Winding Down as End of Life Approaches

I was thinking about life and living the other day——- what? doesn’t everybody?  Anyway, I envisioned life as a line. Birth, living, dying, death is how life unfolds.

We are born with labor to get into this world. We learn how to eat, to sleep, and to socialize as part of being alive. Then we turn around and begin the process of dying by eating less, sleeping more, and withdrawing socially.

When we enter this world we learn to eat food, gradually going from water, milk, soft foods, then anything our bodies can handle.

With sleep, at first we sleep most of the time (parents are saying hopefully) and then gradually we spend more time awake.

At first we are dependent, then we gradually take on more and more responsibility.

Food, sleep, and socialization are three important aspects to living life.

When life has run its course (however many years it is) our body begins to "wind down" much like it “wound up” in the beginning.

If an accident or an illness does not interrupt the life cycle, there will come a point where it begins preparing for death just like it prepared for living and experiencing when it was born.

Gradually through the remaining years, without even realizing it, the body begins preparing for death. Food seems less important. Meat isn’t as good as it used to be, quantities aren’t as large, gradually, ever so gradually, soft foods, soups, ice cream become more interesting, until eventually we just aren’t eating a balanced, enough to sustain life, diet.

As with the baby sleeping less, in old age our sleep needs seem to increase. “I’m just tired all the time," "I can’t sleep at night but easily sleep in the day," (how many babies have their day and nights reversed?). Naps became important and eventually we are sleeping more than we are being active.

Our social skills and wants tend to change. We have less need for people interactions, we start to go inward with our thoughts.

AND THEN labor begins, labor to leave this world, labor to push out of this body we have spent a lifetime experiencing in.

There are articles and books written about these similarities.  Dr. Susan Boron’s Bookends is a new one I am familiar with. Most people don’t think about birthing, living, and dying let alone its similarities. I’m offering you something to think about.

Something More...  about Winding Down as End of Life Approaches 

Watching a special person decline from disease or old age can be scary. I have created a (multi award winning) film, New Rules For End of Life Care, DVD Kit. This educational kit teaches people how to care for their loved one at the end of their life.  It will educate gently and reduce fear.

Whether the patient is at home, in a nursing home or hospital, this kit will give the family valuable information they need to understand the dying process.  


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Lolita Silicani

Dear Barbara,

You continue to amaze me with your wealth of knowledge on life in general, from beginning to end. I find your information fascinating!!

Thank you again for another wonderful posting.

Lolita :)
BK Books replied:
Thank you, Barbara


I wish I could have my family meet you in person. You express everything I wish to share with them but are unable to…because I am Mom. Talking with you would give them understanding, not only of what I am going through, but also of what the future is bringing to them as they become my age. The peace I feel from your comments, the peace I wish to give to them, the thoughts I feel on aging and the aging process I wish to share with them , are so comforting , and hopefully helpful……my wish is that your words will help my children transition into a world without me and ease their loss and pain, and that they will be better prepared to help their loved ones do the same. Thank you Barbara for making dying easier for those that we know will be left behind
BK Books replied:
Hi Marcia, for most of us it will never be easy for our mother to die and leave us, we will never really be prepared for that BUT it will happen. This is where knowledge comes in. Knowing the process of dying from old age can give us guidance so that when the time comes we can live it gracefully. Blessings to you and your family. Barbara

Susan Smith

Interesting observations on life. And, when one stops to think about can see the natural progression.. Thank you

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