message with a sheet of paper, and came back to work.

Robber didn’t show up at our Blockbuster, and my mother freaked out.

I was a block away from the Kabul UNDP guest House when it was attacked. People at the UN said that their colleagues had radios and were giving messages to their loved ones and asking anyone receiving to convey their words.

Depends, shit can be hitting the fan, and there will be lulls when you have a couple minutes of nothing while waiting.

And yes, I have received ‘final messages’ from a couple friends [I know and am related to a lot of military] and I was told after the fact that I left a last message with the EMS responding to my head trauma that I said who had done it and tell mom I love her. I don’t remember a thing after about 9 am [got my head trauma around 6 in the evening] which is not actually all that unusual. Like many people with head trauma, I was coherent for a short while before having my lights put out for the next couple weeks.

Yeah, I don’t begrudge anyone talking a few seconds to try and succinctly wrap it all up during a moment of incredible stress.

I don’t begrudge anyone, someone whose life is unexpectedly in jeopardy. I do begrudge someone in a Secret Service protective detail, who has a critical job to do and who knows when they walk out the door every morning (as do their family) that their job description involves putting their life on the line.

You cannot possibly be fully alert to threats to the person you are supposed to be protecting if you are on your phone texting. I think it’s totally unprofessional, and if they haven’t been fired, they should be.

I don’t know if your job requires you to put your safety in jeopardy, but I feel that what you’re saying is unreasonable.

Geez. It was a joke. He was joking.

But it was hard for us to laugh because we were afraid he was going to die. Then what do we do with those last words?

I had someone close dying of cancer who called to say goodbye as it didn’t look like they’d live more than a couple days longer. But they recovered somewhat. Had more conversations. But still died 4 months later. Still glad we had that one call.

Another situation where I was calling someone who was dying of cancer to say goodbye. The circumstances made it really awkward. It was just one of those “Suck it up and make the call.” things.

These events occurred a year apart. It was not a fun time.

If there are 4 people, each one takes a turn sending a text while the other 3 [or however many] stand watch.

Yeah, in my experience, sending such a message helps get you focused, you tend to domestic matters as best you can and move on.

I once mixed up some medication and got a little loopy feeling. My heart started to race and I called my sister before I went to the hospital to tell her that I loved her.

She wasn’t home so I ended up leaving the message on her machine. I was so embarrassed by the panic in my voice when I heard it later that I made her promise to delete it. I’ve been trying to train myself to be more brave ever since.

You were brave enough to make sure you sister knew you loved her during a terrifying experience.