Before funerals at funeral homes in Bellingham, WA, many of our loved ones will go through an extended period of decline before they die. Sometimes, death is sudden and unexpected. Other times, it is a process, driven by a terminal illness that stretches over days, weeks, or months.
With terminal illnesses, death is a certain outcome. However, the journey is characterized by a steady decline in health, which is accompanied by a slowdown in how the body and mind respond to even the simplest of tasks. We are a society that rushes through life, always hurrying from one thing to the next.
However, as our loved ones with terminal illnesses begin to slow down, we must also slow down to match their pace and not rush them. One of the reasons for this is that rushing our loved ones can increase anxiety and confusion.
Even when a person is at peace with, and has accepted, dying, they can experience anxiety when they sense impatience in those caring for them. Nobody wants to be a burden to anyone else, and when we seem to be rushing our dying loved ones through tasks or we seem impatient with their speed of doing things, we can unintentionally convey to them that they are a burden to us.
This can create anxiety and make things much more difficult for our dying loved ones, because they are exerting waning energy on worrying about us and our reactions, instead of being able to focus on their own futures and doing the necessary work of dying.
Rushing our loved ones can also increase confusion. The brain takes a pretty big hit in the dying process. Although our loved ones may not be cognitively impaired or have dementia, the brain gets less of the fuel it needs – especially as oxygen and blood flow are conserved for other major organs in the body and as our loved ones eat less and less – so thinking slows down, as does reaction and response time.
When we rush our loved ones because we’re looking at the clock or we have something else to do, their brains get jumbled and they suddenly don’t know what to do or they have trouble doing even the simplest things that they may be able to do when they’re not under duress.
Confusion can lead to other, more serious, things like falls (which can end in broken bones, severe head injuries, or even death). It should not be this way.
No matter what else we’ve got going on in our lives or how many things we have on our to-do list, we must slow down to match the pace of our loved ones who are dying. We have a limited amount of time left with them. Everything else will still be there after they’re gone.
We may get behind with some things, but we need to evaluate what is most important in the care of our loved ones who are dying. Much of what we do on a day-to-day basis is unimportant, and perhaps even unnecessary, in the big scheme of things. When we slow down, we can sort through those things and trim the fat from our own schedules in terms of what we do and how much time we spend on them, so that we can walk side-by-side with, instead of running ahead of, our loved ones through their journeys toward death.
For additional information about funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Cremations – Bayview Chapel is here to help. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.