I spend a good bit of time around people nearing the end of their lives. I volunteer at hospice now (no…it is not a depressing place…but I will save that for another post!) and I went through a hospice with my mom years ago. It had a significant impact and made me navigate how families handle the end of their life. I remember a conversation I had with a nurse/social worker at the hospice that focused on letting go and preparing for death. I had been showing little videos of my kids to mom. I wondered if that was helping or hurting the process…if the sharing was more for me?!
Years later, I went to visit a dear aunt going through home hospice. She was a very vibrant woman in life…had a passion for baseball (she loved the St. Louise Cardinals!), loved eating out a certainly enjoyed a good laugh. While I was there, I remember talking to her about what she was feeling. She said she was not afraid…but that many of the things she valued so much seemed so much less important. No baseball on the TV…no TV as I recall. No reading of the paper or wondering about the news. In hind sight, I think she too was letting go.
It is an interesting concept…a dying person needs vs. those of the family and loved ones. They do not always align. As a survivor, we tend to cling on to memories and try to maximize the time we have. While there is absolutely a place and time for reflection, there also seems to be a point where letting go is necessary. Like all things human, each case is different.
In my reading I came across the article below which is not long, but very accurately shares one scenario. It was on Aging.com and was written by a Blogger names Anna Keizer. I found it uplifting in a way…and made me pause to think that when we are faced with a loss, perhaps we need to leave consider going with the flow and not holding on too tight.