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(39 Posts)
MayBeMaw Thu 09-Sep-21 23:04:11

MayBeMaw Thu 09-Sep-21 22:59:54
A friend who sat with our Phoenix when she died sent this to me.

Those of us who have been at the bedside as a loved one has slipped away, setting out on that next journey and even those who have not, will I hope find it gives food for thought
✨ Expected Death ~ When someone dies, the first thing to do is nothing. Don't run out and call the nurse. Don't pick up the phone. Take a deep breath and be present to the magnitude of the moment.

There's a grace to being at the bedside of someone you love as they make their transition out of this world. At the moment they take their last breath, there's an incredible sacredness in the space. The veil between the worlds opens.

We're so unprepared and untrained in how to deal with death that sometimes a kind of panic response kicks in. "They're dead ! “

We knew they were going to die, so their being dead is not a surprise. It's not a problem to be solved. It's very sad, but it's not cause to panic

If anything, their death is cause to take a deep breath, to stop, and be really present to what's happening. If you're at home, maybe put on the kettle and make a cup of tea

Sit at the bedside and just be present to the experience in the room. What's happening for you? What might be happening for them? What other presences are here that might be supporting them on their way? Tune into all the beauty and magic.

Pausing gives your soul a chance to adjust, because no matter how prepared we are, a death is still a shock. If we kick right into "do" mode, and call 911, or call the hospice, we never get a chance to absorb the enormity of the event.

Give yourself five minutes or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes just to be. You'll never get that time back again if you don't take it now.

After that, do the smallest thing you can. Call the one person who needs to be called. Engage whatever systems need to be engaged, but engage them at the very most minimal level. Move really, really, really, slowly, because this is a period where it's easy for body and soul to get separated.

Our bodies can gallop forwards, but sometimes our souls haven't caught up. If you have an opportunity to be quiet and be present, take it. Accept and acclimatize and adjust to what's happening. Then, as the train starts rolling, and all the things that happen after a death kick in, you'll be better prepared.

You won't get a chance to catch your breath later on. You need to do it now

Being present in the moments after death is an incredible gift to yourself, it's a gift to the people you're with, and it's a gift to the person who's just died. They're just a hair's breadth away. They're just starting their new journey in the world without a body. If you keep a calm space around their body, and in the room, they're launched in a more beautiful way. It's a service to both sides of the veil

Septimia Sun 10-Oct-21 12:56:40

I think it's more for the benefit of the person who is with the person who died, a chance to absorb the enormity of what has happened and to come to terms with it.

Those people who dismiss it imediately because they have no faith are, I think, missing that part of it. They may well wish to argue with me, but all I ask is that they perhaps just try a different point of view.

And, of course, not everyone will find it helpful, with or without faith. Many will, though.

Poppyred Sun 10-Oct-21 13:29:18

Beautiful wise words. ❤️

BlueBelle Sun 10-Oct-21 13:32:06

Sazz1 please be prepared in my judgement people often have a little spurt (seeming better) before they die My Nan did just that after being almost unresponsive she ‘woke up’ and asked for some food I made her soup and she sat up with me holding her and feeding her I was so happy I thought she’d turned the corner, but not to be, very shortly afterwards she died in fact after I d left the room to sort the children out I lived with guilt of not being with her for years and years

I sat with both my patents in shock and disbelief although they were both old so why in shock I don’t understand and they both suffered it was not a peaceful experience
The chances of me dying alone is high, because I live on my own but it is what it is

I wish I could believe there is something to journey to but I think life is over when it’s over

Shandy57 Sun 10-Oct-21 13:37:54

Hey Sazzl I'm so sorry to read about your sister - are you living nearer to her now you've moved, or further? I wish her a pain free and comfortable time until it is time. xx

sazz1 Sun 10-Oct-21 18:53:20

Thanks for your kind comments. We travelled to be with her family when she was first put on the ventilator. It's about 100 miles so around 2 hours from our home.
Working in care years ago I know people often appear much better a few days before they die but her daughter seems to think doctors are mistaken and she's going to be ok now. They found she's had several minor heart attacks recently and thinking about it she used to tell me she kept waking up on the floor but didn't remember falling
It's difficult as I can't tell her daughter and my BIL that this is terminal, as they really think she's getting better. The doctors have told them in plain language but they don't believe it. Perhaps they don't want to and are in denial.
I can't visit her either as hospital policy is one nominated visitor for 1 hour a day. Staff are excellent there though and she's never alone

Aldom Sun 10-Oct-21 19:05:08


If I had been with my darling daughter when she died, she wouldn’t have died.

Me too Anniebachif only I could have been with my son he would not have died.

Skydancer Sun 10-Oct-21 19:06:31

Marydoll the same happened to me. My beloved Gran died alone. I could have been there but I was pregnant so nobody told me she was dying. My mother was trying to protect me I suppose. For over 40 years I haven’t been able to forgive my mother or myself. To be with someone when they die is at it should be. I still cry often. The words of the OP are wonderful. I just wish I’d had that chance.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 16-Oct-21 11:47:07

To me the various different reactions to this post, all of which I respect as everyone has a right to their own opinion, prove how very necessary it is that we talk about death as a subject.

Whatever else it does, a post like this confronts us with the issue and gives us a chance to hear other peoples' views, so thank you all of you.

Audi10 Wed 27-Oct-21 15:06:19

While I do agree with MayBeMaws post, and both times I did this, I wouldn’t say it would be for everyone, I think you have to follow your heart and do what you feel is right for you

Sweetpeasue Wed 27-Oct-21 15:47:11

If my son had been with his fiance, she would not have died.
I was with my mam in a hospice when she died, having Pancreatic cancer. Not an 'easy' death. Something that still haunts me.
Like BlueBelle I wish I could believe, without doubt, there's something else something else. I try to keep an open mind.

Sweetpeasue Wed 27-Oct-21 15:55:44

So very, very sorry Anniebach and Aldom. Sincerely.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Oct-21 16:34:51

My OH had a lucid few hours during his dying - we all found it very hard, as the main reason we had all chosen not to treat his pneumonia was because his life had been a misery because of paranoia on top of his total physical incapacity. He was living in terror. But there he was, as we thought, dying and he was taking in a lucid way, asking for music he wanted to hear, telling us he loved us. But there was no way we could turn the clock back and stop the dying process. It was very hard.

I sat with him for some time after he died, talked to him, reassured him - before I rang the children. They then had their quiet time with him.

My grandma had been unconscious for a long time and I was sitting by her when she suddenly sat up and said "What am I doing here? I must go home." Half an hour later she was unconscious and slipped away. Weird.

Hellogirl1 Wed 27-Oct-21 18:00:43

My husband was transferred to a hospice from his hospital bed on the Friday evening. He seemed quite happy and cheerful at the time. A few of us went to visit on Saturday afternoon, but he wasn`t very talkative or responsive. I was being collected by eldest son and his wife that evening, to go back again, but as I was getting ready my younger son rang and said he and his wife were at the hospice, having had a feeling, and he said the nurses said if we wanted to see him we should get there as soon as possible. In the end there were quite a few of us there, me, 4 of our children and partners, plus one of hubby`s brothers and his partner. I sat at the side of him, everyone else around the room, for about an hour and a half, then about 10 minutes after daughter 2 and her husband arrived, after leaving a theatre queue 30 miles away, he died. I think he was waiting for her, as we kept telling him she was on her way. The hospice staff left us alone with him for about 15 minutes, then asked us to let them do what they had to do. We went into the guest lounge and made cups of tea, and after about half an hour we were called back in to say our goodbyes. Then we all left, as I had to go home and tell our eldest daughter. It doesn`t feel like 5 years.