Ready To Face Death? (Part 1)
Introduction: Death a Reality
Life is fragile.
Death is unpredictable. It can strike at any time at any age.
It is tragic when a life is snuffed unexpectedly. But it is even more tragic when you know that you are facing a painful end due to a terminal disease or old age riddled with pain and disease.
You may have unending problems in life or are a happy soul, death is inevitable.
This life gives us both joy and sorrow and facing death is a mixture of both.
An unknown void is fearsome, but the spiritual ones know that death is only another beginning.
Ready to Die?
No one wants to die. You have to be a really evolved soul to embrace death as it seems like the end.
Life is beautiful, fraught with desire, love and hate.
Emotions wrap around us and make us want to live. Attachments are formed with spouse, child, family and friends.
Although our scriptures, be it in any faith call death the liberator from earthly grief and problems, the will to live is often stronger than they want to die.
Let us look at the emotional turmoil of preparing for death.
It is a big struggle to grapple with the thought of dying.
If you do get the advance intimation that the finger of death is touching you, you can go into depression or react with disbelief and anger.
There are many terminally ill patients who sink to the depths of despair when they realize that their time with their loved ones is numbered.
Accepting that you are going to face your end is daunting.
Most terminal patients face not only death but pain and suffering that is maybe worse than death itself. It is not easy to handle the struggle on your own.
Religion and spirituality are different in essence, but both stress on the fact that life is not permanent and we have to leave our present life at one time or the other.
Many times, religion becomes a crutch that supports the emotional weakness that the dying person faces.
Spiritual discourses help the patients understand that pain and suffering are temporary and that our bodies are perishable, not our soul. The fact that your soul can be immortal in eternity can soothe many a dying person who has lost hope.
The practical Concerns While Facing Death
Although it may sound insensitive and crass when you mention practical concerns over impending death, somebody needs to find the strength to deal with the very real fact that the person who is ill may die.
There are many ways that can mitigate the nitty gritty of pain in the aftermath of death.
We should face mortality.
Property Disputes. Many times, the family squabbles over property more than sharing grief at a loved one’s passing. This is more the case when the head of the family is the person who dies.
Business Woes.If you manage a huge business and your business colleagues hear of your illness, they might try and take advantage.
Think of this warning of imminent death as an opportunity to secure your finances before death takes you away from your loved ones.
It is not a pleasant thought but the greed in humans almost makes them forget that they are mortal too.
Fluid Dynamics of a Couple: When Terminal Disease Strikes
Two people fall in love and are tied together for life till death do them part. This is what fairy tales are made up of. But the reality may be different.
If one spouse has a condition that renders them incapable of living life fully, it is not fair to stop the other one from living their life.
In many cases, the spouse, especially the woman is expected to give up all of life’s pleasures because the spouse is not well.
If the disease is a long drawn out affair and the couple understands each other’s needs, both mental and physical, they may take a decision that allows the other healthy partner to live their life fully. This may save the spouse from a lot of emotional and physical issues. It is no secret that life does not stop for one person when another is sick.
If both partners can make a decision that the healthy spouse should be free to assuage their physical needs when the need arises. This can save both from heartbreak.
The human body is like a car. It will run full throttle only if it gets adequate fuel at all times. The deprived person may face a breakdown of mind and soul if denied simple pleasures of life.
The healthy one can look after the needy spouse without the pain of living an unfulfilled life.
The friendship and emotional support can be maintained.
A balance can be reached if the practical nature of both spouses can come into play.
Social Interferences. Society does dictate that spouses should be loyal to each other and that fidelity is the most important thing, but in the vent of a long and irreversible illness that leaves you incapable of sexual activity, you should let your spouse free to look after her/his needs.
Life Partner is Dead
After the afflicted spouse passes away the bereaved one should be handled very gently.
Once the family and friends help her/ him grieve to the fullest.
The survivor’s guilt is a real emotion and can cause severe depression and trauma.
It takes a huge effort from family and friends to help the person leave the guilt behind and try to live a full life after the death of a loved spouse.
Remarriage. Counseling for remarriage can be sought out.
It is important that the widowed person should be allowed to live a full life after the death of the spouse.
Life does not end with one person and that should always be uppermost in the minds of people who love the bereaved individual. The effort to re-establish love and hope in the mind of the surviving spouse is very important.
Child Loosing One Parent
Innocent and Lost. Children generally do not understand the concept of death. They feel bereft and abandoned when a loved one or a parent passes away. They need to be prepared and told the truth before the unfortunate event happens. This will actually help them deal with the trauma better.
It is always better Not to mislead the child with stories about death that is not true.
The growing child has a vivid imagination and a story that is thought to bring her succor from grief may actually scar his or her for life.
Children are more resilient than we think. They are open to realigning their life after the loss of a parent or loved one.
They need assurance that all is well in their world.
Family members can help the child by looking after their emotional and physical needs.
The sooner the other parent can work through their grief, the sooner the child can be helped. The parent who is left behind often becomes the child’s anchor in the fast-changing life they face.
In case of Child.If the need arises the child can be taken to a psychological counselor to help him/her deal with the loss.
Grief counseling and psychotherapy can help with accepting the loss. Try and enroll the child in counseling sessions.
Keep them busy so that they acclimatize to the loss as soon as possible. Keeping children busy with activities of their choice can help them adjust.
Grief is a very real thing. The elders should never dismiss the feelings of the children as unimportant. The scar of being disregarded can warp the tender mind of the child.
People in their 40s. Every person over the age of 40 should make a “Will”. It is not limited to ill patients.
Making a will is not binding nor needs a legal notarization. You can write it out on plain paper and get it witnessed to make it legally binding. You can change it as many times as you wish.
Only the last will is recognized by law. Keep it safe with your trusted person. You need a trustworthy person to execute the will too, in the unfortunate event of your death.
Medical Insurance. Ensure that you have enough medical insurance to look after any eventuality and you or your loved ones do not suffer.
Medical insurance takes care that you get the best treatment. Your family is spared the hassle of arranging for funds at a time of crisis.
Life Insurance. Life insurance is also necessary, especially if you have dependents.
Do ensure enough life coverage that can be invested to give annual returns that allow your dependents to be independent.
A term policy of about 20 times your annual income should provide the financial relief to your spouse and children after you depart for your heavenly abode. You can also be at peace that they are looked after and will never have to ask for anything or demean themselves to sustain a decent lifestyle.
Sharing Important Details with Life Partner. Make sure your spouse knows about your business and investments so that there are no huge losses financially at least.
Your family will face a lot of emotional upheaval at the loss of their loved one and financial security will help them cope to a small extent.
The best way is to seek professional help and join support groups that help you deal with accepting the grief and making the rest of your life meaningful. There are many support groups that can help with the process of acceptance. There are psychological counselors who help in preparing the patient and the family for the last days.
Support groups help people who face pain. You can hear about how other people confronted their pain and overcame it. It is an excellent means to share and find support from people who have gone through or are going through similar experiences. You can find offline or online support groups and can interact with people who can help.
Grief is a real thing that needs to be accepted and dealt with.
The patient who faces death is the one who faces the most pain, but the loved ones and the caregivers are affected too.
Sickness and disease can change the atmosphere in a house. It is important to keep living with a modicum of happiness even when faced with adversity.
Death is the end of all life, and everyone has to face it one day.
It is important to look at the terminal illness as an opportunity to say your goodbyes and make sure that your spouse and children can face life without you.
Give them the gift of life even if you are getting ready to say goodbye to your own. Leave them with good memories and fond thoughts.
Instill in them the faith that they can survive your loss and reshape their life even while they miss your presence in their life.
Make them strong and guilt free. Your life will gain meaning in the end when you live for your loved ones’ happiness.
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