Thursday, June 19, 2014

Emotional and Spiritual Preparation for the End-of-Life

Dying is an emotional and spiritual journey. Each person involved may feel a wide range of emotions. You and the person facing the end of life may experience emotional and spiritual reactions as you prepare for death. The following feelings are normal reaction and part of that preparation process.
  • Asking "why me?"
  • Fear of being alone, dying or going to sleep
  • Increased desire for physical affection or touch
  • Increased desire to have loved ones close by followed by withdrawing from relationships
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Feelings of embarrassment about being dependent on others and being a burden
  • Feelings of denial, guilt or anger about changes, relationships or life
  • Wanting to talk about the past
  • Returning to religious practices or losing faith in religious beliefs
  • Seeing or talking with dead loved ones
  • Experiencing spiritual being or phenomenon such as angels, bright lights or visions
There are also many practical considerations which individuals and their families may face and feel a need to discuss including:
  • Fear of not having enough financial resources, both by the dying person and family members
  • Completing wills and estate planning
  • Planning for cremation, burial and/or memorial service
  • Planning for future care of children, pets or dependents
It is important to allow each person to talk openly and honestly about these feelings and issues. Talking about these issues may be important to finding comfort and peace. The Arbor Hospice care team is specially trained in these discussions and are available to help patients and families.

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