Reflecting At The End of Life


I borrowed this prompt from Patrecia today as her list is absolutely brilliant and I had to have a go myself. You’ll find her list here if you want to see where I’m coming from.

“What Will You Thinking About On Your Deathbed?”

Great, great question!! Assuming I will have a long time between knowing I’m on my deathbed and actually shuffling off this mortal coil (and not being wiped out in a blink by the number 98 bus on the High Street…), here’s my list (in no particular order):

1. I’ll be wondering if I’ll be aware of the process of dying. For instance, will I know that my breathing is getting shallower and slower? Will I be aware that my heart’s beat is getting further and further in between? Does it hurt when I take my last breath?

2. I’ll be thinking about the people who will mourn me – my husband, my kids, my friends (my grand-kids? Great-grand-kids?) and hoping they will remember me for the good times we’ve shared.

3. I would want my loved ones to plan a party for me at my “farewell ceremony”. I don’t want them to be miserable and sad. Of course they can miss me but I want them to celebrate my life and to get on with theirs with me in their hearts. I would hate them to idolise me and put me in a shrine which would stop them moving on and living their own lives. I don’t want to hold anyone back and I would hate it if they couldn’t move on. Life is for living, not carrying the dead around.

4. I’d be excited about going on to the next stage. I want to see my Uncle David again, desperately. I want to see my Aunty Maureen and my Aunty Norma – it has been too long since they went. I want to meet both my Granddads again and find out what they make of my efforts to be a grown up. And of course, it goes without saying that I want to meet God face to face.

5. Knowing me I’d be thinking about being too hot/too cold and could they open the window/turn the heating up. That could just be my age now though, so scratch that one if I reach 90!!

6. I’d be thinking back to all the opportunities I’ve missed to make a difference to people’s lives.

7. I’d be thinking back to all the times I wimped out of new things because I was too nervous to try them.

8. I’d be thinking about all the times I didn’t say “sorry” or “I love you”.

9. And then I would think about all the times where I did try to make a difference, where I did make the effort to try new things and where I did say “sorry” and “I love you” and I would be happy.

10. And finally I would probably be worrying about how the family are going to divide all my millions in the bank (hahah!!! Yeah, right….)

Got to end on a funny one haven’t I?!!

So what’s your list? Would you be introspective do you think? Would you make last minute atonements, or are you pretty much there already with your conscience and your relationships with your family and God? Would you, like me, be worrying about all those millions sat there waiting to be spent on frivolous fripperies?? (That’s a joke by the way, just in case my stalker is reading this and thinking that I’ve got pots of cash in the bank. But I can always live in hope of winning the Lottery someday can’t I?!)

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Reflecting At The End of Life

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  1. Mother passed Sept 17. I was her home hospice care nurse for last five weeks of her life. The illness was unexpected and sudden. The dying process began during the months prior although none of us recognized it as such. Near the end the person loses interest in things of this world. Mother stopped reading. Did not care to venture outside. No interest in TV and the journey to the other side begins with a turning inward and a slow detachment. Her unhappiness was not about death but that she would be leaving father and I. Half hour after she died a tear formed in her left eye and fell.

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    1. Your story moved me Carl and my heart goes out to you. I can imagine your Mother as being one of those people who always put other people’s happiness before her own which would explain her unhappiness about leaving you all behind. Take faith and strength in the knowledge that for as long as you remember her and include her in your thoughts and reminiscences then she will live on. You will meet her again one day but for now remember the love you all shared. God bless you.

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  2. I don’t think one can be sure until it happens. Still, I believe there will be only one thought for me … to be reunited with my husband David, the love of my life.
    Blessings ~ Maxi

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  3. My experience is similar to Carl D’Agostino above. My beloved mother Penny who was diagnosed in stage 4 lung cancer. Passed on 2.5 months later, It was the most painful and yet satisfying time I ever spent with my mom. Like Carl’s. mother all the dying was happening unbeknownst to myself and two brothers. Think in a way that was best fro my mom emotionally She could never accept at least out loud to any of that she was not going to recover. And who I was to beg to differ?

    Well in the end it had to be me. Hospice,( who I could never have taken care of my mom without and fulfilled her wish to stay in her own home) explained to me that I had to tell my mom it was okay for her to let go. That I was going to be fine. It was the worst and most difficult thing to come out of mouth in my entire life
    . Giving her permission to die? I asked the hospice nurse; who did I think I was?
    She answered me because she knew what i did not; ‘You are the child she is concerned about Your mom is so worried about you. She does not trust you’ll be okay when she lets go.”

    It was a life and death lesson of magnitude emotions. I’d like to add that once I had this conversation with my mom who was by then I thought not very lucid., Again I was wrong, 18 hours after this conversation I was asked by her son-in-law to take myself away from her bed and rest.awhile I had been there for 24. I had not been laying down for even 5 minutes when I heard his footsteps and I knew.
    My mom needed me to tell her I was going to be alright, then she needed me to not be sitting beside her and when she drew her last breath
    My mothers love so generous even to the end.~

    Thanks for this cathartic post Pam! Thank you for sharing this. I also thank you for this platform which I was able to say these things out loud for the first time. Healing.

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    1. Bless you BB xx My heart goes out to you and yet again I’m humbled by your life experiences. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a parent and I think I would be like you were, by your Mom’s side day in and day out at the end. It must be so hard to say goodbye, even knowing that we will all meet up again later, so so hard.

      I hope and pray that being able to put it into words here that your healing process will reach a new stage. God bless you x

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      1. Pam, may I apologize for taking my own and personal direction in my comment on your blog Totally ignoring your question? I will to admit that reading Carl’s comment brought the memories that flooded me.
        I am thankful for your post helped me male one more step to being healed from the painful moments. Each step in a long process I am humbly grateful for.
        I am also grateful for a blogging blibling like you. Thanks Pam!

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      1. Carl I Thank you! I sensed you would from your own comment which flooded me with memories. Painful but in such a healthy & natural way, I gave myself the gift of some tears while writing the comment. Cathartic indeed.
        I believe my mom is watching over me, never far from my voice when I need to talk to her alone, when no one else will do.

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  4. If all you think about on your deathbed are regrets and missed opportunities, it’s just going to make things much more negative. Dying is about finally being free, but saying goodbye to those who you love; who knows, it might be temporary! Thank you for a great post

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