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Hospice Care/Eye Color Change at death


Susan wrote at 2009-03-04 16:23:15
Eye colour change after death: I was searching the net for information about this topic, because 8 days ago, I watched my mom die in her bed from ovarian cancer. Strangely, her eyes were brown when alive, but within maybe 30 minutes of her death I noticed that her eye colour had changed to a light blue-grey. I will contact a pathologist to ask about this, but wanted to add this here as it was the first link I clicked to find out if this was normal at death. Her brown eyes did change colour, almost to the colour blue -grey of a newborn infant. Susan

Anne wrote at 2009-07-24 15:49:04
My mother is dying and indeed her eyes have become lighter brown. I think perhaps by the time hospice enters the scene most of the change has already occured.

Karen Betts wrote at 2009-08-10 05:35:06
Dear Christine;

My mother recently passed and I was at her bedside until the end. Moments before she passed, her eyelids opened and her eyeballs were a solid "milky" color. There was no definition regarding the Iris, Retina, pupil, etc.  Never having witnessed this before or ever reading about it, I wanted to find the answer or at least find out if this was a common occurrence. Your comments have satisfied my curiosity.  Thank You!

Lynda wrote at 2009-08-20 14:19:57
When my father passed away, he too, had a dramatic change in eye color.  His eyes had always been a dark, dark brown, and about two days before he passed away, they were a light gray.  He had cancer, so it was not an unexpected death.

scottishlady wrote at 2009-12-29 14:49:13
My husband died three months ago due to cancer and a few hours before he died I noticed a change in the colour of his eyes.  They had always been dark brown but they had changed to blue.  I noticed and mentioned to the palliative care nurse who was in the room that his eyes had changed colour.  He asked me what colour they were and I replied that they were always brown.

A couple of hours later he woke up and said that he was with Jesus now.  He passed away a couple of hours later.

Jon wrote at 2010-02-23 01:57:20
This has been on my mind for several months now. My mother passed away on Halloween 2009 after a corageous 10 month battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma. Her eye color had always been brown but a day before she died I also noticed that her eyes had become grey. I find it hard to belive there is nothing in the literature about this phenoninon, but it seems to be a forwarning of the person passing on. My Heart felt sympathy to all that have posted. But it might be something that the hospice nurses take note of, and famililes of the patient might be made aware that in the case of eye color change that thier loved ones are close to the end.

Rachael S. wrote at 2010-07-11 23:30:51
My brother took his own life 2 months ago. We were allowed to see him 6 hours after it happened, and his dark brown eyes had turned blue. Has anyone found a reason why this happens??

lorilee wrote at 2010-08-08 10:59:34 name is lori, and i did also experience the eye color change at my mothers death recently..She, and my dad were married 60years and suddenly my dad passed..6 mo later, my mom passed as my arms and me looking directly into her eyes..They did in fact turn from a dark hazel brown like mine are, to a beautiful liz taylor violet blue color..only with more of an aura twinkle for lack of words to describe how miraculous it was..I still miss my parents dearly, but i know an angel or something spiritual and godly accepted her and she was free of pain and with my dad again..she also was seeing him for the days leading up to her death..I spent every second with her for the last 5 days..I would never have it any other way..Lori

aab wrote at 2010-09-29 16:54:34
I just want to add to this thread. My grandfather had brown eyes.  Very close to his death they turned a very light blue.  Being a medical professional I have no answer for this but would love to find one as well.

Linda wrote at 2010-10-07 15:19:17
My Mom was a hospice patient, she died in June. Her hazel eyes turned blue about 2 weeks before her death. I asked the hospice nurse about this and she had no answer. This happens I saw it with my own blue eyes.

rooney wrote at 2010-11-10 19:45:31
when my brother died, his vivid blue eyes drained of color within a half hour.  They turned a gray or very pale brown.  I saw the color actually drain out of the eyes.

Nicolette Barth wrote at 2010-12-10 16:26:38
I looked this question up on the net because I was discussing it recently at work.  The discussion stemmed from my observation that one eye on each of two feral kittens I took to a shelter changed color the day I took them in.  My co-worker said that her grandfather's brother's eye color changed right before death from green or brown to blue.

Patrice wrote at 2010-12-18 06:35:49
Hi Christine,

I am an experienced R.N. and nursing instructor, and I must say that I had never seen or heard of eye color changes in dying patients until I saw it in my brother. I thought this to be peculiar so I started researching why his eyes had changed from dark brown to bluish-gray several days before he passed. I still have not found an answer.  

Ken wrote at 2010-12-20 19:41:20
My Mom passed away in September 2004. She was only in the hospital for a couple of days; comatose after falling and suffering blunt force trauma to her head. Her eyes went from dark brown to a blue/gray color at the time of her death. I was told that this is normal since at birth most babies are born with lighter color eyes than they would have as adults and without adequate blood flow the eyes will go back to blue/gray.

Tracie Brannan wrote at 2012-04-21 05:57:58
My mom is terminally ill from cancer and I noticed while she was in the hospital, her eyes had changed from greenish-Grey to a brilliant blue and the whites of her eyes became very white. Almost shockingly pretty. Her friends think it may be a spiritual phenomenon....I'm not so sure but this is all fascinating to me so I looked it up and found this thread. Thank you.  

David wrote at 2012-05-10 02:25:40
My father always had dark brown eyes.  Before his death they were a dull, lifeless gray.  At the exact moment of death, his eyes turned a bright sparkling blue and his whites of his eyes whiter than white.  A moment after death, I lifted his eyelids and they were back to to grey.  Obviously this was a very comforting sign for me to know that my father's spirit was now with the Lord and that this was a sign from the Lord indicating to me that he was now in heaven.

S Drew wrote at 2012-06-03 21:50:42
My dad was hospitalized in April for falling and then while there coded and found he had Sepsis-veriy dangerous.  I noticed hes eye got lighter at that time, he had Dark blue eyes.  He came out of that and was sent to a Rehap facility, while there hoping for him to get stronger to get home I noticed hes eyes started changing they were a very light blue for a few days, also noticed he wasnt able to see unless your where close, few days later on a monday he passed out and was placed in bed, he lost more strenght and hes eyes became almost white/silver, he was still alive but in the few days become nonresponsive.  He passed on that Friday.

joann wrote at 2012-10-12 09:48:43
my mother's eyes which were always a dark brown turned blue on the day she died, a beautiful blessed mother blue.  she loved the blessed mother and we took this as a sign that the blessed mother was with her.  i did not see this but my brother and sister did.  

EJ wrote at 2012-10-28 11:19:19
My father had developed problems with kidney function and was also a heart patient. The night before the day of his death, I observed his eyes changed colour from light brown to Grey and shine as if he was wearing a lens.

He passed away due to a cardiac arrest next afternoon.

Will always miss him...

Jill wrote at 2012-10-28 15:28:16
My husband has pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos poisoning , he has been on hospice since August 2012 . We also noticed his eyes are dark brown but around the outter edge are slowly starting to turn a gray color. I asked the nurse and she said its not uncommon for the eyes to change . We live in Illinois .  

Christina wrote at 2012-11-09 05:48:30
Im a nurse and have witnessed many deaths and have never seen this eye color change. My father battled some serious illnesses and each time we thought we were going to loose him we noticed his eye color change from brown to a beautiful light blue as he got better his eye color would return to brown. After several months of illness he went on hospice and again we saw his brown eyes turn to the most beautiful light blue it made me feel like i was looking into the eyes of Jesus Christ. Whatever the cause of this is it truely has brought me peace.

Lulu wrote at 2012-12-09 23:42:23
I was with my father when he died. His eyes were always dark hazel while alive. As he took his last breath, his eyes opened and they were the clearest light blue I have ever seen. They were not cloudy. My mother witnessed this also.

loving wife wrote at 2013-01-05 04:54:36
My husband was hospitalized for 2 weeks before he died at home on October 22 after 3 days on hospice care.  While in the hospital I and his daughter noticed that his usual hazel to brown eyes had turned the most beautiful blue.  He said he had a couple of "dreams" of being in a tunnel with a bright light at the end and black and white birds; the black wanted him to follow them but he wanted to follow the white; I told him to be sure to follow the white ones.  He also saw his mother who died many years before.  I pray like those who made previous posts that the blue eye color meant he had gotten a glimpse of heaven.  Love him and miss him terribly

Susan wrote at 2013-01-30 22:17:05
My father died two days ago from Alzheimer's Disease. I have been watching his eyes slowly turn from brown to blue in the last two weeks. When he took his last breath he was staring at me with gorgeous sea-blue/green eyes.

MOIRA wrote at 2013-04-01 02:03:12
My mother passed away on Saturday,just before her death her brown eyes changed colour to a bright blue. This was the same colour that my late father had all through his life. We all felt that it was dad looking through her eyes. Her eyes returned to her natural colour and she died within minutes. MOIRA

NM wrote at 2013-04-19 18:27:48
I noticed this too just yesterday when my dog passed away. His eyes had always been a dark, dark brown, almost to the point of being completely black. About 10 minutes after his death, we noticed his eyes had turn grey, almost like they were dolly being filled with milk. I still haven't found the answer, but feel better that others are out there having trouble and experienced this too. My mom and I just like to believe that his soul had left his body, and that made us know he was at peace in heaven.  

Diane M Simmons wrote at 2013-04-30 19:10:15
My mother was dying (at the age of 94) as a result of a perforated intestine.  Her eyes were almost black they were so brown when alive.  As she began to give up life her eyes became a light gray.  I am relieved to see I was not imagining this and others have experienced the same thing.  Thank you

RedofMN wrote at 2013-05-28 18:17:05
My Mom passed away with me, my sister and husband by her side.  When she was taking her last breaths, my sister looked at me and side look it her eyes, they were a sky blue.  She had hazel color eyes.  We both just starred at her eyes.  

Michele wrote at 2013-06-28 03:18:46
I just visited my mom in the hospital and she is 87 years old and dying of a blood infection.  She has been without fluids or antibiotics for 2 days now and was able to open her eyes for me for a few moments. They were a sparkling blue color.  All of her life her eyes were brown.  I felt like I was looking into heaven when she opened her eyes...

Christian wrote at 2013-07-20 04:16:19
I too witnessed this event. Some years ago days before my step father passed his eye color changed to a somewhat shimmering pale grey or silver and seemed to be looking through me. Back then I just wrote it off as something I saw that didn't really happen. 2 years ago this past May, my natural father passed. I witnessed the same thing just a day before his passing. Though the shimmer (or what I am now calling a light in the eyes for lack of a better way to describe it) was not as defined as what I saw with my step dad however, that same look of looking through me was there.  

Rosie wrote at 2013-08-01 16:51:32
On July 20, 2013 my husband die. Shortly before death his eyes

which were blue turned to a beautiful bright deep blue. I told

him Hon, your eyes are beautiful,I can't believe how blue they are. He smiled and within two hours passed away.

Kimberly wrote at 2013-08-23 02:33:36
My grandfather had a heart attack on May 22, 2012.  My grandfather is 1/4 American Indian and has deep brown eyes.

His eyes changed from brown to blue about 4 days later.  My grandfather was in a coma from May until the end of June.  Once he woke up his eyes changed back to brown.

He finally came home in August, the feeding tube was removed by Christmas.  In January he bought a new car.  He is doing great.

Just wondered if anyone else knew of eyes changing color and the person lived.  

fay wrote at 2014-01-09 03:36:52
My mom also had a color change in her eyes about 3mths before she past.My aunt had tought she was going nuts until i told her about it.Her eyes were beautiful blue then turn hazel 3mths b4 death.

Lil wrote at 2014-01-30 18:28:30
My 80 year old mom always had hazel eyes.  After falling and sent to a hospital I noticed that her eyes were blue.  A few months later she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer spread all through her. Her last moments with me looking into her eyes she had the most beautiful sky blue eyes.  I am glad that other people have seen this too because I have wondered about this every since her passing in July 2013.

nick wrote at 2014-02-15 06:10:21
my dad passed away 3 days ago from cancer.  I was with him until he took his last breath.  He to had very dark brown eyes.  It wasn't until today when I could picture him looking up at me that his eyes had turned a beautiful ice blue

Framma wrote at 2014-03-20 02:52:02
I'm a hospice social worker - have been for over 20 years - and I have heard of this occurring on at least 4 occasions. I don't know why it happens, but I have no doubt that it does.

LunaEros wrote at 2014-04-19 18:03:50
Ok I've read numerous places the eyes can change after death from dark to light.

And I've read the reason for this has to do with either loss of melanin being produced and/or loss of oxygenation to the eyes.

But what I would like to know is if it is possible for a person that has light eyes (such as grey) to turn dark (as in brown) after death.

I have not read any examples of this so I tend to think it isn't possible.

Can someone with some expertise enlighten me?

Robin wrote at 2014-04-28 01:28:29
My father had very light blue eyes all his life. Within minutes of his death from cancer (his eyes were still partly open) I noticed they had become even lighter. It is hard to describe the color as there was barely any color left. Very strange. I just figured it had something to do with the blood draining or ceasing to flow.  I knew he was gone though as it was obvious the 'life' in his eyes was no longer there.  

Wells wrote at 2014-05-25 03:27:10
Wonderful blog.  Thank you everyone for your input.  I did notice that most of the comments were regarding the changing colour of loved one's eyes from brown to blue and was interested to read the above blog regarding blue eyes turning dark. Some hours before my daughter passed away her bright blue eyes turned to a deep sparkling black and I have wondered for years why.  Then seconds away from my Mum's passing her blue eyes, which had previously changed from bright blue to milky grey; for just a second or two turned very bright and lively, then on her death back to the milky grey.

MicronBo wrote at 2014-06-21 09:06:06
My brother died of cancer in 2011, he had bright blue eyes but around 24 hours before he died I noticed his irises had turn a golden colour.

Butterfly wrote at 2014-08-01 15:55:39
My daughters eyes were a bright beautifull brown, she suffered head trauma and developed pneumonia and died while we were there.  Her eyes turned to pitch black as she died.

Courtney wrote at 2014-08-04 18:23:32
In early March I went through an episode, with my sister present, where my heart stopped several times, and ultimately it stopped and I was pronounced dead in the ER.  I had a DNR, and was dead for 10-15 min. according to hospital records.  At that time my sister made calls to family members and arrangements for my body, but when she returned to visit my body one last time, I spontaneously resuscitated and was sitting up talking 45 min. later. Needless to say, my sister has been shocked by the whole experience, but she was surprised when she saw that my normally hazel/brown eyes turned bright green whenever my heart stopped,(I was hooked up to a monitor) but returned to their normal color when my heart was beating.  Even now she carefully studies my eye color whenever I look tired.

Free wrote at 2014-08-11 17:01:35
My amazing dad passed away two years ago.  He always had bright blue eyes and just before he died his eyes turned a golden colour just as Micronbo describes.  I cannot find a reason either.

Jan wrote at 2014-08-29 09:14:31
Hello Cynthia,

I am a Social Worker working in the north of England.

I write to you to advise you of my own personal and ongoing experience, relating to my mother who is 87 years old and currently in hospital with end stage Chronic Obstructive Aireways Disease.  We (family) have been advised that she may die soon as she has developed pneumonia for the second time in 5 weeks. She is currenly very poorly, her breathing laboured and she is alternately very sleepy then restless and sometimes distressed. However, the most distressing change has been her beautiful dark hazel eyes have changed to a very pale ice blue. This has had a profound impact on some family members in terms of identity as several of my sibling inherited my mothers lovely eyes.  However, from a spiritual sense, we as a family have also been able to take comfort from the situation as my father, who died many years ago at the age of 41 years, also had pale ice blue eyes, and it now feels that he is here with us to support us through this difficult time.

Take care


ellie c. wrote at 2014-09-22 16:00:51
When my dad was dying in 2012 and in a coma, his warm brown eyes briefly turned a very vivid blue.  He died shortly after that, and his eyes turned warm brown again.  I can't help but think that as his body focused on dying, his soul shone very bright through his eyes.  I, too, have been unable to find a scientific explanation for this anecdotal phenomenon.  My father was a deeply spiritual man.  He died just before his 93rd birthday.  I take comfort and awe in having witnessed his death.

Stephanie wrote at 2014-10-02 20:40:24
When I was in Labour, when I had delivered my daughter my eyes changed from Hazel to Ocean blue and got a photo to show it, was weird.  

Cathy wrote at 2014-10-28 02:51:01
My understanding is the darker the iris the higher concentration of fat in the iris.  Perhaps this is the body using all the fat energy reserves to heal or repair itself.  

Kortney wrote at 2014-11-05 07:56:46
My sister had a seizure and fell. She hit her head and was bleeding then went into a coma Three days later she was taken offl of life support. I pulled up her eyelid and her eyes were a beautiful blue. She normally had blue green eyes. I felt like I was seeing a heavenly sky. She took her last breath here and her first breath in heaven. I believe this is a spiritual phenomenon. My sister loved her Lord and Savior .

Kortney wrote at 2014-11-05 07:57:04
My sister had a seizure and fell. She hit her head and was bleeding then went into a coma Three days later she was taken offl of life support. I pulled up her eyelid and her eyes were a beautiful blue. She normally had blue green eyes. I felt like I was seeing a heavenly sky. She took her last breath here and her first breath in heaven. I believe this is a spiritual phenomenon. My sister loved her Lord and Savior .

cindy durnford wrote at 2014-12-08 17:56:02
yesterday I was holding the hand of my 84 year old father who was passing. He had not opened his eyes, spoken or even responded for 2 days. he was laboring to breath and the nurses where on the other side of him trying to find a suitable vain for a iv port for the morphine. He was very sedated for comfort while this was happening. his body was facing me due to a hip fracture on the opposite side. two consecutive tears streamed down his cheek from his right eye. that eye opened wide and looked at me. then the left eye opened wide also and looked at me. His hazel green eyes with a black ring around the outer edge gazed at me and where solid dark blue with a grey hue.  I told him I love him, his mouth moved slightly, I said I know you love me and to please go to sleep. It was ok to go to sleep he had suffered enough.  He took a huge breath and then deeply exhaled and his eyes closed. His previous labored breathing stopped and for the next 5 minutes there was very shallow breathes that became farther and farther apart until it stopped. I believe that he had one hand with me and that truly he was at that moment leaving. it was beautiful and haunting. but so incredibly peaceful that I do feel comforted. there probably is a medical explanation for this and or a spiritual explanation. I had never heard of it and was searching the net this morning because I was wondering if I was seeing things yesterday. It is real and thank you all for the posts!  

flower wrote at 2014-12-15 09:47:44
I had googled this after witnessing my grandfather pass away last friday. As we sat with him until the end, upon his last breath he opened his eyes and they were a piercing blue and were very shiny almost as if there was light behind them, stunning. His eyes were a dark blue his whole life. This has stuck in my mind and i cannot find an explanation for it at all. Im guessing maybe this was the moment of his spiritual passing. Amazing to see and did help console those who managed to witness it.belfast.

Andie wrote at 2014-12-22 01:36:00
I have been reading. As I work in long term care and my grandmother passed away 2 days ago and experienced the same. The reason I can determine is the body's production of melonin. This is the reason  most Caucasian new born babies are born with blue eyes. After 3 months the body produces melonin and the eye color changes. The body's production of melonin changes before we pass.  

Andie wrote at 2014-12-22 01:36:38
I have been reading. As I work in long term care and my grandmother passed away 2 days ago and experienced the same. The reason I can determine is the body's production of melonin. This is the reason  most Caucasian new born babies are born with blue eyes. After 3 months the body produces melonin and the eye color changes. The body's production of melonin changes before we pass.  

Darlene wrote at 2015-01-04 02:17:01
I lost my mother July 13th, 2014, after a courageous battle with brain cancer... While in the hospice, her eyes did indeed turn a bluish-grey colour, completely different from her normal eye colour... It reminded me of newborns... My mother was still able to communicate at the time and she found it amusing when I described the colour to her... The hospice nurse had never heard of it before; she had assumed my mother's eyes had always been that "beautiful shade of blue" as she described them... I watched the movie Heaven is Real just this morning and, not to spoil anything, but I found it interesting when the girl painted the eye blue - it's what prompted me to look this topic up... It's fascinating to see how many others have experienced this!

Suzanne wrote at 2015-01-16 03:19:26
I was unable to be with my mom at her death. Days AFTER she died I saw her in an early morning dream. Her eyes were the most beautiful sparkling, lightest blue. They were slightly larger and more pronounced. Looking at her eyes from my side view, there was no iris, retina, or any other color than the most pale, iradescent color and shape I have ever seen. I could tell my mother was no longer of this world. I'very never ever heard of this before until today when my daughter sent me this link  

Lisa K. wrote at 2015-01-22 17:06:39
My Dad just passed away last month after fighting cancer for two years. Two day prior to his death we all noticed that his hazel eyes had turned blue. It was such a startling change that everyone who visited him commented on it. Moments before he passed away his eyes changed back to their hazel color. My Mom said at the time that his eyes were the exact same color as when they had started dating, 64 years ago. I had never heard of this happening before, and am glad to hear from other people that they witnessed similar things with their loved ones. It was comforting to see my Dad's eyes again before he left us.

Diana wrote at 2015-01-24 00:35:32
My dog, Jack, passed away 12-08-14. The morning before the dreadful veterinarian appointment I let him take one last stroll in his yard. As he sat down in his favorite spot, I bent down to look into his eyes and talk to him. His eyes were not cloudy and old looking anymore, they were puppy eyes and clear. Then when he was laying on the gurney ready to take his new adventure, I looked into his eyes and they were amber. His doctor hadn't given him any injection yet. I asked his doctor why his eyes were amber and she said that he wasn't with us anymore that he is looking past us and has moved on. I still wonder why both of these eye changes occurred-but they did. I find comfort in thinking that it was totally spiritual.  

CheshireCat wrote at 2015-01-29 23:10:20
My mother passed away in hospice on 1/17/2015. Her eyes were always green, but the day before she passed away they turned sky blue. I stared into those blue eyes as she left this world. I'll never forget how blue they were.  

Peter Leitch wrote at 2015-03-03 17:39:54
We lost our 74 year old mother last month to bronchopneumonia.  She had been ill with lung cancer but this had not yet begun to seriously trouble her. Unfortunately in the 24 hours preceding her death my mother suffered a ischaemic stroke and as a result, in the early hours of her final morning, my mother's eyes were quite dark and not her usual pale, barely blue/grey colour.  However a few hours later, around 5am, my mother's eyes turned an incredible bright blue. There is no other way to describe it but to say they appeared to be back-lit. I have seen many bright blue eyed people in my 51 years but this was distinctly something else. As a psychotherapist I have a keen interest in most things relating to human consciousness and I feel I must add to the contributions of those others who have experienced similar phenomena in their dying loved ones. My mother had been utterly exhausted before and after the stroke. Indeed in the hours leading up to her death she required very considerable amounts of oxygen; her SATS levels remained in the low 80's despite very high oxygen delivery. Mum's respiration rate was in the high 20's and she was struggling to breathe, seemingly using every muscle in her chest and abdomen. To see her then, post-stroke, with those incredibly energetic blue and shining eyes was to witness something very unusual indeed. Mum passed away a few hours later and her eyes had returned to their normal faint blue/grey colour. The stroke had robbed her of speech in the last hours of her life but our beloved mother was still able to communicate with us via blinks and hand squeezes. I am comforted to think that she may have had a glimpse of something beautiful and this energised her soul resulting in those brightest of blue eyes. No pain in them, no suffering.

Ceri richards wrote at 2015-03-17 16:30:11
Hello, I'm ceri a doctor in subjects of Anatomy,pathology and physiology ,

My view on this ,is  the blood flow stops when you die because your heart is not pumping anymore,which means your pigmentation of the skin  reduces, this is to do with the cells reaching the area. You also will find sometimes the tongue can turn black  also. I hope I've answered your question.

Ceri richards HDPCT wrote at 2015-03-17 16:52:36
To every body, its ceri richards again,

Im a doctor of subjects.

First of all ,google will only hold information thats been placed by another human, if not there is because its not known, but as a pathologist trained  well as Anatomy and physiology, these subjects are all related to the body breaking down of its functions,you see your body sends cells all over you body to rebuild and keep organs functioning. When you die these functions are now ceased . Each part of your body needs different cells  function, your eyes are under pigmentation like the skin. For EG. Why your hair goes Gray yeah !  Ok  when your eyes go black this could be a break down of cells and a damage of blood vessels to the eye, this is most probably blood not colour,as when you die ,blood thickens, which would push open damaged blood vessels, filling up the eye. as blood goes black colour or very very dark red upon death or even just before due to illness.i hope you can understand what I've explained to you  

dads last run wrote at 2015-04-07 13:26:15
My father who has been hospitalized 5 times since September 2014 has had his eye color change from deep dark brown to a light blue/grey with flecks of green and gold in them. The family first noticed the eye color change after the second hospital visit. With each trip home from the hospital his eye color has gotten lighter and lighter. While we have asked many professionals we have not gotten any real reason for this happening. I have asked many folks who have lost a loved one and they have for the most part had the same thing happen to their loved ones before they passed. I would like to believe that it is indeed Gods way of showing them what Heaven looks like before they pass. God bless all of the hospice workers who are doing an excellent job in caring for my dying father. They are a comfort to all of our family and we appreciate them.  

Diana White wrote at 2015-04-28 05:06:40
I have read all these and have to add to it too. My mother was dying of thyroid cancer and a day before she died her eyes too were bright blue. There was a milky film over her eyes too but it was such a shock and I mentioned it to all my family who also witnessed it. My mother had dark brown eyes and now, here they were bright blue! It does happen.

m'lou wrote at 2015-05-26 01:33:53
My daughter passed away last week. We (family) were with her and all saw her eye color. It had turned from a beautiful hazel to a golden color, like a cat. Weird, but pretty.

Carrie wrote at 2015-06-22 23:24:30
My husband, in hospice care for liver failure, fell into a deep sleep about 12 hours before he passed away.  Just before he stopped breathing, he opened his eyes and looked at me and made some sounds - and his eyes had turned from green to a light blue with a milky cloud over them.  I think this is a sign of imminent passing.  Re a couple of posts here, the gold ring around the iris is usually not a sign of passing but cholesterol deposits - people don't usually notice them, but it's a sign of aging, not of death.

Anne O'Mara wrote at 2015-07-07 21:24:38
My father Raymond Rounds had serious flu in 1918 when he was 5 years old (1918 flu pandemic )  He was in a coma for three days, nearly dead. When he came to, his brown eyes were blue.  My grandma, (his mother) told me this, as did his sister. My dad died in 1970. His eyes were blue as long as I knew him.

Aly wrote at 2015-08-15 20:41:59
Hi Inrecently held the hand of a dying elderly friend, she had always had greyish/blue eyes, less than 48 hours before her death, her eyes had changed to s piecing violet/ blue colour, I remarked on this fact to her daughter who confirmed the change, we were amazed, the new eye colour was so pretty.

Linda hammock wrote at 2015-08-28 08:17:59
My husband of 40 years just passed the 14th. His eye color changed 3 days prior to his death. He had begun sleeping with his eyes open and I put eye drops in for comfort. He had the deep brown eyes that turned blue. I am still seeking an answer that satisfies my knowledge. Anyone(mortician) please address our concerns ;as well as a doctor would be greatly apppreciated.

Anonymiss wrote at 2015-09-08 22:58:27
My Father passed on 27/06/15. He had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Lightest brown with a ring of blue around the edge. In his final days, his eye colour changed to a blue colour all over.  

Maia wrote at 2015-10-08 03:39:12
I was with my grandfather when he died. he had dark brown eyes. Minutes before he died, he opened his eyes for a second, which had been closed while I sat with him, and they were bright light blue. I didn't think about this till days after and wondered if I had imagined it.. It did occur to me that the color his eyes were was the same Color as my grandmother who had died a few years before. I don't understand why there is no answer to why this happens when it seems to be witnessed by so many people, surely their is a medical explanation.  

Marie wrote at 2015-10-09 14:59:01
I have no answers for all above comments. When my father passed his eyes were blue and turned a brown color. I am curious why. He passed from heart failure. I'm still trying to find the reason. The only reason I can think of is some type of hemerage in the brain. blue foggy eye color is due to lack of oxygen and eye fluid building up inside the iris and cornea . I'm still searching.  

Darlene2dxkm wrote at 2015-11-19 03:18:45
My father past away and the day before his eye had changed from brown to gray.  He had heart blockages.

Cricket wrote at 2015-11-30 04:28:32
My brother went into cardiac arrest while visiting me. He had dark brown eyes. But when I checked him they were a golden light brown He died right after

Sheila wrote at 2016-01-25 18:15:54
My dad passed Nov 2013 from allergic reaction to penicillin given at hospital. I looked into his eyes which seemed glass. I had never found anywhere that had commented on the eyes. But I have comfort knowing they can change on passing.  

Marie wrote at 2016-02-02 05:28:31
My mother passed away 8 weeks ago, after falling ill with an intestinal infection that turned septic. She was in a coma and unresponsive for 3 days. At the end of that 3rd day, just seconds before she passed, she opened her eyes and stared directly at my father. He didn't tell me until the other day that her brown eyes were blue in that moment. I am thankful for everyone sharing their experiences, so my father will have something to relate to.  

James wrote at 2016-02-14 03:29:55
My father died a few days ago. As I live overseas, I hadn't seen him in nine years. When I saw him, I thought I was looking at someone else because his eye colour had changed from dark brown to grey-blue. I then recall my wife telling me that when a Thai dies, their eye colour changes before death. 99.9% of Thais have brown eyes and are born with brown eyes (sometimes grey). Therefore, the suggestion by some people that the eye colour turns to what they were born with is misleading. The explanation of angels, the Lord or a God are also misleading as there is zero evidence of such an entity.

I would like a scientific explanation why the eye colour changes. Surely, an advanced species such as us should already know the answer as trillions of humans have died over the past million years. Surely this phenomena must have already been researched?

Although my dad could no longer talk when I saw him, for ten minutes he looked at me and tried to smile. He wanted to communicate. He then closed his eyes and died the next morning. I am surprised that neither my brother nor the hospital staff noticed his eye colour had changed.

Can someone please provide a biochemical explanation to this phenomena.

Gz wrote at 2016-04-15 07:35:56
The colour of the eye, as defined by the colour of the iris, doesn't change post-mortem. If a person has brown eyes, this is due to a higher concentration of melanin in the iris than a person with blues eyes (as Fafalone said). However, the colour of the iris is not dependent upon the continual production of melanin. When a person with brown eyes dies, the colour of the iris remains unaffected.

The change in eye colour that you can see in the eyes of dead people is due to opacity of the cornea, aqueous humour and lense brought about by lack of oxygen. Once a person dies, they stop producing tears and blinking, and blood circulation ceases. The cornea must be moist in order that oxygen may be absorbed.

So, the iris of the individual stays whatever colour it was. However, the pupils dilate on death and if you look into the (now very large) pupils a few hours after death, you will notice a distictive blue-white 'haze'. This is the change that people report.

If you want an example, but want to avoid staring into the eyes of a dead person (which is not very pleasant), look at the eyes of a dead fish. The same thing happens there, and you will see the noticable blue-white colour in the pupil.

Gz wrote at 2016-04-15 07:36:03
The colour of the eye, as defined by the colour of the iris, doesn't change post-mortem. If a person has brown eyes, this is due to a higher concentration of melanin in the iris than a person with blues eyes (as Fafalone said). However, the colour of the iris is not dependent upon the continual production of melanin. When a person with brown eyes dies, the colour of the iris remains unaffected.

The change in eye colour that you can see in the eyes of dead people is due to opacity of the cornea, aqueous humour and lense brought about by lack of oxygen. Once a person dies, they stop producing tears and blinking, and blood circulation ceases. The cornea must be moist in order that oxygen may be absorbed.

So, the iris of the individual stays whatever colour it was. However, the pupils dilate on death and if you look into the (now very large) pupils a few hours after death, you will notice a distictive blue-white 'haze'. This is the change that people report.

If you want an example, but want to avoid staring into the eyes of a dead person (which is not very pleasant), look at the eyes of a dead fish. The same thing happens there, and you will see the noticable blue-white colour in the pupil.

Barb wrote at 2016-05-06 23:11:26
My husband passed away in 1993 from a brain tumor...a cruel glioblastoma.  He spent the last 10 days of his life in Hospice care in a nursing home, steadfastly refusing to eat or drink anything at all. His Hospice Dr said that was the best way though it was utterly heartbreaking to watch. Though I didn't know it, he must have researched this on his own in the weeks before his death.

Most of the time his eyes were closed, but the evening before he died,   he opened his eyes and stared right at me.  His eyes were a vivid violet blue. His face was thin, and there was not one wrinkle. He reached up and pulled my face down and kissed me, then sank back without a word and his eyes closed again. At 2.00am he was pronounced dead.  

Ellie wrote at 2016-05-21 14:50:06
When my friend died of cancer last year, at the moment of death as I was telling her I loved her and my face was very close to hers, her eyes turned completely black, even the whites. I was in awe. Has anyone else experienced this?

Karen B wrote at 2016-05-25 13:22:21
My mom is currently in the hospital fighting her battle with liver cancer. Just a couple of days ago, it was mentioned by a lady from church that my mom had beautiful blue eyes. It struck me as odd because mom's eyes are green. After hearing that comment, I looked at her eyes and sure enough they had changed from green to a blue/gray. I asked the nursing staff about it and none of them had any idea why that had happened. I told my brother in law and he found this site. It helps to understand what is happening to her and, in my mind, confirms the doctor's statement about her being in her last days.  

Mary wrote at 2016-06-12 18:14:50
My mother passed away May 22nd. She had been going through the dying process four weeks. During weeks two and three she kept her eyes closed. Four days before she died, she opened her eyes for a few seconds and looked at my sister. The color of her eye's was always a pretty brown, but her irises had a milky whitish blue look. The day she died I sat with her all day. As I held her warm hand, she turned her head and opened her eyes fully looking directly at me, yet she seemed to be looking directly through me. The color of her eye's were now a bright gleaming sky blue color. Upon seeing this, I was quite shocked. To see this was both scary yet peaceful at the same time. She stared at me without blinking for a little over a minute, and her eyes seemed to emanate a profound peacefulness. Her rose bud lips were a shade of pink that one would have thought she was wearing lipstick, but she wasn't. Her lips took on that lipstick pink look the entire month of her dying process. I told her I loved her, and then she closed her eyes. She died 12 hours later.

Sister's Keeper wrote at 2016-07-17 18:02:50
The day before my sister died (11/17/16) her eyes, which were normally a hazel/green/blue shade, mezmerized me for 10/15 seconds with the most peaceful gaze of a deep sky or alantic blue brillance.  Her eyes just shocked me and I thought she was going to make a prophecy or relate a message from the other side, but she just smiled and said "I love you."  While this was happening I thought what is going on with you and looked for the black pupil but could only see a needle thin black line semi circle where the black pupil should be, so even the pupil area was a blue shade and not black.  She closed her eyes again as in her last days she preferred to keep them closed.  I tried to look at her eyes again that evening as the lids were half closed and I could see only the lower crescent of her eyes and noticed they had returned to the hazel shade with a yellow rim which I think is indicative of organ failure.  Still looking for a scientific explanation but even if I find one it will always be a spiritual experience for me.  

Emma wrote at 2016-07-20 17:59:35
My dad was ill with renal failure and I noticed about 4days before he passed that is green/brown does had turned very light blue the same as the colour of a siberian husky the looked so beautiful  

Laura wrote at 2016-08-29 01:38:50
My mom passed last week. About a day before she died, she opened her eyes (they had been closed since I arrived at her home, two days earlier) and looked straight into mine. Her eyes had always been hazel. At that moment they were the clearest blue I had ever seen. I can't emphasize enough how they were clear, clear, clear. There was no milky opacity or anything like that. Just startlingly clear blue eyes. Experts can say what they like, but I witnessed this, absolutely clear as day.

jmr wrote at 2016-10-12 22:44:22
My father passed away at the end of August. His last day was difficult, he had labored breathing and he was unable to speak. His eyes became increasingly opaque and weepy - almost black and half opened. I left his room roughly ten minutes before he passed away and reentered the room in his last two or three minutes of life. Upon entering the room, both of his eyes were wide open, and a clear sparkly blue. He had a look of absolute wonder in his eyes. the look of pain and struggle was gone. Like many on this site, I have wondered is this a physiological or spiritual phenomena.  I choose to believe he was being welcomed by loved one and the lord on the other side. Whatever, the explanation it was a beautiful thing to see.  

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Christine Johnson


I can give suggestions, encouragement and direction on what hospice is and is not, when it is appropriate, and how to go about getting it. I am familiar with Medicaid and Medicare hospice benefits. I can answer general questions about disease process, what dying looks like, how hospice handles pain and other symptoms, what to expect from a hospice when end of life nears. I can provide support, direction and encouragement related to spiritual matters and psychological matters related to death and dying.


I am a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, and have been the director of nurses for three hospice centers, under two different companies. I have also worked as a contract hospice nurse for a large American hospice company. On a personal level, my father died without benefit of hospice (it was not popular then). I have taken care of dying patients in hospitals and recognize that for most of us, it is preferable to die at home (or in our residence, wherever that may be), comfortably and without anxiety. Also I had no support when my father died; hospice clients are the whole family (however that is defined by the "patient"), and support is provided at least a year after the patient passes. These are the sorts of things (and probably others) that I can help with.

HPNA (Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association)

none yet

Registered Nurse (TX), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (TX) ADN Nursing, Excelsior College, Albany, New York (2004) 4.0 GPA BA, Psychology (minor Social Work), Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1986) 3.67 GPA MHR (MA) Human Relations, Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1988) 3.5 GPA

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Phi Beta Kappa (and others)

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Unable to name as this would violate their privacy (and HIPAA....)

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