In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

People don’t die like they do in the movies—alive one minute, saying something profound and dead the next. There is a way that the body dies. A way it is programed to die. It’s just that most of us don’t think about it, don’t know and generally don’t want to think or know about it. This is part of the death denying society that we live in.

I’m going to talk about dying. I have spent most of my life talking about death and now more than ever I want to explain the normal way the body dies.

This is a time of great fear in our country and a huge portion of the fear evolves around dying, probably the thing we fear the most, certainly Americans fear the most.

Knowledge reduces fear so here is Dying 101.

There are only 2 ways to die. Fast, getting hit by a truck, heart attack or suicide to name a few. Gradual death, the other way we die, is either old age, (the body just wears out and you die) or disease. We get a disease that the doctors can’t fix, that our body can’t fight and we die.

Dying from the coronavirus is considered a gradual death (disease) that can happen rapidly.

There is a process that occurs with gradual death. Certain things happen at certain times. If death just suddenly happened it would be fast death. The changes that occur in gradual death occur on a timeline, from months, weeks, days, hours and minutes.

With the coronavirus the gradual dying signs will begin in the days to hours before the dying time frame. Up to that time they will be very sick, have difficulty breathing but not appear to be dying.

Most people are going to be isolated in some kind of medical facility, surrounded by machines, and tubes but I think the fear we carry is not about the machines or tubes but about how am I going to feel? I’m scared about what I will feel like when all of this is going on.

Think about a time when you were the sickest you have ever been. During the sickest time you don’t remember much if anything. What you remember is when you were past the critical point and you hear what others told you happened.

During the worse part of a severe illness our mind just kind of blanks itself. That makes me believe that the person dying isn’t really aware of what is happening round and about them. However, most of us watchers observe what is happening and think the person dying is thinking, feeling, experiencing the world in the same way the watchers are. I don’t believe that is true. I have been with so many people in their last hours to minutes and have consistently observed their lack of connection, lack of fear, and lack of awareness.

In this time of great fear and uncertainty my wish for us, along with health, safety, and support, is knowledge. Knowledge of how to live in this crisis and knowledge of how to die in this crisis. We may be doing both.

Something More about... In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

My end of life booklets are available as ebooks. The goal of this series is to neutralize some of the fear that an unpredictable future may bring. Knowledge of the dying process and its natural and normal unfolding can help create a meaningful and comforting experience as a loved one journeys from life.

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Marilyn Falk

My husband passed away here at home 3 weeks ago, although it seems like only a few days ago. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without the wonderful support of my Hospice team
and Chaplain, as well as my co-workers and family. But they eventually have to reurn to their lives
and responsibilities. At first it was easier to pretend that he was still in the hospital, or recovering
in rehab. I had seen your book; Gone From My Sight in the Hospice folder, but I wasn’t ready to accept the possibility of his leaving. Today, I took it from the folder and read it. It was like a replay
of the things I had just experienced while caring for him. It was sad, beautiful and helpful. I am very grateful that you have chosen to dedicate your life to this very important work! By helping us to
grasp an understanding of the end of life, you have opened a window of hope, and strengthened our faith. I purchased your collection from Amazon for my e-reader. Thanks and God bless!


Hi Jimmy, you didn’t say how long ago your love died. You sound like it was recently. I have no words of comfort. Nothing I or anyone else can say will make you feel better. This is what grief is, agonizing, no relief, emotional pain. It is questions with no answers, breathing without purpose. Jimmy, I hear your pain, I understand your pain. My offering to you is to think about living your life, from this point onwards, as a tribute of the love and life you shared with your special person. Let everything you do moving forward be your gift of love. “I do this in your name”. I do this for what we were” “I do this with you on my shoulder, in my heart, in my life”. " I will live my life to the best I can for the both of us”. My blessings are with you. Barbara


Hi Jennifer, you asked about a “tool kit”. I haven’t heard of my work as a tool kit but it certainly is. All of my materials are written as guides, as tools, in the end of life journey. You can look at the different booklets and DVDs and find the one or ones that address the situation you living with. Go to my website, and read any of the blogs and look at the different materials.
Blessings! Barbara

Patricia stevens

My husband passed away eight months ago and all your booklets helped me thru the ordeal.I have read them all several times and I thoroughly enjoy your emails! Thank you so much! Patricia

Diana Page

This is helpful. Thank you.

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