When most people consider the tasks that a dying person must accomplish they think of wills, trusts, preparing advance directives and funeral planning. While these are important tasks, there is much more significant work to be done to achieve relationship closure and a peaceful death.
The most essential things in life are our relationships with those we love.
TASK 1 -
ASK FOR AND OFFER FORGIVENESS
The most important healing at the end of life isn't physical healing, but rather the healing of emotional wounds.
Asking for forgiveness isn't easy, especially if we feel that we were misunderstood or justified in our actions. But regardless of how you feel about your rift, asking for forgiveness can be freeing.
Offering forgiveness to someone who we feel hasn't earned it is extremely hard. But it's important to know that forgiving someone we love isn't excusing that person's behavior. Forgiveness is ultimately a gift we give ourselves; when we forgive, our spirit is set free of anger and resentment.
TASK 2 - OFFER HEARTFELT THANKS
We all have an innate need to express gratitude and feel appreciated. Many of us mistakenly believe that we don't actually have to say the words "thank you" out loud. We assume our loved ones know how thankful we are for all they have done for us. The truth is, often our loved ones really don't know how much we appreciate them.
TASK 3 - OFFER SENTIMENTS OF LOVE
Stop for a moment and think of those relationships that matter to you most. Can you recognize feelings of love for each of these people? Although it may differ from person to person, love for others is the most natural and important of human emotions. But saying the words "I love you" can be incredibly difficult for many people. Find the words, write the card or letter, share the sentiment through acts of caring.
TASK 4 SAY GOODBYE
Goodbye is a powerful necessity for many dying people. Goodbye brings the relationship full circle to closure.
Hospice Chautauqua County professional social workers and spiritual-care staff are available to offer assistance and guidance with the tasks of reconnection.
These tasks shouldn't only pertain to dying people; we should all remember to complete tasks 1-3 often in our own lives.
Hospice Chautauqua County is dedicated to caring for patients and families facing terminal illness. Hospice offers a range of services through a team concept to meet the physical as well as the emotional needs of both the patient and the family. If you are interested in finding out more information on Hospice Chautauqua County, please visit our website at hospicechautco.org or call 338-0033.