A new blogging friend Hazel left a very good question in her comment of a couple of days ago. I realize my thoughts, my views on the situation have changed some what over the years and it is time to repost about it.
Her question: “ My inquiry is how can i help someone who knows they are dying?”
It is a straight forward question to which I do wish I had a straight forward answer. This is an issue I am struggling with myself this past while.
How do you treat a dying person? As I have written so very many times I am not a doctor, nor a man of the clergy or any sort of therapist or any such. I am just a man sharing my thoughts and feelings based on my own experiences through this journey in life. This is an attempt to combine how I would like to be treated and in turn try to treat others.
There are so many factors to take into consideration that there is just no one right way. All we can do is our best, do what is in our hearts. Even that must at times be tempered or controlled to suit the situation. our natural impulse is to want to help our loved one. It is so very difficult coming to acceptance when the time comes that there just is nothing we can do, other than provide comfort and support. How do we do that?
Firstly, I think it is important to remember, I am still me. I am still the same person I was prior to the doctor giving me his diagnosis and prognosis. I still like the same things, I AM STILL ME. The only difference is I have some unsettling, disturbing thoughts running around in my head. Think about the things in your life that can upset you, I mean really set you off. Now compare that to hearing that you are dying. How do they compare in importance or significance? How important or significant does your issue seem or compare.
Hearing you are dying is something that it does take some time to get your head wrapped around, depending on where the patient is in the grieving process. Yes the patient grieves also, grieving the pending loss of their own life. Mood spirit what ever can change from day to day or even from hour to hour. Often if someone comes home from work after having an abxoultely horrific day. they are a little bit grumpy and thinking of the day they have had we cut them a little slack, thinking after a day like that it is understandable their mood may not be the best and fair enough. Can we do at least that much for the patient, I would hope so.
OK, you are off for the visit and I really do encourage everyone to make that visit. As I am speaking from experience obviously I can only speak for myself. If you cometo visit me, I am going to do my damnedest to keep the visit as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. i don’t want anyones last memories of me to be of a grumpy old crab. i will push myself to my limit. However when I do reach that point I am just going to tell you I need to lay down or what ever. please don’t be upset, angry or what ever. OK, you may have just arrived but sorry, you may not know the day I have had so far or what I have already done.
How do you talk to me. The same way we have always talked, remember I am still the same person I have always been. Dont’t be afraid of mentioning anything about dying. Guess what I already know that so hearing it from you isn’t going to upset me. Feel free to ask any questions you may have but then let’s drop the subject not dwelling on it.
Let’s reminisce about the good old days, Help me distract my mind from the obvious. I have more to say but just as I do with physical company, when I need to lay down I just say so.
I am going to try and get more up on this subject soon