hospice, hospice myths, medical tiktok, learn on tiktok

Hospice nurse Julie on TikTok.

Watching a loved one die is difficult, confusing, terrifying and heartbreaking. They transform before our eyes, unrecognizably. In turn, our faces are no longer familiar to them. The entire experience can leave us feeling powerless to help.

Hospice workers provide an incredible service to humanity by making this process less painful. And they do it with great kindness and compassion.

Julie is a hospice nurse in California. In her five years doing this, she has helped a lot of patients maintain a quality life in their final weeks and months before having a peaceful death. She's also educated a lot of families about what to expect during the transition, in an attempt to make it a little less daunting. According to Julie, that's the best part of the job.

Julie decided to share her expertise on TikTok, where her insights could reach a wider audience.


"I knew I had a lot of interesting information about death and dying that most people don't know about. I want to normalize death by educating people about it. I went home to visit my family, and my tween nieces were on TikTok making dance videos. I later went on TikTok to see their dances. This gave me the idea of starting my own TikTok about death and dying," she told The Sun.

The idea caught on quickly. Julie soon racked up more than 400,000 followers, with millions of views for multiple videos. Clearly she had some valuable knowledge.

In one of her videos, she explains how many of the death processes we find morbid, are actually quite normal. Changes in breathing, skin color, fevers … all normal. Messy, but normal. Even the "death rattle," despite its scary name, is very natural, as the brain is no longer able to tell the throat to swallow saliva. "Terminal secretions," she calls it.

@hospicenursejulie #hospicenursejulie #nurse #learnontiktok #ForzaHorizon5GO #nursesoftiktok ♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

Julie also discusses the "rallying" phenomenon, where a terminal person seems to make a swift recovery—even regaining an appetite and bouncing back to a personality—before ultimately passing within a few days, or sooner. She explains that, where no one knows exactly why this happens, she always informs her patients and families so they're not caught off guard. I cannot imagine the anguish people go through who do not know this.

@hospicenursejulie #hospicenursejulie #nurse #learnontiktok #nursesoftiktok ♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

One person asked, "Does knowing all of this in depth make death less scary for you?" To which Julie simply replied "Yes–I'm not scared at all."

Natural death, Julie says, is not uncomfortable. Because many people die from accidents or diseases, we tend to equate death with suffering, but that does not have to be the case. In fact, Julie shares about people seeing angels, even loved ones who have passed. Often they manage to say "I love you" right before death.

@hospicenursejulie Reply to @spymylittleye #greenscreen #hospicenursejulie #angel #LevisMusicProject #nurse #learnontikrok ♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

Hospice care is undervalued, at best. And at worst, it can be demonized, as many buy into the myth that hospice companies make money off of killing patients (another notion Julie politely debunks). This is what makes her channel truly special. Julie makes death—the ultimate unknown—a little less frightening with the power of education and empathy. It's something she does on a day-to-day basis. But now we all can benefit.


You can check out even more of Julie's videos on TikTok, under her handle @hospicenursejuile

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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