The Dying Experience — Myths and Answers

The Art of Manliness, A Man's Life Podcast by Brett McKay - Podcast #171 

All of us are going to die someday. And most of us will have loved ones who will die from disease or old age before we do. In fact, some of you listening right now may be dying yourself or watching a loved one die.

Yet most modern Westerners aren’t prepared for the actual event of dying because we’ve done such a great job cordoning it off from the rest of life. If you’re a young person, you’ve likely never seen a person who’s dying.

Consequently, there are lot of myths and misconceptions about the dying process. There’s also a lot of fear — both for the person dying and those watching them die.

But my guest today has devoted herself to educating people about the dying process and showing people that it’s more than a medical event. Her name is Barbara Karnes. She’s a hospice nurse and the author of several books about dying and how to bring it back to the natural part of life that it is.  

Today on the podcast Barbara and I get into what to expect when you’re in the twilight of life and how you can make the experience less scary and more meaningful.

Show Highlights

  • How death used to be a part of everyday life and how we cordoned it off in the 20th century
  • The myths people have about death thanks to movies and TV (hint: you can’t close dead people’s eyes)
  • A detailed walk through the stages of dying by disease or old age
  • How you can tell someone is days or hours away from dying
  • Why Barbara compares death from old age or disease to childbirth labor
  • Why “people die like they live”
  • What do you do when you know a loved one is dying
  • What you can do to make the dying experience of a loved one more comfortable
  • What good hospice care is like and when you should consider hospice for yourself or loved one
  • What Barbara has learned about life after spending decades as a hospice nurse
  • And much more!

Final act of living book cover Barbara Karnes.

I know death isn’t a pleasant topic and you’re probably not keen on reading about what to expect when you or a loved one dies. But reading Barbara’s work really cleared up some misconceptions I had about the dying process and even took a bit of the fear out of it. She shows death for what it is — a natural part of life. If you or someone you know has a terminal illness, pick up some of Barbara’s pamphlets at her site. If you have a parent who is in the twilight of their years, her work will provide you with some much needed insight about what to expect and how to prepare for their eventual departure from this life.

 Related Product is The End of Life Guideline Series 


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1 comment


Thank you Barbara. I’ve got your books and so appreciate your experience and perspective.
BK Books replied:
Hi Susan, thank you for the kind words. Blessings! Barbara

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