You Would Have Thought, that with the incredible amount of people who have died, are dying in just about every situation possible, that with all that experience and information we could work out an educational syllabus called…
“A course on Dying – Everything you need to know”.
I have spent most of my life preparing for “accidental” death i.e. motorcycle accident, falling off a mountain, shot or blown up or some such unexpected and very quick event. Well, seeing as I am writing this, none of those or anything similar actually happened so now I am faced with the image of the “grim reaper” waiting in the shadows, plotting my drawn out, much slower “death” experience.
After searching around the internet, I am amazed just how little there is written about death, sure, there is a lot about grief due to the departure of friends and loved ones, and I am not in anyway negating the trauma of that but almost nothing is said on how we, as individual human beings deal with, mentally, emotionally and physically the preparation, process and act of dying!
I find it hard to understand the “ignore it and it will go away” attitude which seems to be prevalent throughout western society. Its coming to us all and for a lot of us “Baby Boomers”, sooner than later.
Even when, knowing our own death is reasonable imminent due to old age, terminal illness etc., there is pathetically little support available from any source except maybe if you are being charged around $70,000 per day for treatments that generally do not work.
In my opinion, any half civilized society, should care enough for themselves to educate and prepare everyone to face loss of loved ones from tragedy, accident or illness and also be prepared for their own demise.
Unfortunately, there is precious little, that I have seen, in the way of intelligent guidance or experience in this subject.
The fact that the people we generally turn to for help in these situations, (i.e. Church, Doctors, family members/friends , UMMM! can’t think of anyone else can you?), are tied by belief systems, legal rules and regulations, emotional involvement and fundamentally no idea, vision or experience in truly helping someone come to terms with this event.
So, to whom should the responsibility fall?
I think the hardest part of dying, (my mother has dementia) is the period leading up to it.
For those who “stick their head in the sand” and ignore it until the day it arrives, fear, anger, disorientation, helplessness and loneliness/isolation and the longer the wait, the worse it is for all concerned.
I have a wonderful friend who is a nurse, she deals with death and dying all the time and receives many personal requests from inside and outside hospitals to help people through the process but as far as I know there are no positions, degrees, Phd’s or specialized job positions to fill the gap. Considering that EVERYONE is going to die sometime, why are we not coming together to accumulate and consolidate information and experience from all those who are involved in the experience of “death” and putting together a “job description”, course and qualifications for people to specialize in this work. Keeping the “For Profit” vultures away should be priority so there should be no charge for this and would it not be a wonderful vocation for retired people to take on, they could apply and convert their theoretical knowledge into practical experience which obviously would also be for their own benefit.