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-   -   Lingering (http://www.thelightbeyond.com/forum/showthread.php?t=96)

Calypso July 10th, 2007 21:24

Lingering
 
Working with hospice, sometimes we'll see patients remain "stuck" in the active dying stage for days or even weeks at a time. When that happens, we brainstorm about what might help the person let go and make their transition. A lot of times, the family can be a tremendous amount of help. For instance, one woman I worked with died hours after her husband, for the very first time, gave her permission to go.

Sometimes dying people wait for loved ones to arrive.

Other times they wait for them to leave. Another family I worked with had six children, all very determined that dad wasn't going to die alone. They took turns sitting at his bed in pairs, getting more and more tired as the days turned to weeks. The night the man finally died, one of his sons had gotten up to use the bathroom and the other had dozed off for just a few seconds. In that moment, he was gone. At first the family felt terrible, but later came to feel that it was just like their father to want a little privacy in his final moments and to want to spare his children the sight of his death.

In all cases, the family got to act in the role of midwives, gently helping deliver their loved one to whatever lies beyond. Although it took a Herculean amount of emotional strength at the time, I've never heard anyone express regret for walking that journey with those closest to them.

SageMother July 11th, 2007 14:58

INfluences surrounding these transition are interesting. When I have thought about my own death I have always hoped no one would be nearby, like in the room with me.

This might change but for now I would rather not feel the added anxiety of others being near.

Taggart July 18th, 2007 09:01

I've heard of people waiting for someone to arrive before passing on, but it never occurred to me that some people would prefer being alone.

I think it would be helpful for people to hear anecdotes like these, to be better prepared for those situations when the time comes.

SageMother July 18th, 2007 15:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taggart (Post 554)
I've heard of people waiting for someone to arrive before passing on, but it never occurred to me that some people would prefer being alone.

I think it would be helpful for people to hear anecdotes like these, to be better prepared for those situations when the time comes.

It is good to have a forum like his where thinking about these things isn't taboo. Our society seems frightened of the life cycle...afraid to let people learn about reproduction and then control it, then afraid to deal with the inevitabilities of dying that we all must face.

It's really too bad. I think these things give life much of its meaning, and society is denying our offspring the right to embrace what it means to be "human first".

luciestorrs July 19th, 2007 04:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by SageMother (Post 557)
Our society seems frightened of the life cycle...afraid to let people learn about reproduction and then control it, then afraid to deal with the inevitabilities of dying that we all must face.

Good point, SageMother. In fact I was reading an interesting article on this subject yesterday - it's called When To Let Go? Medicine's Top Dilemma, and amongst other things it's about the tendency to keep people alive at all costs and the tendency to deny our own mortality...

mollyL December 11th, 2007 15:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calypso (Post 423)
Working with hospice, sometimes we'll see patients remain "stuck" in the active dying stage for days or even weeks at a time. When that happens, we brainstorm about what might help the person let go and make their transition. A lot of times, the family can be a tremendous amount of help. For instance, one woman I worked with died hours after her husband, for the very first time, gave her permission to go.

Sometimes dying people wait for loved ones to arrive.

Other times they wait for them to leave. Another family I worked with had six children, all very determined that dad wasn't going to die alone. They took turns sitting at his bed in pairs, getting more and more tired as the days turned to weeks. The night the man finally died, one of his sons had gotten up to use the bathroom and the other had dozed off for just a few seconds. In that moment, he was gone. At first the family felt terrible, but later came to feel that it was just like their father to want a little privacy in his final moments and to want to spare his children the sight of his death.

In all cases, the family got to act in the role of midwives, gently helping deliver their loved one to whatever lies beyond. Although it took a Herculean amount of emotional strength at the time, I've never heard anyone express regret for walking that journey with those closest to them.

Calypso, what a wonderful post! It was compassionate and informative at the same time. I love the midwife analogy; it really is food for thought.
I work with middle schoolers at my church. The woman that works with me (and has become a good friend in the process) works at our local hospice as the social worker. Sometimes when she comes straight from work to our kid's group, she looks profoundly exhausted, yet somehow lit from within. When she speaks about faith , trust and compassion, it comes directly from her heart.
I have such admiration for hospice workers, you truly do blessed work.

ammulu December 12th, 2007 08:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by SageMother (Post 557)
It is good to have a forum like his where thinking about these things isn't taboo. Our society seems frightened of the life cycle...afraid to let people learn about reproduction and then control it, then afraid to deal with the inevitabilities of dying that we all must face.

It's really too bad. I think these things give life much of its meaning, and society is denying our offspring the right to embrace what it means to be "human first".

I think my situation would surely tell out the loss and regain of family member in different way.
My uncle met with an accident, he used to say it might not be accident and that he felt someone hit him on his shoulder on his way back home on a vehicle. There were no injures externally but internally his nerves were affected, he suffered for almost more than 6 mths on bed and expired almost 5 mths back. I just feel so upset and so hurt with the loss.
The time he expired I had a dream where God said that in order for new member to arrive in family other should leave and my uncle expired. It happened so that I conceived the same time and had a dream where God says that I am gonna have a baby boy. After 4 mths of pregnancy it turned out to be true.
Now I just feel that my uncle isn't gone but he is coming back to our family as my son. Same was with my grandma, the time she expired immediately my aunt conceived and had a baby girl, whom we believe is our grandma back to family with different relation. I know it sounds stupid but some kind of overcoming grief or loss of member.

katharina December 13th, 2007 07:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calypso (Post 423)
A lot of times, the family can be a tremendous amount of help. For instance, one woman I worked with died hours after her husband, for the very first time, gave her permission to go.

I've heard of this before... and in fact, I know a young person who's
currently in hospice from years of anorexia until her organs started
shutting down one by one. Her friends and some of her family have
physically "given her permission" to go, but other close family members
will not do that. They are constantly asking for "just 'til Christmas" and
then it will be "just 'til spring".... I think it's a lot more difficult for her
than it would normally be.

tater03 December 13th, 2007 08:51

You know you don't think about these things until you are going through it. I have seen where people have waited for others before passing on and just recently I have seen the opposite. My mother in law passed away just when my father in law finally went to get something from the cafeteria. He had to be talked into doing this because he wanted to be with her when she passed on. But knowing her I truely feel that she didn't want him to see her pass on. Whatever her reasons may have been she waited for that one moment when he left and then passed on.

clickinggirl March 31st, 2008 11:03

I had heard about this happening... When my grandmother was in the hospital dying, my parents and I had to go for the night (with plans to return first thing in the morning). Before we left, I whispered in her ear to not be afraid, and it would be ok with me if she had to go. She died in the night.

Sometimes we just have to give those permissions. It terribly sad, but interesting, too.


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