Art of Dying Volume II - Page 77

10. Many intelligent, successful and otherwise responsible people have no will, no advanced care directive and in general have made no legal provision for their death, (much less an emotional one) even after hearing stories about the chaos and costs of dying in such a manner. 11. Story: As his wife lay comatose and dying, a man whispered in her ear: “I love you; please, please, please don’t leave me.” She miraculously recovered and lived 10 more years. “I will never forgive you for that,” she told him. “I was ready to go and you pulled me back.” 12. For many of us, secular life has isolated us from rituals, customs and community that could have supported us before, during and after a death. 13. For many of us, faith in some logically unprovable spiritual belief is a real source of comfort. 14. Unfinished business is gasoline sprayed on grief’s fire. 15. Parents sometimes want to hide death from their children. But most children, early on, want to know about death. 16. Each loss can be all the losses that preceded it. 17. Though many of our institutions have failed us grievously (pun intended) a shining example of success is hospice. 18. Some doctors at Death Café view the death of their patients as their personal failure. Hence their resistance to talking about death with patients. 19. Many people who think they want extreme medical efforts at resuscitation change their minds when they hear the facts about resuscitation. 20. Some people tire of caring for an elderly relative, and simply drop them off at a hospital emergency room. 21. Story: “I looked at him and saw a disabled, confused and ailing person. He clung to life for his own reasons. I saw no reason for him to live. He was right and I was wrong. He gets to decide what quality of life is acceptable.” 22. Often, modern medicine simply prolongs biological signs of life when there is in fact no life left. 23. Very few of us have actually seen a person die. Some who have, report it as a transformative, even magical experience. 24. Think of all the rituals we have surrounding birth and other life transitions. Too often we hide death and the feelings about it. 25. Estranged siblings often compound and confuse their grief upon the death of a parent. 26. Some hoard possessions of a dead loved one, sometimes for decades. Others get rid of everything, immediately. 27. Money and grief ignite spontaneously when mixed. 28. So many people say nothing because they don’t know what to say. They miss that they need not speak, only listen. 29. Suicide is an act that we cannot help but project upon. 30. Sudden, unexpected death is deep, personal trauma for survivors. 31. Some people report that they never stop grieving, but that they get used to it. 32. Others report they never get used to it. 33. Grief after a miscarriage is often kept secret, and so those who do so grieve alone with little or no support. VOLUME II | 77