Imagine hearing the words from a family member or a close friend that they are tired of fighting an illness, “I am tired and ready to go”.
You hear those words and you immediately go numb, your mind races and fear of loss sets in. You beg and plead with them and try to understand knowing that you do not want to understand. You think, “How can they do this to me” or “how selfish”.
Remember they are the ones fighting the battle they are fighting, they are tired and now they have made peace with themselves and their decision to leave this life on their terms, to enjoy the moments they have left with the ones that they love.
Don’t think that this was an easy decision. They cried and thought about you. They think about the loneliness that those left behind will feel and the pain. Then they realize that maybe, just maybe that they are really helping you. You get to spend the time they have left with them on their terms full of happy moments and memories that will go with them on their journey as well as yours.
So, what do you do? You live with them, love them and enjoy each moment. Celebrate their life and everything about it. Cry with them, tell them how much they mean and leave NOTHING unsaid. Right any wrongs and LIVE!!!
Remember that what we are goes on forever. Above all please listen to them. Remember that they are the ones leaving and going to a better place for them and in the end for you as well.
Keep a journal of your time together to share with loved ones down the road and as time goes by.
There may be times when the one that is on the new path may be silent. That is fine. Respect it. Like I said it is hard for them to leave you. Often silence is a good thing and usually they are dealing with the pain and sadness of it or thinking of something sensitive and painful. So just wait until they are ready and enjoy and share the silent moment together when they arise for the next remark may be the very thing that they need to really talk about or it may be something that you really need to hear.
In life there are many times when silence are superior to words. Sometimes the best conversation is none at all. It’s the time just being when we share the most. It is during those times that holding a hand can do more for the both of you than any word ever spoken.
There are times when silence is preferable to words. Not knowing what to say at certain times may be because there isn’t anything to say. This is when hand holding or putting your arm round the person’s shoulder may carry more impact than words.
There is no magic formula for each of us is different. Communication, however, whether by talking, by sympathetic silence or by touching, is still the greatest comfort to those who are sick, frightened and lonely no matter how many loved ones may be there with them.
Don’t ever say, “I want to see you, but I can’t face it”, We all prefer to avoid death and dying. I have heard so many people say, “I want to come by, but I just can’t.” I have no answers for that, I guess. But avoidance is no answer to most of life’s unpleasant things. Even a short note or letter is better than staying away.
Let the one dying talk about death if they bring it up. They are about to cross through a doorway into another level of existence, and although most of us have a testimony of a Universal and Godly plan, they may want to express their feelings. Let them talk. Pray with them. Don’t be uncomfortable; they will love you for your understanding and patience.
Express your feelings. The closer to death they come, the more they need to hear that you love them. “I’m going to miss you” makes them feel good. This may be difficult for you to do, but your efforts are appreciated.
Keep their memory alive. This is a time of transition for your family, a time for grieving. Grieve! If any of the family wants to talk, listen. If they want to cry, just comfort them. Grieving is a natural, normal part of the death process, and letting them express their feelings will make the transition easier on either side.
We should all confront death and dying better. We need to find a way to help that consists of genuine acts of love and compassion. Especially, we need to be careful of the things we say. The trauma is difficult enough without unnecessary hurt.