June 11 2020
Written By
Barbara Karnes, RN
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How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?

How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?


barbara - August 11 2020

Hi N, about your question will your father be able to die if your step mom continues to “hold” him here? We have limited control over the time that we die. The operative word here is “limited”. Your father can’t stay here just because your step mom doesn’t want him to leave or he doesn’t want to leave her. The same is true for us, the watchers. We can “hold” a person here for a limited amount of time (hours). Thoughts have more power than we tend to give them credit for but overall, death comes when the body can no longer function—no matter how hard we try to keep or want someone to live. Talk to the hospice nurse or social worker about your concerns so they are aware of your step mother’s feelings. They can help her and you cope with the eventual death. My blessings to you and your family. Barbara

N Meyer - August 11 2020

My dear father is in the end of life stages and it is almost like my Step Mom is refusing to let him go or believing he will go at some point soon. Although my sisters and I love our Step Mom dearly it is really hard to see her push him daily to eat, get up and walk (collapsing a lot now). Hospice is seeing my Dad 1x a week. Will he be able to pass on his own without her telling him it is ok to go?

susie mink - June 12 2020

Loved the talk you gave yesterday especially talking about the Volunteers. I seem to have my finger in so many pots with Covid. The volunteers and assisting with isolation of course. Just needed to pivot my thinking. Thank you

Joanne Ciampi - June 12 2020

Very good advice to help nurses, social workers, chaplains, etc., in approaching the subject. I say all staff or volunteers since family members can go back and forth on this issue. As you said, the important thing is to be honest, and to present it in a gentle manner.

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