The Positive Side of Medicine

Thoughts on Death

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Thoughts on Death

Thoughts on Death

I usually write on positive subjects, but death is part of life, and sometimes we cannot get away from it. I think I am weird about death, I have worked with hospice patients for many years and I think, in a way, it makes you… more immune, almost, to the effects. Not to imply that it doesn’t affect me, it does, I just tend to see the positives of death very easily.

For many people death is a blessed release from a life filled with pain and sorrow, it’s the unexpected ones that chill us to the bone, and see our own mortality. My Dilly’s mother died unexpectedly two weeks ago, for those of you who haven’t heard of my Dilly, it’s my beautiful daughter in law, Dilly stands for Daughter In Law Love You. Her mother was staying with her and my son and their baby, took a nap, and my Dilly found her there later, gone, 47 years old.

A young mother without a mother of her own is a tough reality, they are going today to clean out her apartment, which will be so hard on those kids, I wish I could ease that pain. I told Dilly that in a home with her family that loves her, peacefully asleep, is a great way to go, a lot of Dilly’s pain is because they lived close to me for a year, and last July moved closer to her family, the only thing I can think of is that her mother was more sick than any of us realized, and this made her strong enough to let go of a life filled with pain.

We had made plans just a month ago, her mom and I, as co-grandparents of the most beautiful baby ever, we are actually a lot alike, we even suffer from the same auto-immune disease, well, we raised 2 people who fell deeply in love, we had to have some things in common. In a way I feel like part of myself is gone, and now I will have to make up for both of us, keeping the positives, letting go of the negatives.

As a hospice nurse I have long felt that death brings out our selfishness as nothing else can do. Quite often people are suffering, and want to let go, and we beg them, and pray for them, for just one more day, one more hour. I have seen families reject pain medications for their loved ones, as often the lack of pain allows them to sleep, and the kids don’t want dad, or mom, asleep when they visit, which is really not fair. When we love people we want them to be free of pain, they may not remember us being there, but being there, holding hands, singing, wiping their brow, these are all acts of love that will stay with us.


Dilly went to the funeral home and did her mom’s makeup, a task that ended up taking several hours as it was so hard for her to do, but she and her mom loved makeup, and playing with it together, trying different looks, and she felt like she could make her mom look like her mom, it was her last selfless gift of love to her mother, and I think it is beautiful.

It’s very hard to say goodbye, there is no easy way to do it, and some of that pain will be with you always, whenever you have a moment that you think “oh mom would have loved to see that” or “that would make dad laugh” so don’t say goodbye, carry that love in your heart always, eventually it will bring a smile as well as tears. Live your life so that you have no regrets, forgive people, show them love and compassion, you will be the better person for it. Send flowers now, go visit now, spend money on a plane ticket when they are still alive and you can hold their hand, offer a gift of beauty while they can enjoy it with you. Love peace and hugs…

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