When is the time right to say “Good Bye” to a person who is dying?
by Lori La Bey of Senior Lifestyle Trends January 7, 2010 by Alzheimer's Speaks
This question was submitted by Donna who read the post “The Clock Never Ticks So Loudly As When Waiting For A Loved One To Pass”
Great question! here is my answer -
I look at it like this, and actually did this with my Father and have with my Mother, although my Mother is still alive and in her end stages. I started talking about it prior to the very end. Now not everyone reading will have this time and that is ok, because there is no right or wrong time to speak these words. It’s all about your perception of what will happen when you say the words. REMEMBER this, as it is critical!
For me, I told Dad and Mom many times that what I wanted, was for them to be pain free and happy. That I would be ok when they decide the time is right for them. That I would be there until the timing is right for them to pass. That I love them and always will no matter how far apart we may seem.
You see, I think many people, myself included think that saying “Good Bye” means they are going to go. They are going to die right then and there. In reality, we just don’t have that much control. I like you, have heard many times once you say good bye they depart, but there are just as many if not more who continue to live. Once you accept this life and death decision is not yours but theirs, the burden is lifted. You will feel lighter. The heaviness goes away. You can breathe normally again. It is God’s will. Whoever their God is. Whoever your God is.
Realizing this flips the whole situation. Now instead of feeling like you are, “Pulling the Plug on their life,” you are supporting their decision. This is HUGE! You are now in a state of true unconditional love, putting their needs and wants first. The guilt is lifted from you. Your words flow smoothly as they are come from love. But you might ask how will they know that?
Remember, like them we express ourselves through multiple ways or senses. Our tears as they fall upon them, our quivering voice as we speak the words, “It’s ok to let go. We will be all right,” our shaking hand or trembling bodies as hold them all communicate how difficult this is for us. They receive these communications through their senses and know your words come out of a deep, deep love and respect for them. Even if they seem non-responsive they will know.
As I write this post, tears are flowing from my eyes knowing I will have to feel the pain of my Mother passing some day, probably sooner than later. It never is easy, because we ache at our loss, but with our loss comes great peace for them. There is no better gift then loving unconditionally and putting your loved one first, and knowing you will make it through this journey one way or another. It is normal, it’s healthy, and not about to stop just because you can’t or won’t deal with it.
So your choice is to carry the burden of guilt thinking you control the situation of when they will die, or releasing your fears and guilt by embracing the possibility that there are higher powers at work and a peaceful place for us to go to rest at the end of our life’s journey.