By Paula Spencer, Caring.com senior editor
People often adhere to a code of conduct about the end of life that's just not rooted in common sense or reality -- especially when it comes to how to talk to someone who's dying, in their final days or hours. Hospice nurse Maggie Callanan, who has attended more than 2,000 deaths, wrote her book Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life in order to take on these myths:
Myth: Don't cry in front of the dying.
They know you're sad. Having the courage to bare your emotions gives the dying person permission to be candid about his or her own feelings. Your tears are evidence of your love. And they can also be a relief to the person, telegraphing that you understand what's happening.
Myth: Keep the children away.
People often steer kids away from death so they'll remember the person in a good light and not be frightened. But most kids do well with simple explanations of what's happening; facts are usually less scary than their vivid imaginations. By cordoning off a child from a natural part of life, you also deprive the dying person of a beloved, comforting presence.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Dealing with Death and Dying | Myths of Coping with Death | Caring.com
Labels: Caregiver Respite, Caregiver Support, Caregiving, Caring For The Caregiver, Concerns In Caregiving, Coping with Death, Dealing With Death, Death, Deaths from Cancer, Dying, Dying at Home, Dying of Cancer, Dying Patients, Dying Relatives, healthcare advocacy, Mourning The Death of A Loved One, Practical Advice for Caregivers, Primary Caregivers