There was a time in our modern history when death was moved from home, to hospitals, to funeral homes. Miracle cures were invented, so people went to the hospital to live, even when those miracle cures were not going to cure the sick people at last. But unrealistic hopes of a long-term delay in preventing death began to emerge. You wanted to go where people could do the most for you, even if the best thing could be less emergency. It was not easy to find a place near a hospital bed (sometimes not yet). Thus, people often died in rather antiseptic conditions without the comfort of their families.
But now the swing is slowly turning back and forth, including bed vigilance, be it hospitals, nursing homes, hospital facilities, or safe access to their home. Our problem now is that we are several generations away from knowing what to do when we keep a dying company.
It is an incredible privilege to be with people, to be vigilant as they die. From time to time it’s terrible because the process of dying is under control, և you are only there as a witness: comforter. Things do not go faster because it is difficult to watch, և we want the end. They do not go slower because we leave so reluctantly that our loved one dies.
Here are some simple things to look for when selecting yours, which will help keep your loved one entertained as he or she goes through life.
- PresenceThis is the sweetest gift. Just being there. Whether you are a family, gathered around the bed, slowly exchanging stories, laughing, singing, praying or being alone, witnessing there. You can read a favorite book or psalm, sing a favorite hymn, or tell them how important they have been in your life. People have said that it is helpful to talk about people you know who have already left life, even to text them to someone on the other side. It can make their transition easier. But remember, the bed of the dead is not a place of family tension. Take it out or put it aside, really put it aside, և be present to your loved one, death: to each other.
- ComfortMake sure your loved one is comfortable. You know pretty quickly if they are irritated. There is no reason why the last hours of someone’s life should be marked by pain or anxiety. The Hossips movement has come a long way in trying to bring peace to the people. It can be frustrating if you are not at home, և having to chase people to manage drugs, change positions or find more shelter. But it is one of the sweetest gifts you can give. Dying is a very hard job. Can you help in this way?
- Sound:The voice is obviously the last feeling we have lost. So put on some music. Sing Tell stories. Tell her how much you love them. Tell them about their grandchildren. Shut up. You do not want to tie them in this world, but you want to convince them that life goes on.
- Open handsThis may be your hardest task. You want to let people know that everything is right for them to leave you. And you have to let that happen. When someone is ready to die, they will be over. Asking them to stay longer is selfish. One of the greatest gifts of love is to love their next world.
People were surprised when I wrote about my mother’s death that I described it as labor. But that was it. It is often difficult to die. Our bodies are built to prolong life, our instinct is for life. Many work in death. Their death is a surprising relief. It’s a kind of birth, whatever you believe in the afterlife. And to all the skeptics, I must say that I have never been with a dying man who did not rest in death with a peaceful look on his face. It’s actually a lot of comfort, which you do not know if you do not stay the course.
It is said that some people can not die in the room with their loved ones. They wait until we stumble across a piece of food, breathe fresh air, or walk. Many people perceive this as a failure, but it is often just a sign of the depth of the relationship between you. Sometimes love binds the heart, after the body is really able to sustain life. Be open to the process. Do what you can, that’s all you can ask of yourself. No matter how it develops, your vigilance is a wonderful gift to you, your loved one, through their death or death. Your love for them will keep you safe now that they are gone.