Dying

Although it can't be avoided it can be helped. Dying alone is

the most barbaric of all society's practices.

It is still like death in the forest amongst chimpanzees. Unable

to feed, to run, to call for help brings pain, fear, loneliness and

finally, death. When your loved one is in the mood to talk about

dying, listen. Especially if it is about their own imminent death.

This doesn't obligate you to carry out any of their wishes. When

death approaches the important thing is simply to be there. They

may not have requested this, out of a sense of guilt or masochism,

or plain dementia. But it is the most primitive of needs, the same

as having a loved one nearby during childbirth. It is just a

presence that counts. How can you be there if you have a job or

are attending a family's needs? It is a time of great frustration for

you. All your hard work and successes are culminating in one

grand failure!

The good news is that it need not be you who attends your

loved one every minute of the last week. Pay for someone to

sitósomeone who is recognized. But arrange for immediate

privacy when you return. No matter how much your loved one

admonishes you to go about your business, you will know when

you share the final minute that your presence helped. The loneliness

of the last coma, the last silence is unspeakable. Give

yourself the reward of knowing you shared the pain, fear and

silent cry for help.



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