How to Be Present When One You Love is Critically Ill & Even May Be Dying – Vol. 401, February 16, 2017
This is of course a very hard subject for some people to deal with, and yet, it is a most important one to understand. Over the years I have worked with many people who were under my care who were in their last stages of life. Through this work I learned how to help them to die with grace and dignity.
If someone is in a critical state of health and maybe has even been told that their life is near its end, it is important for you to listen to what your loved me is saying. In some cases when they believe in God and have the belief that he will help them to overcome their illness, support the person in that belief. Prayer has been studied in regards to helping the ill to overcome their illness and so far the studies show conflicting results. As a hypnotist though, I can tell you that if one has much emotion behind their objective, the objective can be attainted, with the power of prayer being one way to achieve it.
In cases where a person has been given the news that they have a terminal illness, the last thing they want to hear is that all they need to do is believe they will be fine and all will be great.
This attitude takes away their ability to process what is going on with you. Because, they need to speak about their feelings and their needs. So, in this case the best way to handle the situation is to listen to what they are saying and validate their feelings. And then ask them what you can do to help them feel better?
I had a client in her 80’s many years ago who was no longer able to drive, having major nerve damage in her legs. She was in constant pain, and yet, whenever anyone would come to the house to do their medical tests or to check on her, she was always flashing smiles and pretending to be in a happy place. One day I sat next to her on the couch and told her that she could be ‘real’ with me, and let me know what was really going on with her, because I knew that she had some very serious health problems that she was contending with, it was why I was there to clean her apartment. With that opening she told me how she is never able to sleep during the night and every time she tries to nap during the day, someone is coming over to check on her, so she is greatly sleep deprived. So, I took this information and gave it to the nurse in my office who had her case. She quickly passed this information onto the visiting nurse, who was able to get some tranquilizers prescribed for her.Finally she was able to sleep at night.
I had another woman that I worked with was my very first elder case. She was 90 years old and was surviving on eggnogs, orange and prune juice, where her beloved dog was getting freshly ground meat for his diet. This particular client was very angry when I began working with her, not treating her in-home help very well at all. One day I kneeled down beside her and asked her if she was really feeling sad because she was down in the dark lower part of her beautiful split level home, to make sure she would not fall down the stairs. With that a tear flowed down her cheek as she explained that not one of her caregivers gave a damn about her wanting to leave as quickly as they could. I told her that I was more then happy to do what I could to help her out, however she needed to be respectful and let go of her anger. A beautiful thing happened over the last three months of her life. She and I had many conversations and she really helped me to better understand the process of dying from old age.
There was this one day when she saw a mouse in her fireplace, except there wasn’t any mouse, it was just the paint peeling that she saw. So, I had another conversation with her about wanting her to pass on a day when I was coming by to make sure that she would be given the appropriate care. She did in fact pass away that following Monday. It was obvious to me because her door was locked when it was alway left open after letting the dog out in the morning. As I was at a phone in a store down the street calling my bosses to let them know what I thought had happened (this being before cell phones), the visiting nurses had a policeman break down the back door to get into to her body. She had indeed passed away, probably as she was trying to get up to let the dog out. She fell back on the bed across it, dying in that position.
Older people are well aware of their life cycle, and think of their mortality from the age of sixty on. So, to ignore the reality that they may be facing if some grave illness comes on them, is to do them a huge injustice. Because, what you really want to do is to find out where their head is at and be there in the manner in which they would appreciate you.
Children are also very good at being in the moment. They tend to worry about how their parents will be once they have passed away. Again, to pretend that nothing is wrong when they know there is something very wrong is to deny the child their own truth. The best thing to do is to take their lead and go from there. Both Bernie Segal and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross spoke of kids with cancer and how they process their own illnesses and upcoming deaths by articulating these types of behaviors.
So, the rule is to treat your loved on in a manner that best fits their own belief system. Listen to them and what they are really telling you, and validate their feelings and their truths as they understand them. Never, push your agenda onto them. My guess is that you woundn’t want that done to you, so do unto others as you would want done for you.
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms for the Mind and Soul is a book of essays based on the wisdom gained through those who have touched me through my own journey in life. Purchase an inspiring copy today from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis Store.Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
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