Ironically, dying is an inevitable part of life. The question is not simply a case of when, but how.

In an ideal world, we all wish to pass peacefully in our sleep, having lived a long and happy life. But, in reality that ending is only attainable to a small percentage of the population.

Tragically, a large portion of the world’s population meet a premature death at the hands of terminal illnesses, such as cancer. Aware that the curtain is soon to close on their lives, these people have time to reflect on what they have and haven’t done. They are afforded the luxury of a final farewell before they succumb to their bodies urge to shutdown.

For these people, the best medical care in the world is available in the form of palliative care nurses, such as Macmillan in the UK who specialize in caring for the terminally ill.

These nurses face many challenges on a daily basis, but nothing can compete with the time they spend with patients shortly before they pass away. Their work enables them to hear the final wishes and last words of patients, before they leave this world.

Talking to the BBC, the Macmillan nurses of the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, England, recall the haunting things people say before they die…

“Sometimes they just want a cup of tea.”

To a British person, a cup of tea is universally acknowledged as the best medicine the body can get. The warm, fragrant elixir soothes the soul, giving the drinker a moment of calm. Thus, it is a popular request from those on their deathbed, who crave the comfort of a cup of tea.

“They actually said they were happy to die because they’d had a glimpse of heaven.”

One nurse recalled an occasion “many years ago” when a patient who was “semi-conscious” made a startling premonition. “They actually said they were happy to die, because they’d had a glimpse of heaven and it was wonderful and they weren’t frightened to die.”