What kind of death would you like to have? If you’re one of the few, like me, who often ponder this, then this is a good question! Personally, I would like my death to be a peaceful one. To that end it’s important I put the work in now to accomplish that!
Is there a difference between a good and a bad death? A common scenario in a hospital could mean a change of shift or sharing a room with other patients. Maybe none of the staff know you or not gotten to know you yet! If there are visiting hours then it could be your loved one is alone for much of the day. Perhaps the hospital doesn’t encourage your family to stay when the end is near. Hopefully your loved one has not been strapped to the bed for his or her safety with no idea of what is happening to them.
This is the sad reality in many dying scenarios nowadays.
Is there an alternative last rites?
Consider this scenario instead. You’re still in that same hospital except they have a different philosophy. Spiritual or religious advisers are on hand for end of life moments. Already knowing the patient’s preferences, a call is made and someone comes to speak some final words. Words of thanks, words showing gratitude, love and words containing a message of peace so that this person can die well.
My wish is to serve the dying with my words. This includes being called to administer spiritual last rites, without the religious connotations. If I’d already had the opportunity to know the patient’s wishes, that would be perfect. I could then include any of their wishes too.
We all deserve the death we want so why not create a peaceful death by living a life that is peaceful, loving and happy so that when the end comes, we know what awaits us will be based on what we did.