[Question] Can dying people “hold on” for something they are waiting for?

con­tent note: death, old age, sickness

I’ve heard nu­mer­ous anec­do­tal ac­counts of sick or old peo­ple who are on death’s door “hold­ing on” in a way sug­ges­tive that they were ex­ert­ing some effort to do, un­til they had reached clo­sure on some thing (a rel­a­tive com­ing to visit, a manuscript pub­lished, some­body’s birth­day).

I could imag­ine this be­ing a to­tally real thing that dy­ing peo­ple can do for some limited time.

I can also imag­ine it just be­ing cherry picked sto­ries that were more a mat­ter of luck.

It seems likely that there’s at least situ­a­tions where, say, eat­ing is difficult/​painful, and peo­ple con­tinue ex­ert­ing effort to do that so long as they have some­thing that feels worth it to keep do­ing so, and then stop putting in the effort af­ter hit­ting some mile­stone they cared about.

Some of the anec­dotes I’ve heard im­plied some­thing more im­me­di­ate go­ing on (where some­one seemed to be hold­ing on and liter­ally a few min­utes or sec­onds af­ter­wards, died).

(Pos­si­ble straight­for­ward mechanism could just be that breath­ing be­comes painful and difficult, and peo­ple only keep do­ing it when they have a con­crete goal)

No answers.