On Dying


I was in the presence today of a dying person. No, not like you and me–I mean actively dying. We are all dying of course, but this is part of my hospice volunteering, my first day meeting with my new patient.

It’s not at all like being a paramedic because we aren’t given much: only a name. No diagnosis, no real history, no nothing. Of course, I’m not your average volunteer, so I can deduce some things. But, I’m not there to fix really. Only to sit. And maybe to provide some small comfort, maybe some smiles and to help a caregiver get some respite.

In this case I am reminded how much we can tell by someone’s eyes. They may not be able to speak much anymore, but their eyes speak volumes. And maybe they aren’t able-bodied any longer, but it is easy to remember that this same person was someone else, someone before they were dying.

They were like you and me: laughing loudly, arguing, dancing, quilting, walking around, loving, working and most of all–living.

It makes me wonder why people spend time while they are alive wasting it on unhappy things. On things that upset them. On things that they can never reclaim. On people who will never care enough. Why I did.

I need to spend more time living while I’m dying. Because we never know when it will be our turn that the dying will become active. Or maybe the living will simply stop.




31 thoughts on “On Dying

  1. I’m sure your being there, and “just sitting” is a huge gift to the person who is dying and to his or her family. Thank you for doing that.

  2. If One ever regret on “why I did that”, obviously something wrong in his or her path….the earlier it’s realized, the better

  3. I actually did a bit of a ungentle little dance in front of the patient which she enjoyed. I can be goofy too and even dying patients deserve to laugh! Thanks for your continued support and love.

  4. The lovely thing about blessing others is that we often get the same if not more out of the experience. You are bringing light and respite to those in need. What better way to spend our precious time……….

  5. Actually we are dying with each breath of life, running towards our end. Aware soul take breath in light of truth.

    One who know how to die , actually knows how to live moment after moment.

    I am forced to think many times how coincidentally you have got this opportunity to work with the people who are facing death.

    Gautama Buddha used to send his disciples as first assignment to visit crematorium and witness the reality of life.

    Any way death is the turning point and beginning of life again. So awakened soul witness life and death with equanimity . Hence one who can celebrate life and celebrate silence (death) too.

    If you are not after money beyond the healthy survival then being volunteer is like being a king.
    Else highly paid job can make you feel like slave. Wishing you all peace and happiness.

  6. Oh thank you so much for your gesture of respect. Hence topic was on such a serious note, need to dilute a bit that’s why I said so that .

    Any way . Thanks

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