Ten Myths About the Dying Process

The following article, Bury the Top 10 Myths About the Dying Process, is by Tani Bahti, RN, CT, CHPN, Founder and Executive Director of Passages – Support & Education in End of Life Issues, and Author of “Dying to Know – Straight Talk About Death & Dying.”

The current debate about end of life decision-making in healthcare is avoiding the most important ingredient; understanding the natural process of dying. It is critical that this information be provided compassionately and thoroughly before those facing a potentially terminal illness can make a truly informed decision.

Those of us who work directly with the dying understand that the body has a natural wisdom built into it, to protect itself and promote comfort.

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The Other Side of Caregiving

Several months ago, I shared with you Carol Allen’s Reflections of a Non-Expert Care Giver in which Carol discussed how the experience of caring for her mother, who suffered from dementia, enabled Carol to shift her attention from the outer expression of life to its inner reality. For Carol, this was a positive, life affirming experience.

For others, such experience is a struggle of monumental proportions. Such is the case for Sandra Tsing Loh who relates her experiences managing her aging father’s care in the article/book review entitled Daddy Issues in the March, 2012, issue of the Atlantic magazine.

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Reflections of a Non-Expert Caregiver

Carol Allen cared for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, for more than five years. Carol has spoken and written articles about her experience. Rather than “losing someone to Alzheimer’s,” Carol has been able to celebrate life through the process of caring for her mother.

Carol writes: “You hear of people ‘losing someone they love to Alzheimer’s’. And certainly they are going, going, going, never to return. But it gives us, the caregivers, the time needed to shift our attention from the outer expression of life to its inner reality. . . . There is a whole human being in front of us still desiring the same thing we all desire: to be loved for who we are right now. This is a wonderful opportunity to pour out our love and express it in ways that we never expressed it before.”

To read all of Carol’s Reflections of a Non-Expert Caregiver, click here.