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Death of loved ones


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#1 Bold

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 12:10 AM

Let me begin by stating this post will to be very different from my usual posts. But today is not a regular day for me.

There is nothing more absolute than the flow of life. Living beings are born, live and eventually die. Anyone can comprehend it, after all, considering the tremendous complexity of living bodies, it would be impossible to keep them working for eternity. From a more global perspective, there would be no way to provided food and living space for all living beings if they were immortal.

Then why is it so hard for us to accept death? We try looking very hard for ways to avoid it, it makes us cry and very sad.

Of course, there are situation where people are sadder. For instance, when a child dies, everyone agrees that it was "unjust and unfair". It is usually considered less tragic when an older person dies. Probably because we are prepared and we all know that "old people die". But even then, to the people who are close to the deceased, it is extremely sad.

When looking at it rationally, I would be the first one to state that it is better to die before we degenerate. Personally, I believe there is very few things worst than degenerate into little more than a vegetable, but yet be kept alive. Nothing worst than suffering needlessly when there is no hope of getting better. But anyone having had to make a live or death decision to spare pain to a loved one, can testify how hard these decisions can be.

Why are we thorned apart by our will to spare misery and our desire to avoid death. Why is death so saddening. Is it because it is scary? Because it is the unknowed? The true frontier from which no one ever came back? Then again, if it was only scary, why are we sadden by it? Why does it make us cry and throws us into utter distress?

Life is indeed precious. Otherwise, we would not be reacting so strongly to death. Maybe it is actually because death creates so much emotions in us that we usually consider life to be the most important things.

Emotional attachments can be strong. We, as humans, tend to create attachments to other living beings. People do not cry when they break a chair, at least, not unless the chair was precious to them. What can make an object previous is always related to a living being. If it was left to us by a passed away relative. If it has history related to us, etc. What we actually cherish are the memories of the once living and what they left behind.

We are also not limited to other humans. Given time, we attach ourselves to all living things. Whether they be our sibling, parents or animals, we are sadden by death. Of course the level of attachment varies depending on the relationship. But the one and only constant is, sadness. Then one may ask, why do we get attached if it will lead to sadness? Since no one is immortal, why do we look for sadness by attaching ourselves?

This is the big question.

It is probably for the elapsing time while the other is alive. The time that we, as living being, know is limited to us. We want to make the most of it. Even if we know we will loose companions along the way, we want our existence to mean something. We want other to remember us, even if just briefly. But then, are we only selfish? Wanting to get close to others while we live means that once we die, we will be the one who sadden others.

Today, I cannot offer an answer to those questions.
Today, I am the one wondering.
Today, I learned that I will loose a close companion.

One who is very close to me,
Who has been with me for 15 years.
Who was playing with me when I was in elementary school.
Who was always close by when I was in high school.
Who was always there when I got back home after a long day at the University
Who has always been greeted me when I got back home after a day of work.

Today I learned that my cat has cancer.
I learned that he has a limited time to live.
I learned that I will have a very hard decision to make soon.
Why are we so sadden by death.

That is a question I hope to be able to answer one day.
But I don't think today is the day.
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#2 Kit-Tsukasa

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 12:45 AM

That's really sad to hear Bold. Although it is a cat and I have no experience with pets in general, some of us treat animals as dear friends and it really is sad to know that something that has been with you for so long is just going to leave this world in almost an instant. Death is a painful thing to bear. Whether its someone or something, in the end everything is a part of another. We are all connected in some way and I believe that although it maybe someone or something we've never met, its only appropriate to be able to share the sentiment and sympathy with friends, family, and everyone else becuase its not just a personal issue, abstractly its an event that pains us all; however, many people fail to realize it. Some believe that time will pass like that and everything is all over and normal again. Others on the other hand understand the pain.

I hope you find your answers to those questions of yours one day and it won't pain you so much that it will interrupt your life too much. All that really matters is to be able to keep those 15 years of precious memories of you and your cat together in your mind and heart. That is where I believe true happiness can derived and where the cycle of life and death can truly be understood.

#3 REYOMA

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:42 PM

Damn sorry to here that bold sad.gif I wish I knew the answer to ur question,all I know is what I here time and time again is to cry at weddings and be happy at a funeral.

#4 chiarrai

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 04:51 PM

No one wants to be alone. We seek love, the companionship, the heart's gift that only one can give to another. It may be selfish to desire such a thing, but we also wish to give it as much as we receive it, when the right person comes along.

In the span of time we live, death is always haunting us. Most of us ignore it as we pursue our dreams, including making friends, falling in love, and maybe even having children.

Losing anyone, person or animal, close to you is going to hurt. But that process of being remembered that you talked about, this is one of those things. Love is the pain of separation at death.

The choice of life or death for the sake of a loved one is always something that will tear at our hearts. It should. It shouldn't be easy to decide to take a life. There should, unfortunately, be comfort in that feeling of not wanting to let go even though it might be easier for the other.

I hope that you find the comfort in the friends and family around you as you go through this time.

I too had a wonderful furry friend
She was an old stray who lived on my porch
She greeted me each day as I left for school
And each evening when I returned home

She was the only one who comforted me every time I was beaten
Giving me kitty kisses and hugs, purring as I pet her
I couldn't feed her
I couldn't give her a home
All I could do was love her

She died six years ago and I still cry when I see her picture.

#5 hypermelissa

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:09 AM

That is pretty sad, sorry to hear that. Death is always such a sad thing. Everyone loses loved ones, even a pet. I honestly think that giving yourself unconditionally to someone, to love someone (a pet or person) is its own reward. I don't just mean romantic love, but any kind of love. Just think, it means that you really cared about someone enough to feel the sadness when they die. Its sad to think that you'll never see them again, but in the end I think its worth it. Its all a part of being human. Of loving and losing. If someone tries to close all that off and push everyone away, then they'll end up seriously depressed. Life is...odd. It always throws these unpleasant things at us.
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#6 wittyfox

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:56 PM

I think a better question to ask is why should death feel good? I really find no reason to like it. I mean why waste time building a relationship then not feel somthing when it is ripped away. Of course if you are a religious person there is a "better" place to be. So they null those natural feelings of dislike towards death. But look at it like this, even they had to be taught how not to dislike death.
I think most of our hatred of death comes from our want to control our selfs and people around. Death is like the ultimate lost of all human power. Also, We don't like surprises, hence why humans created a idea called responsibility. Which makes us uniform and easy to predict. We are things with the ability to make promises without the power to fulfill them.
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#7 VoiceActor1

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 03:31 AM

i know that death is very hard, personaly haveing on of my best friend die when i was at the age of 8 and he was 6, it is very hard at the time when it happens but as time gose by you feel happier fo some weird reason rembering the laughts and crys you shared even if you dident like the person
and im sorry for you kittie losing a pet is hard i have lost 6 in the end your heart accepts as time gose by so you can do it enjoy the time you have with time ok~! ♥love is the only thing that will ease the pain
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#8 EggBeast

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 09:04 AM

I've had a similar experience, Bold. A while back, we had a little miniature dachsund (a wiener dog, a dang cute on, too!). When she turned 5 years old (they normally have a lifespan of 15-20 years), we found out she had a permanent kidney failure, and had to be put down. Of course, that wasn't even the bad part. The bad part is that 2 months before the vet told us that, she'd gotten into a huge bag of chocolate (right after christmas, go figure dry.gif ), so we waited a week or two, thinking she'd just get over her chocolate-induced disease. After we took her to the vet, they just told us to let her rest, give her some medication, crap like that, for a few weeks. So, what essentially happened was we saw our precious little wiener dog decay, grew weaker and weaker with each passing day, eventually looked like a skeleton. It was aweful just seeing her like that, thinking she'd recover.

But that's not even the worst part!!! I'm not even joking! After our money-grubbing veterinarian (ok, I mean "well-qualified, but very expensive veterinarian) verified the permanent kidney failure, in fact, the night before she was scheduled to be put down, me and my brother were just sitting in his room, talking about stuff, trying to get some homework done. But she climbed up on the bed, stole a ball from my bros. desk, and started barking at us to play with her, just like the bright, happy, overly-excitable dog she once was! We're talking about an adorable skin-and-bones doggy, who'd done nothing but sit around, occasionally eating a bite of food, doing nothing but waste away, begging for us to play with her! It was like Fate slapping us in the face! (metaphorically speaking, that is tongue.gif )

I dunno, seeing her like that, right before her imminent demise, it was brutal! I imagine it was one of the more hardcore ways for a pet to go out, don't you think?

...albeit I really wasn't too choked up about her death. It was my little brother who took it particularly hard... dry.gif

At any rate, to try and answer the question here, I think the real sadness comes from the absoluteness of death. If someone gets sick, they could always recover, if someone goes away for a long time, they could always return, or if someone even betrays you, they could always make it up to you. But death.. after death, there's nothing that can be changed. No more happiness with that person, no potential to make things right, no more cute little doggy/kitty to... do whatever it is they do.

It's like Bold mentioned to begin with, nothing is more absolute than the passing of life. We humans are very dynamic creatures. Give us something we cannot control, something we cannot prevent, something we cannot avoid, and we get frightened, we get angry, we get sad. That's what memento mori is all about, something all of mankind can relate to, our inevitable demise. All good things must come to an end, eh?
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#9 overfiend1976

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:03 PM

I don't mean to offend anyone, but I take the death of a pet harder than I do the death of a human that I know. It may have a bit to do with the fact that I nearly (and by nearly I mean for all statistical purposes 100% should have) died when I was seven years old. Something in there made me pretty impervious to death.
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#10 ImTakes

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:26 AM

Death......the truth, the beginning, the final say. I reflected much, on this reality today......cried even, as I felt a longing and heartbreak, when thinking about it. I understand we all see this one final and yet, most painful moment, differently. For as long as I can remember, I feared it....wanted to run from it, the thought of it, I could not understand. When I finished Nursing school, well, there it was....new life and death....companions....side by side. I knew eventually, the day would come when I would have to face it, know it, deal with it, get comfortable with it. It has come....for almost 10 years now, I have worked as a Hospice Nurse. Death is part of the norm....preparing patients for it, families, friends....even ourselves, assigned to the task of comforting those who are dying. I told myself it was time to see it first hand, when first, I considered Hospice as a field of practice. Well, today, actually, the last three days, have been a lesson in love and of letting go and of complete surrender. It is a mysterious thing to see a once vibrant person, reduced to one lying in wait, as the family waits and keeps vigil. I came in.....taught the family about the use of medications necessary to manage any symptoms out of control...pain, agitation...difficulty breathing.

Anyway, you never know what you are walking into the first time you arrive, be it a hospital or a home....the grief, the anger and yes, even denial, all palpable. I have learned to fine tune my intuition, my gut instincts and I can tell you, I have yet, to be wrong. This particular family was at a loss as to how to cope with their loved one dying. She was reported to have been a woman of great vitality and charm. She was struck with Colon Cancer at the young age of 54....only having been diagnosed in May of 2008. Well, the cancer proved to be of an aggressive nature and ravaged her body rather quickly. After getting her comfortable and understanding her needs, I encouraged the family members, closest to her, to spend as much time with her....she did not have much time left. I never make predictions, as I am not God...I simply base my findings on clinical assessment and tracking of vitals signs and yes, my intuition...anyway, what I was privileged to see over the next three days, while this patient was under my care, I will never forget....the love with which she was seen and held, every nuance, everything she said and did....all taken into account and pondered over...as if they were trying to memorize her one last time....I watched, as her mother would reach out to hold her hand.. caress her face, stroke her hair...I watched as they watched her dying....the tenderness with which they held her, loved her, spoke to her, I wanted to cry.... death was coming and yet, it would be greeted with dignity and grace..... the loss of her and the family's anticipation of it, was enormous...and yet, they were of great courage and of faith and of hope...

I am impressed....yet sad, yet relieved, to have seen such beauty in the face of so much sorrow and pain...I want to always cherish this time spent with her, in her final days...I want to carry this memory with me to my family, to my friends, to those yet to come...yes, death has the final say....but let us never let it rob us of the dignity with which we can choose to meet it. When my time comes, may I have the grace of dying old, in a warm bed, safe, and in the company of those, whom I love most in this world. Thanks so much for allowing me to share my thoughts on a subject too painful to ever truly understand, let alone grasp.
I wrote this after my reflection on death.....

~Death~
To some,
it will come,
quick,
without mercy.
To others,
long and lingering,
a time of grace,
a time of goodbyes,
a time of preparation.
~Death~
The unwanted reality.
A reality so deep,
so mysterious,
it breaks hearts.
It renders us helpless.
It leaves us wounded.
~Death~
Takes us all.
We can do nothing.
We cling to no one.
We cannot hide.
Alone,
we must face it.
~Death~
How is it possible?
Why must it come?
Why?
Why can I not run?
Run from this final fate,
an end to life.
~Death~
A parting of the physical,
yet, not our hearts,
not our memories.
These,
they will live on,
always.
Take my love with you.
I keep your love,
with me.
We part yes,
but only,
temporarily.
~Death~
Your victory,
it has no sting,
for in my dying,
I am born,
to eternity.

How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 


#11 Vicepuma

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:11 PM

Sorry for your loss Bold whether it be a loved pet or human the pain is basically the same and before I begin to share my thoughts I'd like to say that I actually wept a tear when reading your post Yaya cause it reminded me of my Grandmother thank you for that.

You can't enjoy life without death I consider that as the a basis for everything. If life was endless then people wouldn't care as much nor would they love as much either. Affection is given since we all know that there is no such thing as unlimited amount of time we all eventually have to die some earlier then others some in accidents others by disease that's what urges us to enjoy life as much as we can while we can maybe not in or conscious mind at least not while we're young but in the sub conscious mind I think we all have or will experience death and from that try to enjoy life to whatever extent is possible in different ways. Now I'm not going to be that naive and claim that this applies to everyone because different experiences in life might alter that and also in what condition you live will affect it but generally for us fortunate enough to be able to reply to this topic it probably is this way.

Since death is a part of life it's natural to fear it cause you never know when it might happen and as you grow older you see more, love more and experience more which prepares ya in another way for death or at least I think it does. People that are closest to death seem to know that their time might be coming and most of the times gather some mysterious strength just before their time to talk or just take a walk. Just the other day I heard a peculiar story about a work friends Grandfather who had an aggressive cancer and was at the end of his life pumped with drugs managed just an hour before his death to lift himself out of the bed take a walk go back lie down and peacefully pass away. I thought that was remarkable and I've heard more stories like that and it never fails to amaze me.

Life is sweet because we can love and bitter cause we can grief the best thing I can think of is to honor the memories you have and cherish them but also to make new ones and continue living. I know that my passed Grandmother would feel bad is I couldn't get over her death I think the same goes for anyone.

Best way to honor someone who has died is to live your life to the fullest... at least that's how I see things. Everything comes to an end we have to deal with it cherish the moments we had and move on to new happy times rolleyes.gif

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#12 ImTakes

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE (Vicepuma @ Aug 13 2008, 08:11 AM)
I'd like to say that I actually wept a tear when reading your post Yaya cause it reminded me of my Grandmother thank you for that.

You can't enjoy life without death I consider that as the a basis for everything. If life was endless then people wouldn't care as much nor would they love as much either.
Since death is a part of life it's natural to fear it cause you never know when it might happen and as you grow older you see more, love more and experience more which prepares ya in another way for death or at least I think it does. People that are closest to death seem to know that their time might be coming and most of the times gather some mysterious strength just before their time to talk or just take a walk.

My friend, Vicepuma, remember, once, I told you what I have learned from experience with death? That all we have in life is a gift. Life is fleeting true, but it is all the more precious simply because of this truth. Your Grandmother, may she rest in peace, and you, her grandson, rejoice in the fact that she was loved by you and you by her.
Yes, life and death....hand in hand....I do not fear it anymore. It is a mystery beyond anything else, but it is not the end. I, for one, will not believe that it is the end....that we go into the ground and that is where we stay...no! We matter and everything we said and did and everyone we loved and lived for, there has to be a reason for it all....nothing is in vain, nothing. Idealistic? No. Faith and reason are my pillars....a life of experience of knowing what it is like to lose the one you love. One day, I will post that story here and tell you of the pain of losing him....but I can tell you, when I recall it, I cry as if it happened only yesterday....but I will always remember, like your sweet Grandmother, my friend, he would not have me weep anymore. An example of a great loss, yes? But an example too, of the fact that we all, despite the pain of losing a loved one, are resilient, hope-filled, never-give-up, human beings....never lose the spark that makes you who you are... wink.gif

How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 


#13 monsta

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:34 AM

I remember when I was in year 6 (I was 9/10) one of my classmates died from cancer. It was pretty distressing because at the time you barely knew what cancer was let alone what its effects on the body were like. I mean this was a person I knew quite well and we chatted quite a bit. Then suddenly she went missing for months on end...

Eventually our teacher said our classmate had cancer. I can't remember how they said it exactly (it was along time ago) but they did try and explain what cancer was and how it effected people. The most distressing bit was yet to come. When she finally came back to school she was all bold. This is when the news really hit home. Before this point we didn't fully believe our teacher. You just had that mentality it would never happen to us. Anyway when we saw that we clearly knew someone was up. As the weeks progressed she gradually went deaf then blind. It was all very heartbreaking... By the end of the year we all went to her funeral. It's so sad when someone so young (she was only 10) were to die from such a disease. To this day I still keep a birthday that I was going to give shortly before she became ill.

It can be quiet surprising how quickly people can take a turn for the worse that is why it always important NEVER to take your health for granted. This is something my parents always drilled into me. In this day and age people tend to forget how lucky they really are...

#14 ImTakes

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 11:47 PM

I had the honor of caring for a beautiful lady, in her last days of life....this is for you, beautiful one...
~~Radiance~~
I lay,
fatigued,
weak,
dying.
You,
lean over,
me.
You ask,
how,
I am.
Is there,
any pain?
Then your eyes,
they,
light up.
I smile,
my face,
it beams,
my eyes,
shine.
You look,
at me,
you smile,
"Rebecca,
you are beautiful."
I reward you,
with radiance.
My body,
it feels light,
my heart,
full,
my soul,
soon to depart.
Ah...beauty.
What is it,
but a gift,
to mark us,
for all time?
"Yes,
I am dying,
gracefully,
with dignity.
The depth of love,
seen,
in my face,
my eyes,
my countenance.
Long may
the memory,
of my radiance,
live in you,
who was,
entrusted,
to care,
for me."
Every patient who has come into my life, well, they are a gift...as are the loved ones who are left behind....my heart is theirs....forever.


How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 


#15 ImTakes

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 02:01 PM

One of the most difficult aspects of my job, as a Hospice Nurse, is telling family members that their loved one is dying. It got to me this time, and I will share why. I have a story to tell about a Father and a Daughter......I was entrusted with a Vietnamese gentleman, who was dying of End Stage Congestive Heart Failure. In its final stages, it is not a pleasant death....anyway, the daughter closest to him, arrived and I gave her an update of her father's condition. She seemed to be at ease and told me she was aware he was dying. Her sister went home as she decided to stay. She asked me several times, if the time was close, I said it was, but not sure when, as his blood pressure was still good as was his pulse. She was trying to get close to him so she could talk to him and she ended up getting into his bed....I smiled at that....it was so sweet...she looked at me and asked if it was alright. I smiled at her.... "of course, he is your Papa after all.....I would do the same." I grab a pillow for her and a blanket and she made herself comfortable. Now, granted, I was still trying to get him under control as his breathing was really labored. Morphine was the drug of choice. I encouraged her to rest after we talked a bit about her father. She told me stories of his escape from Vietnam.....how they were close ....anyway, she fell asleep and I watched him and I watched her...it was a beautiful thing to see....a dying father and his loving daughter together, hands held close....much food for reflection on my part. Well, in a matter of 10 mins, his condition changed...she woke up, asked me if he was going, I said yes, he was, and then the tears came....my heart was breaking at the sound of them....this beautiful woman was desperate as she watched her father dying.....crying and praying and bent over in a ball of sadness....I hugged her...I wanted to cry with her... the pain and the sorrow in that crying, was so profound....it struck me.....yes, I have heard many cry, but this one was so different....I felt like I could see her grasping at that final shred of hope....and watching her father leave. I left her to be alone with him as a final parting....other family members arrived and they were all supportive ....she was, before I said my goodbyes...at ease and serene and told me that despite how hard it was, she was glad she got to spend the final night with her father in his bed, sleeping, while she held his hand. That was a beautiful thing to hear...she smiled so beautifully as she said it too.

How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 


#16 MonMon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 12:03 PM

death is inevitable. sooner or later it will come. but isnt that why you should be ready for it? "enjoy your life as if youll live forever, work for your afterlife as if youll die tomorrow." the person closest to you, sick or not sick, can die any second. you wont be ready for it. so isnt that why you should tell them more often how much you love them, spend as much time as you can with them, settle any arguments you had as soon as you can? and if you know that the person was truly a good person, shouldnt you be happier that they dont have to worry about this world anymore? that now they can actually rest in peace? everyones fate is decided and we know nothing about it, so dont waste any time you can spend with the ones you care about, dont fight over any silly thing and say whatever, ill do that tomorrow, cuz if something happens, you will regret it. (well, maybe its cuz im muslin that i think that way anyway.)


#17 ImTakes

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:20 PM

While it may be true that death is inevitable, I have yet to meet anyone who is truly at ease with it, let alone really ready to let a loved one go. I am not cynical in my observation, merely stating that no matter how many times we say the right thing, or how many times, we think we are ready, we are not. I saw something beautiful today....something that only a keen eye can see....details are important in preparing a family and also, the loved one who is dying....I have said so here before, how the family touches or speaks to the loved one dying....they also watch how the hospice nurse cares for their loved one.....the tone of voice is important....I say this because this particular family was a very devoted family to their Mother....of Chinese heritage, very loving, soft spoken and so polite. A big family too, six girls and two boys. Anyway, they kept telling me how much I put them at ease with the sound of my voice, and how it made them feel secure. I smiled and thanked them....anyway, their mother passed away at 04:15 this morning....three daughters were present and one son...all at the bedside, as I stood watch and waited. She died peacefully...but what amazed me was what I saw afterwards....now, I know that God's hand was at work.
When a person dies, it is difficult to close their mouth as the jaw is slack....well this happened to this little Chinese lady, I tried to close her mouth to no avail. Anyway, as we were doing all the post mortem care/paperwork and such, I went to check on her remains and guess what? She had closed her mouth and was smiling too....yes, I looked at her and saw a radiance to her face and a sweet smile.....very subtle, but it was there. I called the daughters and the son into the room and they saw it too. They were so happy and so relieved as they were people of faith....so I said to them all, in complete trust, "your Mama left you a gift. She left you her sweet smile to console you with." They looked at me and all agreed, telling me that, that is how she always smiled when she was alive. Ah.....it made a sad morning beautiful and full of hope.....ah....death where is your sting? The family all embraced me and I, them, and we parted with a smile remembering mama and her last smile to us all.

How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 


#18 Gustav1976

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:13 PM

This post is way too late to continue this discussion but I thought I'd express my understandings of the matter, regardless of how flawed it is.
Death is a necessary part of life so that the physical consituents of a person can be recycled as a planet only have finite resources. However althoug death is as said necessary and essential for living things to exist people are uneasy about it because it foeces them to directly confront their own mortality ad as living creatures we have no wish to die and as intellectual creatures we are afraid of what we dont know for sure (what will happen when we die).
religion and faith help to overcome this fear to a certain extent but there will always be an unease for the vast majority of people as there will always be unanswered questions about what happens after death (from a personal perspective).

#19 monsta

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (Gustav1976 @ Nov 11 2008, 01:13 PM)
However althoug death is as said necessary and essential for living things to exist people are uneasy about it because it foeces them to directly confront their own mortality ad as living creatures we have no wish to die and as intellectual creatures we are afraid of what we dont know for sure (what will happen when we die).
religion and faith help to overcome this fear to a certain extent but there will always be an unease for the vast majority of people as there will always be unanswered questions about what happens after death (from a personal perspective).

Our fear of death is not simply because we fear the unknown, it's more than that. Our fear of death is deeply ingrained and forms one of the most basic instincts. If you touch a hot object you instinctively push your hand away without even thinking about it. It's a basic safety mechanism to stop us from harming ourselves. Indeed it takes a determined effort to override these instincts. Humans, like all animals will always fight to stay alive. On another level it is unnatural to want to die and can explain the stigma surrounding suicide.

I guess this is one area which separates man from beast (at least the less intelligent animals). Humans can override their basic survival instincts and inflict self-harm or even commit suicide. Not many animals do this, if any at all. True some animals can die from severe stress but that is not the same thing, those animals don't want to die.

#20 ImTakes

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 06:33 PM

This was first posted in the Creative Writing Thread. I decided to post it here instead, as it deals with the death of a loved one after all.
One of my responsibilities as a Hospice Nurse, is post mortem care. Sometimes, a family member will assist me, but most of the time, I do this on my own. I reflect on the person who has just passed and I wonder what their life was like. How they lived, is sometimes, a reflection on how they died....deep? Yes, it is....but then again, how they died, can also be a reflection on how they lived.
~No Mere Shell~
Death came quickly to me.
I am glad I died peacefully.
My body still warm, as you,
dear nurse, who attended to me,
gaze and reflect, upon me.
Those who love me, I hear their cries,
I see them weep.
They all embrace me one last time, before
you, my remains, must clean and entwine
in white sheets, clean and pure.
My soul was like that,
this be true.
Ah, dear patient of mine, rest in peace
forever, and may you dwell in the
presence of God Divine.
I see you here before me, pale,
lifeless, still, in time.
Your eyes, closed, no longer to shine.
Your breath gone, no more to sigh,
for those whom you loved, all of your life.
I clean your body, a shell now, once vibrant,
once free, to run and sing and dance about.
I see a smile on your sweet, still face, and no pout.
I wash your hands, comb your hair.
I turn you gently, so as to dress your body,
so you will not face death, in silence, bare.
You are soft, pliable, not yet stiff.
Your loved ones long to hold you,
to lift you up, one last time.
Ready, you are now, for your journey home,
to live forever, with God, on His throne.
You will be vibrant once more, yes, and you will sing
praises sweet, and you will be free of a body, once weak.
Your legs will be strong like a Stallion steed,
your arms, like branches, made of the finest wood.
And these you will raise, in heaven, high, for all to see,
and roar, you will, as you knock on heaven's door,
in thanksgiving, as you sing with glorious glee,
"Thanks be to God, at last, my loved ones! At last, I am free!"
And so there it is, as I prepared her remains to be picked up......death has no final say....it is only a passing away, while yes, that departure is harsh, but one day, we shall see each other again, for all eternity. Rest in peace, Mrs. P.

How ironic it has become ... a one man show.
 





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