FOR SENIORS: WHEN MORTALITY KNOCKSAug 9th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Dr Jerry Elrod's Senior Moments Blog
Death is Imminent
The next door neighbor to my Mom in the Care Facility where she resides heard the knock of mortality this past week. Surgery introduced him and us to how close it is. He returned from the hospital with the message, shared by the physicians, that it is now only a matter of time. Not a pleasing message to hear. Not an encouraging word to ready oneself for what’s next. Complications from surgery brought the message home. Sometimes, it seems, living with things as they are may be better than trying to trick mortality out of a “little while longer.”
Whatever the circumstances now it is a matter of keeping the patient comfortable and patiently await the inevitable. Not a pleasant prospect, in any case. And yet, when mortality knocks there are several available options to consider. They are, by definition, not necessarily those we would like to have available, but they are out there, awaiting our prepared response. What shall that response be? What are the options, when the clock, now ticking more loudly, seems to be be ticking faster too?
Preparing for Death
They are things like: appraising your state of mind, being, and legal affairs. Having done so means that, as much as possible, everything dealing with your death will have been addressed. Hopefully, well before now, most matters pertaining to the practical preparations, will have been handled. Appraising your mind and being is necessary in order that decisions and details will have the full force of capability behind them. Legal matters, of course, should be done in detail and with full agreement of the person or persons involved. If circumstances are such that the individual will be in hospice, then those considerations need to be put in place. Of course, all of this assumes that matters have been deteriorating enough of recent date, that most essential issues will have been covered to everyone’s satisfaction and approval.
When mortality knocks, it is almost too late to put everything in order. Healthy families take into account these matters well before the final days.
Very important to the situation is having time with the person who is dying. Spending moments together that give reinforcement to the appreciation and respect and affection that those who wait feel, will be a major contribution to peace of mind and spirit. Mortality needs to be welcomed, not denied. Mortality, when acknowledged, can give meaning to a full life, a shared remembrance, a common sacrament of all holding hands, touching the one who is passing, and having them know they are surrounded by caring, sensitive and loving persons who have been a part of their lives.
Readying oneself for grief means that when mortality knocks, it is time for weeping and hurting and allowing embraces and whispers of kind support. Doing so gives everyone permission to express the deep emotions that are very real when mortality enters the room.