The end of a life. It happens to all of us eventually. Everyone is preparing for the last day of their life, everyday. It’s not too often, unfortunately, that we know when our life will come to an end, so it’s important to live everyday as if it’s our last.
For some lucky people, they live a long life and die peacefully in a bed surrounded by loved ones at an old age. Both of my grandparents were lucky enough to be those people. When a person is old and is told that their final moments are near, the best thing they can be offered is comfort and love.
Too often, the elderly and pushed off to the side, thrown in nursing homes and abandoned, or worse, abused. People seem to forget that because one is near the end of their life, doesn’t mean their time isn’t valuable. When elderly get to a point in their lives when they can no longer drive, walk, feed themselves, or bathe themselves it can hurt and make them feel helpless and upset.
An elderly person who is dying feels even more helpless. Imagine the fear and confusion of feeling your body slowly shut down. You’re surrounded by strange medical personal and you don’t get why you are stuck in a hospital bed. You’re tied to wires and tubes and you have seen the same walls for days. You can’t talk clearly and no one understands what you are asking for. You’ve been given so much medication that you can’t even think clearly. And then, you get told that you are nearing the end of your life and nothing more can be done for you. What would be going through your mind?
Comforting someone in this time of loneliness and confusion can be the most important thing we ever do. The individual wants to reflect on their years and feel satisfied with what they’ve done and the people they’ve known. You can help them by being by their side and reminding them of the memories they’ve shared with you and with their loved ones. Talk to them about places they’ve gone. Remind them that they will soon be reunited with their parents and other loved ones who passed before they did. Play their favorite music. Hold their hand and fix their blankets. Talk with them about their wedding day and their children and grandchildren. And most of all, let them know that you love them and couldn’t have asked for more from them. Let them know that if they are ready to move on they should let go.
This can be difficult, as you don’t want them to leave. You may feel selfish for wanting them to stay with you forever. But remember the craziness of the world and the sorrows it brings and picture that loved one escaping from all of it. Remember that they’ve done all they need to do here and that they can go to a place full of joy and beauty and never suffer again. Although it will be sad to see them go, the comfort of that loved one finally being set free from this Earth can erase it all. Remember that they are dying in the best possible way, comfortable and surrounded by loved ones. And they’ve given you the strength to go on without them. Their work on Earth is complete.
However hard it may feel to let someone go, comforting and loving your dying loved one in the end can be the best gift you ever give them. Dying doesn’t mean your life is already over and that you can be left alone and forgotten. In fact, dying may be the scariest and most make it or break it moment of your life. That’s why it is so essential to make the last few moments with our loved ones last all the while, until one day we see them again and finally know all of the answers to this crazy life that they are soon about to learn for themselves.