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The Final Stage in Living

Posted Feb 04 2010 10:05pm


As a person nears the end of life, there are some very basic similarities that may be seen which crosses the type of illness or ‘reason’ for dying. Below is a list of some of these behaviors. Usually, the closer to death the more pronounced the symptom. Simple to complicated, easy to difficult, know there is always something that can be done to relieve any suffering that may accompany any of the following:

  • Lack of energy
  • physical weakness
  • loss of interest in things that are important
  • withdrawal from loved ones
  • increased sleepiness
  • gazing or staring, as if right through you
  • confusion
  • restlessness
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty swallowing
  • incontinence
  • temperature fluctuations
  • loss of color
  • breathing changes
  • increased pain or beginning of generalized pain

Dying is a process. This final stage of living may come on swiftly or slowly, but however long it takes, be it days, weeks or months, it is usually predictable. Not everyone will have all the manifestations of course, as each person’s death is as unique as a fingerprint.

What I do hear most of the time is the question, “why is this taking so long?” It just does … unless it doesn’t. There are definitely no absolutes regarding any of this other than our heart will stop beating and we all will take our last breath someday. Until then, enjoy!

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