Understanding the dying


This past couple of weeks have been tough, emotionally draining. These are times I really need to sit back and focus on the big picture of my life. I am a very blessed and lucky man, I have a good life.

I have been dealing with this whole dying thing for 9 or 10 years, it wears away at you. I at times need to sit back, reflect to recharge those batteries.

Over these years I have done a lot of reading and writing on this whole dying experience. I have come to realize how difficult and confusing it can be for both patient and care givers. It can almost be like we need to add words to our language or have some sort of a code or something. It can be confusing for both sides. I think I may have written before about the definition of feeling good.

As humans we are very adaptable. We are able to adjust to our circumstances. By this I mean as your health declines you adjust to what is becoming your new normal way of how you feel. It gets to the point where you forget what feeing good felt like in the past. You base everything on what is your “norm” of today. A care giver can ask how you are feeling and you can honestly answer good. The care taker hears you are feeling good and can easily interpret that answer as based on their own definition of what good feels like. In fact those 2 definitions of feeling good can be miles apart.

Here through the blog I have met a number of terminal patients. Some things are easier said in a more private setting and we revert to exchanging emails. There is always the understanding that NOTHING  exchanged in those emails will ever make it to the blog, without my receiving prior approval. I have that approval as long as name and location is not revealed.

The story relates along relates to terminology, language as I am writing about. I may have written about this previously. Hey, I am memory guy. There is a huge difference between being at peace and being OK with what you are facing. His decline has been a lengthy one. He and his family have been blessed with extra time (as have I). He has done everything he can to ease the burden, the worry for the family. He feels the family is to the point as they believe, based on what he has always told them, he is OK.

Now this next part I can personally relate to. There is a huge difference between being Ok with facing your own passing and being at peace with it. I am at peace with what awaits, I have my strong belief system in place and am comfortable with that. When my time comes I believe I am ready. None of that though means I have to like it or be OK with it. I have a wonderful life and just don’t want to give it up. Language again at peace with something doesn’t mean you are OK with it

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3 Responses to Understanding the dying

  1. M T McGuire says:

    Wise words and not just about dying. That goes right across the board.

    *** Thank you
    Bill

  2. Mel says:

    Yup, I agree with M T. We change our definitions as we cope with whatever circumstances we’re in. And being at peace with something doesn’t mean I’m inviting it and hosting a banquet.

    I try to ask folks to tell me what’s ‘good’ when they give me that as the answer. Somehow focusing on the good, gives us all a bit of perspective from the get go……and when I then ask for the ‘not so good’, I tend to get a different answer.

  3. hilarymb says:

    Dear Bill – ok in normal life .. means not ok and could if the recipient of the answer is aware of the goings on …

    I like the way you’ve described this .. and your peace – I’m grateful to know this … I like Mel’s comment and the idea of it … asking the two questions …

    Thanks and with thoughts for you all – Hilary

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