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On dying alone…

On dying alone…

Life & Death Matters Post

Many years ago there was a strong sentiment that people should not die alone, should never die alone.

In the last few years, perhaps with the input from Callanan and Kelly’s book “Final Gifts” people started to consider the possibility that sometime the dying person seems to wait until everyone has gone, has left the room, and then dies when alone.

This idea has given rise to people suggesting to families that some people want to die alone.  Although possible, this too is something we do not really know. … though it is an interesting and a comforting idea.

I was interested then to read in the coverage of San Diego Hospice over the past few weeks, that their mission is founded on the beliefs that “no one should live in pain, no one should live in fear, and no one should die feeling alone.” 

There is, I think, a difference between “feeling alone” and “being alone.”  When I see family surrounding, supporting, encouraging, loving, and enjoying time with the person who is dying, there is a feeling of “being with” whether or not the loved ones are at the bedside every minute of the day and night.

“Feeling supported” can occur whether or not loved ones are physically present.


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