April 03 2020
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone

Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone


jennifer g ramseyer - April 09 2020

I appreciate your wise words

I was told you have a tool kit as well how do I access
thank you
peace to you



Good read, At this time we are hearing hart wrenching stories of people experiencing this very thing. Having to say goodbye without touching or talking to them Makes you think, like I have often done. Did I talk to my wife or relative as often that I could have during their last time on earth. Thanks Barbara

barrbara - April 05 2020

Hi Shelly, thank you for your honest sharing. We are all going to be afraid to some degree when it comes time to die. Your fear is not unusual. I would think the memories of your having been very close to death many times enhances that fear. I wish I had some magic words to ease your fear. I don’t. I can only say this is the one life experience we all will have. Because it is a natural part of life will it be as bad as we imagine? I’m not sure it will be. Blessings! Barbara

Barbara Matthews - April 05 2020

My daughter’s family lives a block away. As coronavirus began stepping up its game, my she asked, “Don’t you think we need to start practicing social distancing?” Since seniors are high risk, she’s worried about me getting the virus. I would not want her to feel responsible for my death if I were to succumb. After her daughter’s remark, the first thought that crossed my mind was: “If I get coronavirus and die, I will never be in the same room or be able to hug my children and grandchildren again.” Thank you for your article that explains the dying process in ways that we would otherwise never know.

Lori Martin - April 05 2020

Thank you Barbara for your writings. I have your book series and have purchased multiple packs of the series to give to folks who are going through the challenges of losing a loved one. Blessings to you. Stay well and safe during this pandemic and always.

Bienvenida Quintana - April 05 2020

Beautiful and helpful words of wisdom that will certainly bring comfort at the time we must ALL FACE. Thank you, may blessings.

Sharon Riek - April 05 2020

Hi Barb,

Just wanted to thank you for always dealing with everyone’s questions but also, now, for this mess we have with the virus. I’ve purchased and given out so many of your pamphlets – they are awesome and have been glad to be able to share them with friends & family in a time of need!

Thank you and take good care!!!

Hugs, Sharon

Deborah - April 05 2020

Beautiful post, Barbara. I wish this could be picked up by major media. Deathbed vigiling from a distance, DOES make a connection, and is a powerful spiritual experience.

Shelly C. - April 05 2020

So far as I can relate, hearing has to be the last sense to go. I’ve come insanely close to dying a couple of times. The only way that I can describe it, was it was like being under water at the deep end of the public swimming pool and being able to hear all the folks topside (usually kids) talking/shouting above.

This post touched a deep nerve in me, in the sense that it touched a very deep fear in me. I know that I will end up in a facility at some point. It’s just not going to be avoidable. And that terrifies me. I have a long standing lung disease causing me to be on high flow O2, asthma, and diabetes. Facilities are notoriously under staffed (at least the ones I could afford), and are very busy places. I’m terrified of having a problem with my breathing and not being able to get help and no one noticing that there’s something wrong. Suffocating to death is painful. Every time that I’ve come so close to dying was due to my airway shutting down. I’ve arrested several times. I’m not afraid of dying, but I could get very excited about how I die. I just got out of the hospital after a four day admission. They wanted to put me in a rehab facility after discharge to build up my stamina. I of course said no.

I would love to figure out a way to deal with this fear. I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life, but this scares me to death.

Mrs. Elaine G McGillicuddy - April 05 2020

Dear Barbara Karnes,

Thank you so much for writing this! And especially because I was very present to my husband, Francis A McGillicuddy as he lay dying. What you recommended is what I/we did!

In fact, I wrote about this in my book Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – A Love Story – in the last chapter entitled “Last Suppers.” If you go to my website you will see a photo of that book as well as a book review of it. And finally – I can vouch for the truth of what you say here, from my own experience accompanying my late husband who died in 2010. Much obliged,


Diana - April 05 2020

Such a beautiful and comforting post. As always, thank you for sharing your knowledge and guidance during such sad and difficult times.

Nancy Watson - April 05 2020

With so much written in this time of COVID 19 this information is much needed. Thank you for your expertise in this matter. Luckily I have not had to use it at the moment, but I have a son that is a physician and this will be helpful to him now and to many others even when our world gets back to normal.Thank you

Marilyn Swanston - April 05 2020

Received these books from hospice Cannot tell you how helpful they were in relaxing my fears while my husband was taking his journey. To heaven with brain cancer.

Maryanne J. Kane - April 05 2020

This was a beautiful, heartfelt reflection piece. Thank you, Barbara, for caring about those of us who remain without our love-ones.

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