End-of-Life Professionals Can Help The Dying Feel Less Alone
“If I was healthy, there’s no way I would want to die. But this, how I’m living, it’s exhausting. I’m okay if death sneaks in one night to rescue me from this existence.”
I had a hospice patient who was very vocal about how tired he was of living with his illness.
He had no desire to pursue MAiD or VSED, (Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking).
He was just “damn tired” of living like he was. His quality of life was very compromised. He spent most of his days in bed due to weakness and shortness of breath.
He shared openly about his feeling of secretly hoping death would come for him.
And, that his family really didn’t want to hear this type of talk.
In my experience, this feeling is common among hospice patients.
As a family member, or someone who cares for the individual, it can be really difficult to hear that they want to die. Or, that they don’t want to live anymore.
It can feel like they are saying they are ready to leave you. That they are abandoning you. That if they loved you more, they would want to stay longer, no matter what.
These are complicated and hard feelings. For all parties.
As end-of-life professionals, we are in a unique position. This individual is not our family member, not someone that we have had years of history with. They haven’t failed us or carried us.
They are a human being approaching the end-of-life.
We get the beautiful opportunity to listen. To hear without judgment. To be present without fears that they are leaving us. To sit with all of the hard and complicated feelings without memories of painful times together showing up.
Utilize your end-of-life professionals. Your doulas, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, nurses. We can help support both the terminally ill individual and their support team.