When does a person begin to die

The last few days are precious time

Death often leaves us speechless. One does not want to admit it and negotiates with fate. A contribution to human closeness and dignified dying.

Death is incredible. No matter how often we can tell ourselves that life finally appears - when the time has come, the diagnosis has been made, the strength slackens, the days are numbered, then we are faced with an abyss. Despondent, despondent, desperate. People who find out that they are about to die are often speechless. There are no words for this, in the truest sense of the word, existential experience. Usually different phases of processing then follow: Depression and upset, sadness and aggression. One does not want to admit it and negotiates with fate. An exhausting up and down between hope and disappointment. You wrestle and fight. Some become quiet and closed, others loud and angry. Everyone goes their own way with this experience.


People nearby

But at some point the time comes when you begin to say goodbye: to your old self, your relatives and friends, your habits and plans. From everyday life. Of life. Everyone dies alone, but it is still good to have people around who will give you a feeling of security and who will catch you when fear or despair become too strong. But who also enjoy the beautiful moments and share joy.
Most people fear death. The uncertainty, the loneliness, the pain. But the last few days are valuable time. They can still be a good chunk of life. A time when you say goodbye, take stock, maybe find peace.


I believe that the dead will be reborn as an animal or an object. I want to become a watch one day.

Laura Gräbner, 5 years, from the book: The dead always live, published by Bleilaus-Verlag Leipzig


To be able to die with dignity

More and more dying people and their relatives are choosing to spend the last few days in a hospice. Anyone who moves into a hospice knows that this will be their last stop in this world. Sometimes it happens very quickly, others have a few more weeks. The people who come here should be able to live their last days as pain-free as possible and die in dignity. A hospice is a good place for someone who fears death in a hospital and who cannot or does not want to die at home in familiar surroundings. Dying in the hospice also means relief for the relatives. You can hand over the care and really have time for the dying person. And you are not alone with the situation, you can get advice and support. This can be a great relief in a difficult time.


Fulfill wishes

Nurses and volunteers take time to talk and try to fulfill the wishes of the dying. Be it someone who wants to have their childhood favorite meal cooked or a glass of champagne at midnight, listen to special music or visit a place that is associated with memories. Sometimes it is also about making contact with relatives who have long been broken off and from whom you do not want to leave unreconciled. Sometimes the shock that life is finite can help heal wounds.



At the end you ask yourself: Did I live the way I wanted to? Do I really need what I have accumulated? Was I who I wanted to be? When someone finally realizes that what they lived was actually not what they wanted, then it hurts. But some also state that things didn't go according to plan, they failed again and again, but it was their life and they look back with satisfaction. In this phase it can be helpful to just listen, go through the stages of his life with the dying person, and indulge in memories. And maybe also to talk about how things can go on for the others after his death.


Hearing goes last

When the process of dying continues, when the phases of sleep may be longer, when there are states of confusion, when consciousness is lost, then it is good to just be there, perhaps to gently touch the dying person, to speak to him / her. Because hearing goes at the very end. Dying people take in a lot more than you suspect. That's why you can tell an unconscious person what he means to you. Sometimes it can even help to tell him that he can go if he is no longer held. Maybe he can let go of his life more easily if he doesn't have to worry about those who are left behind. Death is incredible, but it can lose its horror.

Text: Amet Bick, Photos: pixabay.com

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